Parking Services collected close to half a million dollars last year, and raised the price for permits 5 percent this year.
About 2,000 students pay to use the parking garage each semester. Prices may vary, depending on the vehicle and whether it is a staff or student permit. For commuter students during the semester, a parking permit costs $80, but to park all year it costs $157. If students who live on campus want to park in the garage, it costs $106 per semester, and $210 annually.
Students who live on campus are charged more for permits. About 250 on-campus residents chose to park their cars in the garage in 2011. Parking Services collected a total of $57,960 from residents.
Anyone without a valid pass, or who violates any of the parking requirements, receives a citation. Depending on the offense, each citation can be worth $30. A total of 2,599 citations were issued for the calendar year of 2011.
Students have the option to park at meters that line the streets of the campus, but those are owned by the city of St. Petersburg and are not meant for a full day of classes.
Of the parking citations issued in 2011, 70 percent were paid off, collecting a total of $54,360. Parking Services is part of Administrative and Financial Services. Bill Benjamin, purchasing manager for administrative services, explained where some of the money collected from citations and permit sales goes.
The university is still in debt to the company who built the garage, Benjamin said. The garage was built three years ago, and is designed to hold 1,100 vehicles. With the even spread of classes throughout the day, the garage never meets maximum capacity. The money that students spend to park in the garage goes mostly to the debt acquired to build it.
The emergency phone network throughout campus is also supported by Parking Services.
However, some areas of the budget regarding how permit revenue is spent are unclear. Areas that receive funding from revenue are the permit inventory, construction, improvements, maintenance, and staffing. Benjamin said improvements also means upkeep on signs throughout the garage.
The change of the school logo to “USFSP” was paid for through the Administrative and Financial Services office, as well as other signs throughout the campus and garage. If several appeals to citations are due to a particular unclear sign, Parking Services will investigate the matter, and determine whether the sign needs to be changed.
Photo by Daniel Mutter