When student parking pass sales opened in mid-July, many students noticed a jump in prices from the previous year.
Commuter and residential parking passes rose from $200 to $210 and $300 to $325, respectively, for the 2018-19 school year. That’s a cost increase of 5 percent for commuter passes and just over 8 percent for residential passes from the previous year.
“I personally think that’s way too much,” freshman graphic design major Lauren Taylor said. “Having a car on campus isn’t a necessity, but it is very helpful to have for off-campus extracurricular activities, grocery runs and travel to and from home.”
Money made from passes this year will be used for transportation improvements, according to Ole Miss Director of Parking and Transportation Mike Harris.
Harris said the price increase in parking passes will go towards “purchasing new buses for various routes on- and off-campus and adding additional routes to service the new Recreational Facility and South Oxford Center.”
He added that the parking and transportation department is “also working on installing WiFi on the buses.”
This year’s increase continues an upward trend in price over the past several years. In 2013, a commuter pass cost $95 versus $210 now, a 121 percent increase over five years. That same year, a residential pass was $115 versus $325 now, a 183 percent increase over five years.
Reserved passes for 2018-19 are now $800, Pavilion Garage Reserved passes are $450 and Park-N-Ride costs $105, according to the university’s transportation department website.
“Campus is small enough that I can walk everywhere without using the bus system,” freshman accounting major Lele Goldsmith said. “I do not want to have to pay for the bus repairs and WiFi if I will not even be using the bus system.”
Junior international studies major Caroline Thompson shared similar thoughts about the funds raised from the price increase going to busing.
“I think it’s a good idea, although our money is for … passes for our cars,” Thompson said. “We don’t even use the buses. Maybe they could get the money (from) somewhere else.”
All University of Mississippi students have the option to ride the OUT bus routes for free with a university ID card.