VCU considering parking rate increase - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

VCU considering parking rate increase

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

VCU is asking its Board of Visitors to approve an increase in parking rates for the decks and lots on and around campus.

The administration sent out a letter as a warning to the community. While it's not a done deal just yet, the proposed plan means it could cost eight to ten percent more to buy a permit to park.

Going to school in the middle of a city, you know parking challenges are a way of life.

"I can't parallel park very well and it's very hard getting parking around here," senior Courtney Harris explained.

More than 14,000 students, faculty and staff say the hassle isn't worth it and opt to pay for a VCU parking permit.

"Or else I would be driving around looking for parking spaces and that's just a waste of time," permit holder Allison Jackson said.

The news of a possible increase doesn't sit well with most people we asked on campus.

"I think that's horrible," Harris exclaimed.

In the letter, the vice president of finance and administration says the purpose is to make operations more efficient and then reduce support costs needed from the university so that savings can be transferred to academic expenses.

We broke down the numbers to see just how much money we're talking about.

For students who pay $175 per semester for a permit, the suggested increase of 8 percent means paying about $14 more.

For faculty and staff, who pay just over $61 a month, a 10 percent increase on a pass for a year means paying about $74 more total.

Still, students like Jackson say every little bit counts and the news has her rethinking the budget.

"Just small things, you know, like if I wanted to grab a coffee or grab a snack before class, I would probably have to cut that out," she guessed.

Given the tough economic times, she's hoping the Board of Visitors doesn't approve the proposal.

"They keep raising tuition, so it's really frustrating," Jackson added. "Things just keep going up and up, and it feels like we can't catch a break."

The original increases of eight and ten percent are just for the first year of the plan. Rates would continue to rise in smaller increments through 2018.

More detailed information should be available after the board meeting in May.

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