Cal State Monterey Bay (CSUMB) has some of the most affordable parking permits around. Permits for the whole academic year are $108 and North Quad permits are only $35 per semester. CSUMB prides itself on having such inexpensive parking permits.
It is a little known fact. According to Chief of the University Police Department Earl Lawson, CSUMB’s “…parking permits are the least expensive in the CSU and we have the third highest parking space per student ratio, behind Channel Islands and Maritime Academy.” Having the least expensive parking permits in the CSU-system puts CSUMB into perspective when one inconsiders
that out of 23 CSU campuses CSUMB has never raised its parking permit fees since the university opened in 1994, according to Lawson.
Other CSUs do not enjoy the same pricing level for parking permits as CSUMB. For example, Cal State Los Angeles prices their annual parking permits at $360 and at Cal State Fullerton a single semester’s parking permit costs $220. At Stanford University an annual 12-month “A” parking permit costs $768. To put things into an extreme, University of California Los Angeles charges students living in residential halls $258 per quarter for parking permits which comes out to $1032 for an entire year. CSUMB is lucky in comparison to sister CSUs and most of the universities in the UC system.
CSUMB is not likely to have parking permit fees raised to the level of other public universities any time soon. Lawson stated, “Raising the prices is a difficult task, especially during tough economic times.” The CSU-system is inundated with many tuition and fee hikes completely outside of student control. CSUMB’s parking permits stand in daring contrast to rising tuition and other fees. CSUMB’s cheap parking permits go a long ways in making returns to university parking.
According to Lawson, “The money raised from permits and citations pay operating costs to in clude maintenance of parking lots (slurry seal, striping, street sweeping, landscape), purchase and maintenance of dispensers (those yellow permit dispensers are about $15,000 each), and personnel (Community Service Officers, budget analyst, enforcement officers).”
CSUMB’s parking permits are a testament to parking services self-sufficiency. Lawson stated, “Parking Services is self-funded,” and, “The good news is that parking takes no money out of the University budget to operate.”
Not a single cent of university funds goes into parking services. Every paid parking permit and citation collects enough revenue to pay for any parking services which take place at CSUMB. This is quite an accomplishment since, as Lawson explained, “We have a lot of area to maintain and a very limited revenue source.”
Stories like CSUMB’s parking permits do not come around often, especially when compared to other universities. Fees are consistently raised to keep up with the rising cost of education and a lack of funding from the state. The CSUMB parking permit stands relatively alone as a self-sufficient student fee. The accomplishments of one parking fee have helped parking services function without using a cent of other university money.
CSUMB is in a unique position as a small state school which has the space to accommodate its student’s vehicles. Other universities are so impacted they do not have the physical space to house the majority of student vehicles. Larger universities such as Stanford and UCLA must resort to measures which include giving out commuter permits which give commuters special priority in certain lots, and also restricting residential permits to areas near residential areas. Some universities, such as Stanford, do not allow freshman to have cars.
CSUMB accommodates parking well with the space and resources it has and will still outshine other universities in parking.