Parking fee increases add insult to injury

By Brittany Barsotti

Students who drove to SF State on the first day of school arrived to an unfortunate surprise. The University raised the prices of parking in the student parking garage. With a new minimum of $3 for two hours or less, and $6 per day, students who commute to class are in a very precarious situation. They could pay up to $540 per semester, which is far more than most of us spend on books.

SF State students are already being asked for more than most college students because there is no option for a semester parking permit, and the University is planning additional increases in 2014-15 and 2017-18.

Eighty-eight percent of SF State’s undergraduate students commute to campus, according to University data reports. Options other than driving are slim and public transportation isn’t cheap. Muni is $4 round trip, and BART can cost up to $16, depending on where you are traveling from. For those who choose to drive, forking out extra cash is necessary. Bridge tolls alone range from $4-6 and with price of gas costing approximately $3.70 a gallon, it almost doesn’t seem worth it.

Now the drivers are left with the school extorting them. Students who are lucky enough to have breaks in their schedule can park in the free two-hour parking zones and move their cars several times throughout the day to beat the $6 cost of parking in Lot 20 all day. Others have been known to park at the mall at the risk of being towed, or parking further down the street and walking back to school.

As far as street parking goes, the spots around Lake Merced are usually filled by 8 a.m., and tend to stay that way all day. The chances of getting a spot are slim to none, minus divine intervention or getting up at the crack of dawn. The closest place to park without two-hour limits besides the Lake Merced area is on 19th Avenue. Let’s face it, this is not the safest place to park or to pull out of, with cars constantly flying down at 45 mph. Not to mention the long walk, with a bag full of books, late at night, from the campus to the car.

That being said, it is obvious that it is already difficult enough for students to commute to campus. Why would the University choose to take more money from us?

Students already pay enough in tuition and other fees, there is no reason for the University to shaft the students when it comes to parking too.