Feed the Meter

Desperate to fill a $3 million gap in the transportation budget, administrators look to permits and weekend parking to make up the difference.

Before the end of the year, students may find themselves hoarding quarters to cover the newly-imposed cost of weekend and night parking.

Proposed changes to parking costs made in early May have been tentatively scheduled for November. These changes are an attempt to recover from a $3-million funding deficit, caused by repair costs to the Arbor Parking Structure in Hillcrest Medical Center — which is projected to collapse in the next five to 10 years unless the structure is rebuilt. The total cost of the reconstruction is an estimated $30 to $50 million, with the expected completion date of 2015-18.

“If [TPS is] in a budget deficit, their options are to raise rates or cut services.” Transportation Policy Committee member Adam Powers said.

The two main proposals that would fund this reconstruction are the elimination of free weekend parking and an increase in the cost of daily parking permits. Under the plan, the price of the Occasional Use S Student parking permit would increase from $41 to $51, while the quarterly night and weekend permits would increase from $43 to $53. One-day permits would increase from $8 to $9 and one-night permits would increase from $3 to $5.

The initiative to eliminate free weekend parking passed with a majority vote by TPC. Originally, the changes were scheduled to take into effect beginning this summer. However, according to Transportation Services Executive Assistant Eliud Escobedo Jr., the implementation was postponed in order to receive more feedback from the students.

“Signs saying as much were posted around campus, but after a while they went away,” Powers said. “I haven’t heard of anyone actually being ticketed for weekend parking, but no campus announcements have gone out clarifying this rather far-reaching change one way or another.”

TPS Director Brian d’Autremont said there is no set date for the changes to take place.

Another notable issue is the changes in MTS bus routes, which went into effect on Sept. 5 as a result of increased transit funding from the state of California. Superloop 201/202 now goes through Lebon Drive, Arriba Avenue and Regents Road while Route 30 no longer does, only passing through La Village Drive to reach UTC.

D’Autremont said TPS will take this revision by MTS into consideration before making any changes in shuttle routes.

In addition, Powers said the Transportation Policy committee will continue to explore the possibility of a transportation referendum — a necessary measure to mend the deficit. Transportation Services introduced the concept of a transportation referendum last year, but was rejected consistently by A.S. Council since a referendum has always

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