Give It Up: Your Time Or Your Money

Cheyann Elmore

With decreasing wages and rare job opportunities, the recent recession has hit students hard.

Along with these struggles, the public education system has similar problems. Financial aid is becoming harder to get, classes are diminishing and wait lists are steadily growing. Along with tuition increases, parking fees are skyrocketing.

Cal State East Bay’s parking fees have more than doubled in the last two years. In the fall of 2008, a CSUEB student could purchase a quarterly parking permit for $60. One year later, the price jumped to $95 per quarter. Currently, the cost of a parking permit is $130. The price of day passes have had similar increases as well. Daily parking passes have gone from $5 in 2008 to $7 in 2009. They currently cost $10. Students have been informed that parking fees would increase in order to help pay for a new parking structure. The parking structure will be located at the corner of Harder Road and West Loop Road. It will add an additional 1,100 new parking spaces in an attempt to satisfy the increasing demand for parking on campus. The estimated cost of the parking structure is over $2.5 million dollars.

“I am furious about the increase in parking fees,” said undergraduate Raven Davis. “I feel that the school is trying to nickel- and-dime students for everything. It’s already hard enough for us with the budget cuts, issues with wait lists and the increase of tuition fees.”

For the students who cannot afford to pay $390 dollars a year to park on campus, there is an alternative to this rather expensive situation. Students can take BART or drive their car to BART, and take the shuttle to the campus.

Beginning July 1, 2010, CSUEB launched a new private shuttle service that takes students directly from the BART station to Warren Hall. The shuttle runs on weekdays only, no holidays or weekends.

The BART station is located less than two miles from the campus, and the approximate travel time is 5-10 minutes, depending on traffic. Depending on the frequency of the shuttles and the availability of parking at the BART station, you could add an additional 20-40 minutes to your commute.

“Many of the students go through the Cal State system because it is cheap and affordable, which makes it more accessible to low income families”, said graduate student Leigha Stafford. “But with the increase in school fees, parking included, this may no longer be the case. We are no longer in the era where students are simply students, we are parents, workers, volunteers, interns and spouses. Our time and finances are limited, and paying $130 for parking directly affects our income, and taking public transportation directly affects our time.”