The Ole Miss Department of Parking and Transportation revenue has increased nearly 60 percent since the 2014-2015 academic year.
For the 2015-2016 academic year, Parking and Transportation brought in $5,131,455 through permits, fines, meters, the Pavilion parking garage, bike services and special event services. Last year, the revenue for the department was only $3,219,000, according to Richard L. Bradley, manager of administrative affairs for Parking and Transportation.
Bradley said the increase is due to increases in student enrollment and revenue from the Pavilion parking garage.
Many students believe that there is currently an insufficient amount of parking on campus. New commuter lots have been added in recent years, but as the amount of students attending the university continues to rise, the demand for more parking increases.
A large portion of the revenue is allotted toward parking lots. In fact, all profits from citations and permit sales fund the department’s services.
The income is divided between several categories of spending; $2,162,969 of the revenue funded operations such as permits, software, parking enforcement, administration, equipment and more; $671,617 went to transportation $70,515 to general maintenance, $1,098,261 to debt service and $1,128,093 to deferred maintenance and capital outlay.
“I think the majority should probably go to making more parking, because there’s obviously not enough…I (also) think the more parking they make, the more affordable it should be,” junior integrated marketing communications major Aja Bell said.
Currently, there have been 18,279 annual parking permits bought for the current school year out of 49,684 that were issued in total. Permit prices ranged from $60 to $750.
Half of the permits were for commuter and Park-n-Ride; students with this permit type accounted for 30 percent of all citations last year.
The university is adding another commuter lot with 1,000 additional spaces, which is scheduled to be complete by summer 2018. The lot will be located next to the new campus recreation facility.
Each permit has designated spots. Parking in outside of the designated areas will result in a citation, which can cost anywhere from $10 to $200. Lots that require specific permits include Residential, Commuter, Campus Walk, Park-n-Ride and Faculty/staff. Citations can be issued for a number of reasons, but the majority of the ones issued are for parking in improper spaces.
“I do think that there needs to be a way in order to keep people from parking all over and in wrong spots, but I think they could be more lenient about parking and definitely have more commuter spots,” junior nursing major Taylor Starling said.