Parking Fee Increase Delayed for ResidentsBy A. Arif Husain
Students with cars on campus will save some money this semester, as the Planning Office delayed implementation of the $150-per-term on-campus parking fee hike until Sept. 1. The planned hike is up from the $20 fee of recent years.
Students who live on-campus will be allowed to continue parking here until the end of August for $25, said Lydia S. Snover of the Planning Office.
The decision to delay the hike for on-campus students was made so that parking fees could be arranged concurrently with apartment lease agreements, which usually begin in September, Snover said.
The delay will not hold for commuting students, to whom the leases do not apply. But because overnight parking is more expensive to provide for than daytime parking, commuter parking fees next semester will be half of resident parking fees, Snover said.
They will have to pay $75 to park this semester. The fee will stay at $75 per semester for the next academic year, Snover said.
The hike delay also does not apply to housemasters and other employees who reside on campus. They will be required to pay the new $150 fee to obtain a permit for the remainder of this year, Snover said.
Residents and commuters differ
Commuter parking and resident parking are treated separately, with the Office of Residence and Campus Activities handling resident parking. Commuters are assigned spaces in the Vassar Street commuter lot.
Students who live at home or in an off-campus independent living group are eligible for commuter spaces. Only two spaces are allotted for every three commuters, with spaces available on a first-come-first-served basis.
Parking for residents is maintained as part of housing costs, Snover said. Each student is assigned a space that is reserved 24 hours a day, seven days per week. Residential parking must also comply with restrictions due to zoning requirements, she said.
Residential parking is distributed through lotteries in each dormitory. A total of 100 spaces are available, with the majority in the Westgate lot, a few along Amherst Street, and some near Kresge Auditorium. No residential spaces are available on the east part of campus.
Each dormitory gets an allotment of spaces; the way parking spaces are divided among the dormitories is decided by the dormitories themselves. The Planning Office is not involved in the process, Snover said.
Most residential parking spaces are occupied by graduate students living in Eastgate, Westgate, Tang Hall, and Edgerton House.
Parking hike to cover costs
The $25 fee is a purely administrative one, and covers nothing more than the cost of the sticker and issuing costs, Snover said. By contrast, the planned hike will cover maintenance costs as well.
Approximately 18,000 to 20,000 people are on campus each day - 8,000 employees, 9,500 students, and some 3,000 contracted workers and visitors. But MIT has less than 5,000 parking spaces available on campus, Snover said.
"We've been talking about raising the price of parking for 30 years," Snover said. The decision was finally made last year.
The increase to $150 per term was made concurrently with MIT's decision to outsource parking facilities to a private company.
"We're not out to make money on this, just to recoup the money MIT spends and break even," said Senior Vice President William R. Dickson '56 when the announcement was made last year. "People who park at MIT should participate in defraying the costs," he said.
The Planning Office has also been considering a division of the $300 annual fee among the fall, spring, and summer semesters, charging $100 per semester.
The same divisions would apply to commuters, who would be charged $50 per semester.
Commuters can apply for a permit from the Parking Office in Room 15-539.