Freshmen Park Farther From UCI Campus

In an effort to decrease traffic in the core of the University of California, Irvine campus, freshman commuters are being made to park at the more remote California Temporary and Anteater Recreation Center lots. These commuters will then need to take a school shuttle to the center of the campus. These shuttles will run until 11:00 p.m.
Although this may seem like a drastic measure, it is not as extreme as some options that had been considered.
‘There were discussions about not allowing freshmen to park on campus at all, but they make up the majority of the students purchasing permits,’ said Stacey Murren, director of Parking and Transportation Services for UCI, who spoke at a meeting of the Associated Students of UCI earlier this year.
In an effort to soften this blow somewhat, freshman commuters will pay $360 annually, slightly less than the $396 that other commuters will pay.
Residents and commuters alike will be unhappy to learn that parking fees will be increased again this year.
The new freshman commuter permit will cost $360 annually, while other commuters will pay $396 for an annual permit. Residents will need to pay $540 for an annual permit.
Although increasing fees is always an unpopular measure, Murren said that it was undertaken only as a last resort in response to increased costs in providing parking.
‘UCI receives no money from the state for parking,’ Murren said. ‘We only generate revenue from permits.’
Four employees in Parking and Transportation Services were laid off as a moneysaving measure in order to keep permit fees from increasing further.
Additional revenue is needed, in part, to finance the $36 million construction of a new Engineering Parking Structure, which will provide an additional 2,030 spaces in one of the most highly-trafficked area of the campus.
Meanwhile, the opening of the parking structure to be built on the site of the former Irvine Meadows West trailer park has been pushed back by five years.
In an effort to encourage more students to use alternative means of transportation, Parking and Transportation Services is trying to arrange direct bus routes from UCI to popular student destinations, like the Target shopping center on the corner of Culver and Barranca and the Irvine Spectrum.