I applaud BC for its creation of alternative pricing options for students in terms of parking after it introducing paid parking permits in 2011. True, the paid parking permits help subsidize bus passes, encourage greener transportation and aid in the maintenance of parking lots and roads, but what absolutely irks me is that parking rates in the summer are identical to those of the rates in any other quarter during the school year.
Let’s do the math.
With the summer quarter lasting approximately six weeks and an everyday permit costing $65 for the entire quarter, it costs about $10.83 a week to park on campus, which would make paying for visitor/daily parking more cost effective at $2 a day. On the other hand, an eleven week quarter in the fall equates to about $5.91 a week in parking fees.
Logically, it does not make sense to charge the same rate for a significantly shorter quarter, especially when purchasing a permit turns out to be less of a deal than using a parking meter. Take into account that sometimes a class may be cancelled or an absence is required, which would make the parking permit even less desirable to purchase.
As a college student who will attend speaker events and socials just to indulge in the free food offered in order to save myself money by not purchasing meals, paying for parking accounts for 65 meals off the dollar menu; that’s over nine weeks of meals that could have been purchased.
I get that taking a bus, carpooling or biking would be the eco-friendly way to go, which is definitely convincing when I’m faced with coughing up the little amount of money left in my bank account to have the right to park my vehicle. However, despite the fact bus passes are discounted, they still cost more than I’m willing to pay, can be inconvenient when trying to arrange accommodations and can be unreliable, which leads me into the second encouraged alternative: carpooling.
I’ve carpooled my fair share of times, and while it is a step up from sitting on a dirty seat, taking twice as long to get to a destination due to the numerous stops and routes, but carpooling has historically been unreliable, making me unwilling to find a RideMatch.
Biking is great when you stay in the bike lane and obey the traffic laws, but I definitely am not in shape enough to ride a bike up and down the hills of Bellevue. After going through the suggested parking payment avoidance options, I am doomed to pick paying for a parking pass, like many other BC students.
As mentioned briefly earlier, BC has generated parking pricing options, one of which is a reduced rate in exchange for parking in farther lots. This specific permit will not be available until the fall. With all of these pricing flexibilities, it would seem that BC would also offer significantly less rates during summertime in order to match the demand and be fair with pricing to struggling students.
Overall, the math behind the logic of parking here at BC is flawed.