Lack of state funding forces staff to pay for on-campus parking

Corbin Reiter

For decades, faculty and staff have been expected to purchase parking passes each year due to a lack of state funding, according to Colorado State University representatives.

Depending on the parking needs of staff, parking passes can range in cost between $82 for a monthly pass to $600 for an annual pass, according to the faculty and staff parking permit instructions webpage.

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Professors that do not visit the campus each day have alternate options in order to lower the cost for their parking. The lowest cost for a semester-long pass is $131, and it only allows parking on Tuesday and Thursday, according to the CSU website.

“Because parking must pay for itself, it’s important to note that finding other sources of revenue to fund parking would be a significant challenge,” wrote David Bradford, spokesperson for CSU Parking and Transportation Services, in an email to The Collegian.

Colorado State University professors and faculty are given the option to park on campus for a yearly fee of $600 in specified lots across the University. (Matt Begeman | Collegian)

rvice that staff must consider as a cost at the start of each academic year, journalism and media communication instructor Rob Reuteman wrote in an email to The Collegian.

However, the newly-added services from University Parking have made this resource more accessible, wrote Public Safety and Risk Communications Manager Dell Rae Ciaravola, in an email to The Collegian.

“This semester, CSU started offering a (Monday-Wednesday-Friday) or (Tuesday-Thursday) parking pass for $200 a semester, so I bought one, since I teach on (Mondays and Wednesdays),” Reuteman wrote.

Parking Services has allowed for different passes to be purchased for different days during the week, Bradford wrote. These passes only count towards parking on Monday, Wednesday and Friday or on Tuesday and Thursday, but the cost is reduced.

The University uses methods such as flexible permitting in order to make sure students and staff are aware of the commuting options on campus, Ciaravola wrote.

“The University offers alternatives to driving and parking on campus to faculty, staff and students,” wrote Ciaravola. “These include personalized travel training and (consultation) to determine alternative transportation methods available to each individual.”

“Until this semester, I always parked off campus and walked or rode my bike into campus. $480 a semester was just too expensive for me.” Rob Reuteman, Journalism and Media Communication Instructor

The University receives no state tax money to pay for parking, and as such, Parking Services must be able to cover their own costs, Ciaravola wrote. This prevents the University from offering free parking to the professors that use these services.

Parking Services maintains approximately 10,000 spaces and two parking garages that allow for students and staff to park, wrote Bradford. As of March 2019, there were 4,000 active employee parking permits.

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Permit revenue from parking not only funds maintenance for the preexisting lots and garages but also for more of the transportation infrastructure present at CSU, according to the University website. These fees contribute to the Around the Horn bus, as well as other alternative methods of transportation.

Having professors pay for parking is not a new idea. CSU employees have been expected to pay for parking since 1955, Bradford wrote.

The prices that employees are asked to pay for annual parking passes are only slightly less than the student prices, although many different alternatives are offered in order to help employees get to and from campus.

“I’ve been teaching at CSU for 8 1/2 years,” Reuteman wrote. “Until this semester, I always parked off campus and walked or rode my bike into campus. $480 a semester was just too expensive for me.”

Corbin Reiter can be reached at news@collegian.com and on Twitter @CorbinReiter.