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Parking permits going digital, prices increase for students

Story by Jonathan Sarabia

Costs for parking permits have increased by $6 due to a recent switch to a digital parking permit database. The fee change will be implemented in the upcoming semesters.

According to Chief of Police Chris Moore, the permit costs have not been raised for over 12 years until this year when the PCPD implemented a new system that utilizes digital parking permits.

With the partnership of Credential Solutions and ParkMobile, students will be able to purchase their parking permit online at any time.

“Going virtual will help students in getting access to a parking permit more easily without the need of waiting long lines or two weeks for mail delivery,” Roberto Huerta, a Palomar student said.

ParkMobile is an app that will be accessible to students through the My Palomar App.

Campus parking permits officially have been switched to digital. The original price of $40 for a permit raised to $46 due to extra costs to fund the new program. Elvin Diego/The Telescope

“Dr. Blake saw the lines in the Cashier’s Office and challenged me to find a solution,” Moore recalled.

Students who do not purchase their permit ahead of time must wait in line on their first day of school.

“Because of the wait, I was late to my class on my first day even though I had gone early,” Melissa Mondragón, a student said.

Originally, students paid $40 for a physical parking permit and students who received the California College Promise Grant (CCPG) Waiver paid $20. Although these students will still be eligible to a discounted price, the new permit fees will raise to $46 and $26 for students with CCPG waivers.

According to Anna Maria Petrov, a Palomar student, virtual permits would save time and decrease stress.

“It’s like an eye for an eye,” Petrov said. “You know, virtual comfort for a higher price.”

Moore added that the increase was due to third-party fees, additional parking structure maintenance that was not previously budgeted, and hiring more staff.

As of June 3, both the San Marcos And Escondido Campuses will continue to have daily ticket meters on certain lots. However, the Rancho Bernardo and Fallbrook campuses will not.

“It’s helpful for people who don’t take the same car every day, they forget their physical permit ticket so they get a ticket,” Moore said.

According to Moore, students forget their physical permits every day. This new system works to eliminate the need of having to display a physical permit.

Students will have the ability to have five license plates registered to their permit. Moore stated that two police cars will have license plate readers that will be used for enforcement on all four campuses.

According to Huerta, the price increase is a disadvantage, but it is still manageable.

“If we compare schools,” Huerta said, “I think that the price increase is still reasonable for the students.”

Cal State San Marcos is nearly 3 miles away and parking costs are higher. After the parking structure was implemented in 2003, the cost increased greatly for students. 

In 2009 the cost was $293 and in 2011 it increased to its current price $388 per semester.

Palomar student, Karla Gómez, along with other students showed dissatisfaction with Palomar’s price adjustment.

“The price increase is ridiculous because students already have enough to take care of in school and some are barely getting by,” Gómez remarked.

Moore believes that parking permit machines were inefficient.

“The district saved about $80,000 in not buying those parking permit machines. Almost $20,000 a piece plus annual maintenance,” Moore remarked.

The app usage will determine whether or not digital permits will become the only method of purchase for the campus community. Moore claims that the police department is waiting to see whether machine usage increases or decreases.

“We will realize that people don’t mind that option,” said Moore, “so we’re kind of waiting on consumer feedback.”

Image Sources

  • Digital Parking Permits: The Telescope Newspaper | All Rights Reserved
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