Each year, UT Parking and Transportation Services issues approximately 38,000 citations for traffic and parking violations on campus. PTS collects more than $1 million annually in fees, and the most frequent citation written is failure to display the appropriate permit.
Bobby Stone, director of Parking and Transportation Services, said the organization is self-funded and receives no funding from the University or state to provide parking services on campus. He said they use the citation fees to help protect paying students’ spots.
“The issuance of citations helps ensure that those who have paid a fee to park on campus have those spaces protected and available from those who elect to attempt to park and pay into the parking
system,” Stone said in an email.
Although biochemistry sophomore Nick Kasper has a “M” parking pass for his motorcycle, he received a $75 parking ticket from Parking and Transportation Services on Thursday morning for parking his motorcycle partly in a no-parking zone the night before. While he does admit it was his fault, he said he wishes the penalty was not as high for a first-time offense.
“I think the fact that I have to pay $75 dollars as a student is pretty ridiculous because we are all students on a pretty tight budget, so I don’t think it should be that high,” Kasper said. “It definitely is legit because I broke a rule, but I wish I would have got a warning first.”
Parking in campus garages can cost anywhere from $4 for an hour to $836 a year for students who live in the dorms. Stone said the revenue from parking in garages goes back into paying for expenses
associated with the garage. These annual garage expenses, which include maintenance and operation costs, exceeds $8 million and supporting UTPD and Campus Safety services cost an additional $2 million.
“Our primary source of revenue is daily parking from visitors, event attendees and those without permits and then permits,” Stone said. “Students, faculty and staff who utilize parking services pay for permits that help support the parking operations on campus.”
Nutrition sophomore Alicia Cano has been using the parking garages for about a year and said she has not had many bad experiences but was shocked by the price of her parking pass. Cano also has a street parking pass she uses when she needs it.
“It doesn’t surprise me that it is high … I guess a couple of hundred dollars is expected, but when I saw that $800 I thought ‘Wow,’” Cano said.
Cano said the cheaper garages on campus are far away and inconvenient, while the closer garages are too expensive. Cano said lower-priced parking would be more reasonable for students, but she will continue to utilize the garages because she needs parking.
“It is worth it to me because I use my car a lot to volunteer,” Cano said.