Students react to parking permit prices

Tasha Allen-Perry, a sophomore business administration major, commutes to Youngstown State University every day. She bought her first parking permit this semester — and said she wasn’t happy about the increase from $100 to $120.

“That extra $20 could have gone into my gas tank,” Perry said.

Fellow commuter Ben Avnet said he’s purchased parking permits for the past five semesters.

“The worst part is I paid $120 and have trouble finding a parking spot in the mornings,” he said. 

Avnet said he arrives on campus at least 20 minutes earlier than he would need to, just to scour the lots on Fifth Avenue for a parking spot.

Stephany McMillen, a junior education major, said she’s bought a parking permit for five years. “$120 is ridiculous, especially when it’s only for a semester and when there aren’t enough spaces, let alone spaces close to my dorm,” she said.

Jessica Frank, a junior, bought a parking permit two years ago when she lived in the dorms. She’s since quit buying a permit for each semester and commutes with her two siblings. Now, Frank parks near the fraternity houses on Ohio Avenue, which she termed “free land.”

“With gas prices as high as they are, I will gladly walk the extra 10 minutes and spend that $120 on something more important like books or a nice pair of boots for the winter,” she said.

Danny O’Connell, director of support services, said the price increase was necessary.

“When we decided to save the M-2 parking deck, we took out a $4.5 million bond. We are using the extra fee to start paying back that bond,” O’Connell said. “Also, we are putting a portion of the money in our parking reserves to avoid taking out more bonds in the future to replace decks or lots.”

O’Connell added that another reason for the price increase was a decrease in the number of parking permits being purchased due to an enrollment decrease.