For students unable to secure a parking permit for the academic year, parking and parking citations on campus are an ongoing battle.
Parking violation fines vary depending on the type of citation, and an increase in parking violation fines was implemented this year.
“No Valid Permit in View” citations, where no valid permits are displayed, incite a fine of $40. The same goes for citations described as “Unauthorized,” given when a vehicle is parked in an unauthorized area.
However, a combined “No Valid Permit in View/Unauthorized” citation now has a fine of $80, an increase from the $67 fine of previous years.
“The combination violation fine was adjusted to fix a prior administrative oversight when citation fines were raised in 1/1/2016,” Director of Transportation and Parking Services Marlene Cramer wrote in an email to Mustang News.
Anthropology professor Stacey Rucas said she felt the fines students and faculty are expected to pay are shocking.
“The question[s] I have … really is, ‘Where is that money going? Is there an advisory board for parking? … Is there an external voice to how much parking fees and parking tickets go up each year?’” Rucas said.
However, the CSU mandate does not allow the university to use citation revenue to create more parking spaces or address parking needs. The goal is to mitigate the impact of off-campus student and employee parking in university communities, according to the mandate.
Instead, citation revenue funds go toward alternative transportation programs, including SLO transit, regional bus passes, Zip Car, vanpools, bike racks, bike paths, bike lockers and other rideshare programs.
The university is also required by law to transfer $12.50 per citation violation to the County of San Luis Obispo as a state and county surcharge.
Cramer said she recognizes that the cost of parking violation fines may be an issue for some students and faculty members.
“Since we have to charge for parking by CSU mandate, we also have the mandate to use citation fines to fund campus alternative transportation programs … that is why we put great importance and focus on our campus alternative transportation programs,” Cramer wrote.
Cramer said students who have questions about parking citations should refer to the Associated Students Inc. (ASI) representatives who sit on the Parking and Transportation Committee.