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Parking Problems

Ricky Rodas, Investigative Reporter

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Parking and Transportation costs on campus continue to to rise and this semester is no exception.

Parking permits increased from $165 to $185, and the cost of the Metro U-Pass has also increased from $95 to $125 since the spring.

Parking and Transportation Services Director, Carmen Gachupin, explained that increased costs are funding a new parking structure. Construction will begin in May 2018. According to Gachupin, the estimated cost of the structure is $65 million, and is expected to be completed by July 2019.

“The parking prices were increased by 10 percent due to the upcoming construction of the new parking structure,” said Gachupin. “The parking structure is going to run about $65 million, but we are gaining 2,300 parking spaces from it.”

However, a Parking and Transportation PowerPoint provided by Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) President David Zitser shows that Structure E will cost $45 million and will begin construction January 2018.

“Over 500 [parking] spaces will be closed in Lot 5 in Spring as the construction of Parking Structure E begins,” said Zitser.

Cal State LA currently has 7,727 parking spaces on campus, which includes student, faculty/staff, handicapped, and meter spaces. The off-site parking lot has 3,000 spaces and is shared by local residents and businesses.

The parking budget is $7,694,281 and brought in $7,665,781, while the transportation budget is $1,023,500 and brought in the same amount. It’s worth mentioning that Cal State LA Parking and Transportation Services has a self-supported budget, meaning they receive no funding from the school or state government.

“The parking budget is self-supported; anything that has to do with the sale of parking permits is how we fund parking services,” said Gachupin. “The transportation budget is derived from parking fines. That means parking tickets. Of The citations that are issued around campus, 70 percent of that goes to the transportation program.”

Parking and Transportation attendants issued 12,012 citations during the 2016-2017 fiscal year, approximately 2,000 tickets less than the previous year, according to Gachupin.

Transportation revenue funds subsidies the campus’s buses, train, shuttle services. The U-Passes; the remaining 30 percent is used to pay the court fees and processing for parking citations. The U-Passes are a recent introduction to Parking and Transportations agenda and are made in partnership with public transit service LA Metro.

LA Metro is the provider of the U-Passes, and values them at $220.

“The U-Pass, the way we advertised it, is funded by ASI, Student Union, and Parking and Transportation. We received $70,000 from ASI, $30,000 from the Student Union, and our contribution was $94,386,” said Gachupin.

Students purchased the passes for $125, which sold out the second day of fall semester. Parking and Transportation ordered 2,000 U-passes because that is what they could afford, but were forced to order an extra 230 for the large amount of students who were wait-listed.

In a written statement to the University Times, Associated Students Incorporated (ASI) President, David Zitser, wrote that he believes the parking increase could have been avoided if Parking and Transportation had better prioritized its services.

“Because of the new Parking Structure and U-Pass program, the department of Parking and Transportation needed to increase the parking permit cost to support their endeavors,” said Zitser.

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