The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

UI students disappointed with proposed parking permit and ticket price increases

The Iowa Board of Regents will decide whether to approve the increased parking permit rates on the UI campus at its next meeting on Thursday.
Dimia Burrell
A parking meter is seen outside of the University of Iowa West Campus Transportation Center in Iowa City on Wednesday, March 2, 2022.

The University of Iowa is asking the Iowa Board of Regents to approve a proposed increase to parking rates and parking tickets this week that would go into effect this fall.

The UI proposed an average hike of $9 for all parking tickets issued on campus, according to the regent’s Feb. 28 meeting agenda. These proposed changes come as the UI experiences its highest demand for student parking.

Many UI students voiced their dissatisfaction with the request.

“I think it’s just a money grab, honestly,” Dominic Caligiuri, a UI second-year student who has a car, said.

The UI is also asking for parking permit rates to increase by an average of $2.30 for faculty and $1.50 for students for fiscal 2025. The parking permits at the Hawkeye Commuter & Storage Parking Lot, located three miles from campus, would not see any increase.

A ticket given for parking at an expired meter would cost a minimum of $10, while a ticket for parking in an out-of-bounds space is proposed at $15.

The 2023-24 school year reportedly had the longest student permit waitlist ever recorded by UI Parking and Transportation. The UI saw its fourth-largest class in history arrive on campus in fall 2023, which is an increase of 27 students from 2022.

Many UI students have expressed concern about the increasing costs of college and are disappointed to see parking rates grow as well.

The regents raised tuition by 3.5 percent at Iowa’s public universities in June. In-state students pay an estimated $10,964 and out-of-state pay an estimated $32,927 in tuition and fees.

Caligiuri said as a college student, prices seem to only increase, and this is just another example.

April Wells, the UI Parking and Transportation communications manager, said the proposed increases are essential to fund the operations of the department.

Unlike other departments on campus, UI Parking and Transportation is not funded through state tax money, Wells said. Instead, the department is entirely funded through revenue generated by the services and fees the department provides.

UI Parking and Transportation has five operating units that include Cambus, Commuter Programs, Fleet Services, Facility Operations, and Parking Services.

Wells said it is unfortunate rates have to increase, but said this is the first time the UI has increased parking rates in nine years. She also said it is the first time in 12 years the department has asked for citation rate increases.

Estella Ruhrer-Johnson, a UI second-year student, said she could understand the university’s proposal to raise rates but believes there should be more funding from the state to compensate for incoming revenue. Ruhrer-Johnson currently parks her car at the Hawkeye Commuter Lot.

“It puts me in an uncomfortable financial situation, considering I already have to Uber to my car,” Ruhrer-Johnson said. “Just the possibility of having to have larger penalties for finding a place to park even for an hour or a few hours — not even that long, not even a day or overnight — it’s really stressful.”

Zayne Beal, a UI first-year student, said he is against increasing rates and wants to see the university pursue developments to improve parking.

“I feel like they should just make another spot for people to be able to park permanently,” Beal said.

The UI is working on a new parking ramp with 1,000 to 1,200 parking spots on the west side of campus after it was approved by the regents on Feb. 28, according to a release from Iowa Now.

The parking ramp will begin once another 985-space parking ramp located near Kinnick Stadium is completed later this year or early into 2025, according to the release.

No new parking projects are anticipated for the east side of campus.

Aseneta Oliver, a UI second-year student who lives in an east-side university residence hall, said it is often hard to find a parking spot on campus, which has forced her to park illegally to get to class on time. She said she has resorted to avoiding driving and opting to take the bus.

“I got so many tickets for parking in student lots and employee lots when I wasn’t supposed to, and that kind of scared me into not parking on campus,” Oliver said.

RELATED: Iowa Board of Regents to review potential UI parking permit and citation increases

Wells said the department implemented a license plate recognition system, which eliminated the need to print and distribute parking placards to be more cost-efficient.

She said the department projected it would be behind on its debt ratio, meaning that the projected revenue would be less than the department’s bond covenant without the increases.

Wells said parking citations account for about 5 percent of its annual revenue and can be costly. Wells said the citation process is a tool and is not intended to be a revenue-generating process because there are costs associated with managing parking tickets. The department also has an appeals process that requires attention from administrators who need to be paid for their time.

“We don’t like citations either,” Wells said.

The regents will vote on the parking rates on Thursday.

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About the Contributor
Jack Moore
Jack Moore, News Editor
Jack Moore is a second-year student at the University of Iowa majoring in Journalism and Mass Communication. He is from Cedar Rapids Iowa. Along with working at The Daily Iowan, Jack works for the University of Iowa's UI-REACH program as a Resident Assistant. UI-REACH is a program for students with learning, cognitive, and behavioral disabilities intended to provide support to these students throughout their college experience. Additionally, Jack is involved in Iowa City's live music scene as he plays bass for local Iowa City band "Two Canes."