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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Parking rates to increase

    Parking rates on campus are going up, but with the increase in price, a night CatTran will become available to take students around campus.

    Parking permit rates will be raised for the first time in three years, with most permit costs increasing by $20.

    Garage permits will now cost $470 and Zone 1 permits will cost $255.

    But Parking and Transportation Services will start running a CatTran service at night. The night CatTran will start carrying passengers when school starts again in August, said Patrick Kass, Parking and Transportation Services director. The night CatTran will run from 6:30 p.m. to midnight Monday through Friday and will take passengers to predetermined locations around campus.

    “”We’ll hit all the high-activity areas and the residence halls,”” he said.

    The Tran will run on 30-minute cycles and will be free for students.

    Engineering management senior David Craig said a night CatTran would help him out because he is often on campus late at night.

    “”I think it’ll get a lot of attention from students,”” he said.

    Kass said they decided to start a night CatTran because of the dramatic increase in demand for Associated Students of the University of Arizona SafeRide, which has given more than 50,000 rides this year.

    The night CatTran will work closely with SafeRide, and there will still be a need for SafeRide because the CatTran will not go anywhere off campus, he said.

    “”There is a benefit to the Tran in that it can take a group of people, but if a student is alone, they might find it more convenient to take SafeRide,”” he said.

    Communication junior Kristen Miraglia said she parked in Tyndall Avenue Parking Garage this year, but said with the increase in price she has decided to get a Zone 1 permit for next year.

    “”They’re so expensive as it is, I didn’t want to pay more,”” she said.

    Kass said PTS does not receive state funding or funding from the university. As an auxiliary enterprise, PTS must charge user fees to cover the services it provides, he said.

    Over the past three years, PTS has had to make substantial cuts in its budget in order to keep from raising prices. But this year, Kass said PTS had to implement an increase because of higher salary and benefit expenses, higher fuel costs and new garage and lot construction improvements.

    “”We always attempt to keep prices as low as possible,”” he said. “”We want to keep it affordable; we know students are facing other increases, such as tuition and gas prices.””

    In the past, the UA’s parking rates have been higher on average than rates at Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University, but this year ASU is doubling parking permit prices, surpassing the cost to park at the UA.

    Kass said compared to what it costs to park in downtown Tucson and what it costs to park at the UA’s peer institutions, parking on campus is still relatively cheap.

    Two Zone 1 lots, on North Ring Road and West Ring Road, will be taken away because of new construction, but two Zone 1 lots will also be added on North Helen Street.

    The South of Sixth permits, which were created for the first time this year, will stay in place, with permits costing the same as Zone 1 permits.

    Starting next March, Cherry Garage will be expanded as a result of spaces being lost to construction on the Student Recreation Center. Another garage will likely be built within the next three to four years, Kass said.

    Kass said there are several alternatives to parking on campus and said students don’t seem to be taking advantage of them.

    One such service includes Park and Ride. Students and employees can pay $125 to park in one of five parking lots off campus and then ride the CatTran to school.

    A CatTran comes to the lots about every 10 minutes and runs from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

    PTS also pays up to 50 percent of city bus passes for eligible students, faculty and staff. The pass allows unlimited rides from all bus stop locations during operating hours.

    Kass said PTS will be building more bike cages around campus so students who ride bikes can pay $50 to park their bikes in a more secure location.

    Part of the PTS mission is to improve accessibility to campus, which has the highest density of any population in Pima County, Kass said.

    “”We try to limit the number of single-occupancy vehicles on campus,”” he said. “”We want to be a good neighbor and limit the amount of traffic congestion in the area.””

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