By Jade Mardirosian
For many Baylor students, back to school brings thoughts and fears of another year of overcrowded parking on campus. Parking and Transportation Services is attempting to relieve this congestion by providing students with new parking permit options.
Matt Penney, director of parking and transportation services, said the idea for new parking stickers came from a parking and transportation committee meeting in which student government represented the student body.
“We were trying to ease the congestion on campus by providing alternatives slightly off of campus that would interest people,” Penney said.
This year three types of parking permits are available for students to purchase.
The Student On Campus permit is available for $245 and provides students with access to 12 surface lots and four parking garages, all located on campus.
The East Campus Garage Permit is available for $150 and provides students with access to the student parking in the East Campus Garage only, which is located one block east of the Baylor Sciences Building between Second and Third streets.
The Ferrell Center Permit is available for $95 and provides students with day parking at the Ferrell Center; overnight parking is not allowed.
The Baylor University Shuttle has routes that run by the East Campus Garage and the Ferrell Center on class days from 7:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.
Penney said the new parking places were made with the idea that they would be supported by the shuttle system.
“Baylor University, unlike a lot of universities, has more student parking spaces than we issue permits,” Penney said. “The challenge is about 2,300 of those are at the Ferrell Center and about 850 of those are at the East Campus Garage.”
Penney said the East Campus Garage is a great option because it is large and the parking permit is about 40 percent less than the regular parking permit.
“That option may not appeal to everybody, but is should appeal to some,” Penney said. “For every person that that appeals to, that means that’s one less car that’s parking on campus and that’s the idea behind discounting it.”
Sugar Land senior Megan Nelson said even with the new parking permit options, Baylor still needs more parking garages.
“I think it is good they are trying to help students, especially since the different options of parking permits have lower costs, but I don’t think it fixes the problem,” she said.
Nelson said she and most of her friends would purchase the Student On Campus permit this school year. She said she often has to leave her house about 20 minutes before class to find a parking spot.
“If I go to school in the evening for a class, it only takes me about five minutes to get from my house to the business school. I live close enough to walk, but it’s not safe.”
Penney said although the campus underwent construction over the summer, very small changes were made to student and faculty parking spaces. He said there are 6,130 student parking spaces on campus, not including the Ferrell Center, and as of last Thursday Baylor had sold just more than 5,000 parking permits for this school year. There is no cap on the number of parking permits Baylor will sell.
“Almost all of the students are selecting [the] on campus [permit],” Penney said. “I don’t know if it is because students just haven’t had the options before, but I was hoping that more students would be interested in the other permit options available.”
Student parking permits are good for both the fall and spring semesters and are required for students to park on campus, in designated student parking areas, from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Students can park on campus without a parking permit after 5 p.m. in student spaces only.
Students can order parking permits online at www.baylor.edu/parking and can pick them up on the first floor of Robinson Tower.