ASU’s Tempe campus parking structures stopped offering free parking to visitors on weekends beginning July 16. Previously, all Tempe campus parking lots were free on non-event weekends.
A July 5 announcement of the change from ASU Business and Finance attributed the adjustment to “more activity around the Tempe campus in recent years.”
The announcement also indicated that charging for parking in the structures 24 hours a day, 7 days a week would allow better monitoring of weekend activity, cover the expenses of maintenance and repair of the garage, the updating level of technology and other program improvements. It would also improve event planning and provide additional accountability in campus parking lots, according to the announcement.
ASU spokesman Jay Thorne added that the adjustment is also intended to alleviate “incidents in garages over the weekend and in particular auto parts (catalytic converter) thefts,” which have increased in the past. course of the last year.
The Parking and Transit Services Daily and Hourly Parking website states that weekend garage parking rates will be the same as weekday parking. Visitors will pay $4 for up to one hour of parking and up to $16 for up to four hours, the website said.
Prior to mid-2020, visitor rates were $3 for up to one hour of parking and up to $15 for up to four hours.
Permit holders will still be able to access their assigned garage on weekends at no additional cost, according to the announcement.
Students were quick to voice their concerns about the new system, with several taking to Reddit to discuss the change.
“This is a blatant cash grab from ASU,” said Patrick Hays, Ph.D. materials science and engineering student. “They just raised the hourly rate, so where is that money going?”
Thorne said that no tuition dollars or other University funds are used to fund parking and transit services; all of its income is reinvested in operations. These include shuttle services and subsidized transit passes, Thorne said.
There are options in a price range available for students who need parking or transportation services, Thorne said. ASU offers a Valley Metro Bus and Light Rail U-Pass, which costs $150 per academic year and allows unlimited rides. Nearby Park-and-Ride locations are free to park and board a bus or tram from there as well, he said.
Zak Gutzwiler, a senior film media production student and Herberger Senator for Tempe’s undergraduate student government, said he intends to introduce legislation to the USGT in response to the change.
The legislation “would better advance the idea of weekend and overnight permits”, he said. Thorne said the University is not considering weekend or overnight permits as an option at this time.
“This has a negative impact on me and many other film and theater students as many of our productions take place outside of class hours. Until 11 p.m. or midnight and all day on weekends,” Gutzwiler said.
“There’s an additional garage (Mill Avenue parking structure) being built for over $42 million, so I doubt they’ll need that funding for additional technology if we’re able to fund any. new builds,” Gutzwiler said.
ASU began work on the Mill Avenue parking structure in June and is expected to complete it in July 2023, the project’s website said. It will also have to pay for weekend parking when it’s finished in 2023, Thorne said.
The adjustment includes all ASU parking lots on the Tempe campus. Parking lots on all four campuses require payment to park 24/7, however weekend staffing shortages force visitors to pay to park on weekends,” Thorne said.
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Jasmine KabiriSenior Reporter
Jasmine Kabiri is a senior reporter at The State Press. She previously worked for The Daily Camera, a local newspaper in Boulder, Colorado.
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