March 28, 2002

Parking Permit Prices to Increase for Fall Semester

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Students arriving to campus with cars in August will be met by parking permit price increases, according to Cornell Transportation and Mail Services.

The new permit prices, which will take effect in fall of 2002, will vary depending on the specific parking lot and on whether the student is new to Cornell or returning to campus.

In accordance with the consumer price index as of Dec. 2001, parking permit prices for returning students anywhere other than on West Campus will increase by 1.6 percent. This increase will raise prices by about $5 to $10 a year, depending on the parking lot. Parking permits currently range anywhere from $260 to $527 a year.

However, since the number of parking spots will decrease as construction begins on West Campus next year, students planning to park on West Campus and on Edgemore Lane will consequently experience a more dramatic permit price increase. While students currently pay $341.14 a year for a parking spot on West Campus, next year they will pay $417.54.

“[Construction is] going to make things a lot tighter [on West Campus],” said David Lieb ’89, communications manager for Cornell Transportation and Mail Services. “We are taking an added step to discourage students from bringing cars to those residential areas.”

New students with cars will take the biggest hit with an annual rate of $535.10, regardless of the lot in which they park. “We are continuing towards our transportation demand management principles,” Lieb said. “We’ve made a conscious decision to provide incentives for environmentally sustainable commuting and to discourage single occupant vehicle use.”

Lieb also underscored the other transportation services made available by University transportation relationships such as with Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit (TCAT).

“We are continuing to provide the omniride bus pass at $150 per year [which] costs 55 percent less than TCAT’s own annual pass,” he said. “Our program will continue to subsidize the cost of parking and the cost of transit. At the same time we continue to discourage students from bringing cars to Cornell.”

While students seem to understand the reasoning behind the increase in permit prices, the new prices are still being met with some frustration.

“It’s a good idea to try and keep traffic at a minimum and to encourage carpooling, [but] there’s a lot of stuff to do off campus that would not be as accessible without a car.” said Jane Frey ’05.

Another student emphasized the convenience that a car on campus provides.

“You have a lot more freedom to explore the area if you have a car, [and] some people need cars to get home,” Matthew Lazarus ’05 said.

Other concerns include the inconveniences that students commuting from Collegetown will face.

“Anyone that wants to commute will have a problem,” Ellie Gould ’05 said. “The parking lots on West [Campus] are where a lot of students living in Collegetown would park.”

Leib acknowledged these student concerns.

“We understand that it’s not necessarily a popular thing to do,” he said. “[However], we are not gaining any revenue [as a result of the increase]. It is an expense to the University to provide parking. We hope it will encourage students to take advantage of the transit [provided by the University].”

Archived article by Ellen Miller