Parking pass prices to increase for first time in 13 years

Per a university-wide email, the University of Tulsa is changing the price of parking permits to help resolve the financial deficit.

Last week, the University of Tulsa sent out a mass email titled “Student News” that announced a change to the rates for parking passes, the first time since 2007. While this was sent as a brief notice that flew past some students’ radars, many students reacted with surprise and alarm at how the rates would affect them for next semester. Let’s take a look at how much the rates have changed, why they changed and what this means for us as students and as a university.

The rate for motorcycles and motorized scooter parking passes stayed the same at $26 for an academic year, after a $1 processing fee. Next, the rate for commuter lot passes has changed from $26 to $41. While the rate has increased almost twofold, only around 15 percent of students live off campus. Students have complained about the availability of parking in commuter lots, with many students simply parking on sides of streets adjacent to campus or other areas.

The largest change is the adjustment to residential parking passes, from $51 to $131 for an academic year. This is almost three times as expensive, and because the majority of students are on-campus, will create a vast amount of funding for the university. After that, dual-purpose lot passes have increased twice as much from $101 to $201, and “premium” parking passes have increased from $501 to $801. These premium lots are the smaller lots around campus, and they include the lots beside Harwell Hall, Lorton Hall, Phillips Hall and Case Tennis.

This will definitely change how the university will bring in more money, and according to the “Student News” email, will resolve the current budget deficit the university faces. The email states that the raise in prices will raise approximately $250,000 in additional revenue, and that the Faculty Senate Parking Committee will review the fee structure once more for the upcoming academic year.

This raise in parking pass rates could mean that the university is still trying to overcome its history of alleged poor management resulting in the deficit. According to an archive of the Parking & Card Services website from 2007, the year when parking pass rates last changed, “It’s been 30 years since any changes have been made to the TU parking fee structure, and the campus has undergone significant changes during that time — especially during the past decade.”

The only major changes that the University of Tulsa has seen since then have been the building of the Lorton Performing Arts Center, Hardesty Hall and, more recently, the TU Esports Gaming Lounge, according to the school’s website. Before that time, from 1987 to 2007, the university saw the creation of all of the new student apartment complexes, and many other new facilities.

For perspective, parking passes at OU are $275 for commuter and student parking, and a whopping $1,245 for reserved permits in their two parking facilities. The high price, according to the university’s website, is due to the university being self-supporting. Another perspective is the fact that Oklahoma’s minimum wage has increased only by 70 cents since then, and has been 7.25 dollars an hour since 2008.

Post Author: Alex Leeper