ASU parking is too inconvenient for students

Parking permits are too inaccessible for students

Catching the light rail or the campus shuttle is not always convenient if you have a job off campus or classes that require you to travel back and forth between campuses. 

One could argue that it is equally or even more inconvenient to have a parking permit than to use public transportation, for ASU parking permits are excessively expensive and unsuitably inaccessible. 

“I shouldn’t have to pay $780 a year,” Mac Paul, a freshman exercise and wellness major, said. “ASU-specific parking is kind of inaccessible, at least downtown. I know a lot of kids had to get parking with other companies that weren’t affiliated with ASU.”

Some students are also concerned about how far away a few of the parking garages are from campus. While Tempe is crawling with students and ASU personnel, the other campuses are not, and a long walk at night is not a risk students should have to take.

Tiana Gammage is a freshman exercise and wellness major with a parking pass on the downtown Phoenix campus.

"I know there is a parking lot about two blocks away which is kind of dangerous in downtown Phoenix so that can be scary," Gammage said.

According to Shereen Shaw, communications specialist for the Parking and Transit Services, parking permits have never sold out, so they are always available for purchase. 

However, the more desirable buildings, which are closer to campus, do sell out. Many students are forced to park in the farther parking garages thus lengthening their walks to and from class. 

For plenty of students on ASU's five campuses, having a car nearby is not a luxury but a necessity. For it to be this difficult to not only obtain a parking permit but to also cover the fees is unfortunate.

At the Tempe and downtown Phoenix campuses, the most expensive parking permit is $780 and the cheapest is $90-$120. The cheapest passes offered are Eco-Passes, which are only valid for 30 days. 

"We already have so many other fees to pay and that's almost an extra thousand dollars so I think they're too expensive," Gammage said.

The prices are significantly lower for the Polytechnic, West and Thunderbird campuses. The most expensive parking permit is $480 on the Polytechnic and West campuses and $360 for the Thunderbird campus.

Northern Arizona University charges notably less for parking permits, which cost $565 for a parking garage spots. Even the UA garage spots are cheaper, as the most expensive parking pass for a garage space is $692. 

The upside to spending $780 on a parking permit is that your money is not going to waste; it can actually benefit your fellow students.

"Parking revenue is reinvested back in the parking and transit services budget to pay for the free intercampus shuttles we offer, the discounted public transit passes that we sell," Shaw said. "It also goes to pay for the bike share and car share services that we have."

Nonetheless, parking at ASU is still too unattainable and parking passes are too expensive.


Reach the columnist at jlferrig@asu.edu or follow @Jess_Ferrigno on Twitter.

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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