Every weekday, I wake up extra early to allow myself enough time to find a parking space on campus. Being a commuter means one thing: You get to spend at least five to 15 minutes a day looking for a spot.At least on the campus of Youngstown State University.
After the time it takes to find a parking space, a commuter then must walk at least five more minutes to class because all the parking options are located on the outer limits of campus.
Each semester, a YSU commuter pays $78 to be “assured” a parking spot on campus. This $78 allows a commuter to park in two parking decks (one now due to the recent closing of M-2) and five flat lots.
However, assurance is hardly ever the case. Especially now since we lost 12,000 spaces.
The University of Akron offers commuter parking permits for $150 per semester. Although that might seem like an astronomical amount compared to YSU’s fees, it includes a lot more options.
The $150 commuter fee allows commuters to choose from four main decks and 67 other lots around campus. There are 10,415 parking spaces allotted for commuters on campus.
Kent State University allows its commuters to choose a parking pass that is right for them. For $90, commuter students can pick from six different lots near different campus buildings. For $105, a commuter can park at all six lots. $140 allows a commuter to park at the student center for free or at any of the other six lots. All of the commuter parking passes include 2,500 “core” spots located close to campus.
Larry Emling, director of parking services at KSU, doesn’t believe that parking is a problem on campus.
“We always have space for our students,” Emling said.
So what should YSU do? I say either increase the parking fee and provide more, more convenient parking spaces to commuter students, or lower the current parking fee.
After all, time is money.