If you want to park in a, VCU garage this semester, you better bring extra cash.
VCU Parking and Transportation increased the rates for day parking in their garages from $4 daily to a system that charges hourly, in addition to an increase in semester parking on campus for the academic year 2013-14. Commuter students will now pay as much as $10 per day to park in the garages, and between $150 and $330 for long-term parking passes.
Officials say the change was made to keep up with the demand of vehicle users on campus, with only 12,000 spaces and more than 45,000 students, faculty and staff vying for only 12,000 spaces, said Miriam Maddux, ombudsman in transit specialist for VCU Parking.
“In order to keep up with the demand we’ve done some things in transportation in terms of encouraging carpooling, but we still need to have additional parking spaces and we believe that we are doing competitive pricing … what we offer is better than what you can get out of private facilities,” Maddux said.
Maddux said prices for parking changed based on proximity and status.
“Instead of paying for the whole day you just pay for the amount of time you will be there,” Maddux said. “They did this to create more flexible parking options that could benefit both part-time and full-time students.”
The increased revenue from the change will go to VCU Parking and be used for maintenance and security. Profit will also be used to lease and build new facilities, Maddux said.
“Knowing the big picture and really understanding how much it costs to subsidize the costs for students, it’s understandable why these increases are necessary,” said graduate student and social work major Shayla Betts who regularly uses the VCU parking garages.
Betts bought a six-month student parking pass and said the increase of about $15 to $20 didn’t make much of a difference to her.
Though parking prices and rates went up this semester, Maddux said there are still many free services such as Rambikes, Ramaway, Ramsafe and a website called Zimride that allows students to discuss carpooling options.