Parking and Transportation revenue down, budget reduced

Allison Speir

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Having fewer Mountain Lions on campus has had serious impacts on the Parking and Transportation department. With fewer students enrolled and attending on campus classes this semester, the department’s budget has been reduced significantly.  

     This semester there have been a few significant changes to on-campus transportation. Shuttles have been divided into two separate routes, and all passengers and drivers are required to wear a face covering. Passengers are encouraged to social distance while riding the shuttles as well.  

     As far as parking goes, procedures are almost identical to previous years. Students who only have in-person classes a few days a week are able to purchase a permit that works with their schedule, such as a permit for only Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, or only Fridays. The price varies based on how many days the pass is for. The free 500 lots are still open, but students have to register their car online to be able to park there, according to the Parking and Transportation website.  

     Executive Director of Parking and Transportation Services Jim Spice says that COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the number of parking passes sold this semester and, therefore, the parking budget. With more classes taught remotely and fewer people on campus on any given day, on-campus parking is at an all-time low.  

     Spice said, “We have only sold about 20 percent of the permits we normally sell. As permit sales is our only source of revenue in Parking Services, this will have a significant impact on the budget.”  

A nearly empty parking lot on campus.
Photo by Megan Moen.

     He says this budget is based on the number of students enrolled at UCCS. “Since many fewer students are enrolled this Fall, this will have a significant impact on the Transportation budget as this student fee is the only source of revenue for Transportation Services.”  

     According to Spice, these budgets are crucial because they go toward funding a variety of necessities including re-asphalting parking lots, parking lot lighting, snow removal, street sweeping, restriping parking stalls, shuttle repair and replacement, bus shelters, software maintenance, custodial, etc.  

     With 80 percent of Transportation Services’ usual revenue missing this semester compared to former years, all of these services will be negatively affected going forward.  

     In addition to fewer parking passes being sold, many people are leaving campus after Thanksgiving. Since almost all classes are going fully remote after Thanksgiving Break, many students living on campus have decided to stay at home off campus for the remainder of the Fall semester.  

     “All students, faculty and staff who have purchased a parking permit for the Fall 2020 semester will receive a three-week prorated refund in the form of a credit-card refund, credit to your student account or reduced payroll deduction,” Spice said.  

     While this is appropriate action for the sake of students and faculty, the partial refund will lead to even more loss of revenue to fund crucial services in the Parking and Transportation department.