SG answers questions about new virtual parking passes

Hannah Lee

Back-in parking would result in a citation under the new policy without paying the $50 a year for backing in. Photo by Mark Judson

Members of Student Government clarified a few questions students may have about the new ‘electronic’ passes, and explained the $50 fee for students who back in.

It currently costs Parking Services $70,000 to print and mail parking permits. SG Vice-President Cole Poppell said that after the virtual passes are in effect for three years, the $70,000 that Parking Services spent will be put into an account that can be later used to fund new parking garages, new parking spaces, and lower fees for students. The back-in permit fee was voted on in April 2016 by the Parking Advisory Council. Four members of Student Government are on the council.

According to Chief Justice Elisabeth Avilla, the new system will be an electronic license plate recognition camera that will be on the back of a truck that scans license plates as it moves, so employees don’t have to walk up to each car and scan passes. It will be three to four times faster than the current system.

Those who back into parking spaces would make those employees stop, walk to the car and then manually enter the license plate, which, according to Avilla, is an inefficient system.

“The $50 was meant to be something that’s reasonable over a year, if you think about it, you go to school for 12 months,” said Avilla. “It’s less than $10 a month, so it’s something that’s not meant to be outrageous but it’s something to be like, ‘Hey this is not something we want you doing, so if it’s something you insist on doing, you know you are going to have to pay for it because it is going to make us much more inefficient.”

Photo by Mark Judson

Through the virtual passes, Parking Services hoped that the number of theft and fake permits will decrease. They recognized that removing the physical passes is a hassle and can cause scratches on the car.

The new virtual passes allow students to register up to five cars for a single pass. As long as there isn’t more than one car registered to a single student on campus at the same time, students can change cars when they come to campus.

Permit fees are not increasing and they have not been raised since 2007, however there has been discussion to raise Blue permit prices by $20 and to lower Gray permit prices by $20 for the 2018-2019 school year.

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