Cuyahoga Community College students to pay fee for security, parking maintenance www.privateofficer.com
CLEVELAND, Ohio June 19 2012 – Cuyahoga Community College students will no longer pay to park, but will be charged a fee each semester to cover security and parking lot maintenance.
The fee, based on credit hours, will be assessed beginning this fall to all students, including those who take public transportation. But the college also has negotiated discounted student rates with the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority to offset the fee.
“It’s a win-win for everyone,” said Craig Foltin, executive vice president for administration and finance.
The campus security and maintenance fee is waived if a student takes three or fewer credit hours, $40 for four to 11 credit hours and $60 for 12 or more credit hours.
Faculty and staff still will have preferred parking and will continue to pay parking fees, Foltin said.
Students who take noncredit courses, including workforce development and classes at Corporate College sites in Warrensville Heights and Westlake, will pay a fee of 2 percent of the cost of the course. Parking has been free at the Corporate Colleges.
Parking revenue was about $2 million a year. The new fee is expected to raise an additional $300,000, Foltin said.
Tri-C has charged for parking for decades to cover costs for lot maintenance and security. From 1990 to fall 2008, anyone trying to exit a parking lot had to plug two quarters into an automated gate. Despite numerous signs warning drivers of the charge, more than a few people were stuck at the exit.
For the past four years, students could pay $75 per semester for a hang tag or $1 for a day pass to park at Tri-C’s campuses in Highland Hills, Cleveland, Parma and Westlake.
The single-day ticket led to the most problems, Foltin said.
Students had to go into a building and buy a ticket from a vending machine, which was an inconvenience, he said. Students also had to scratch off the day and date on the passes. Tri-C employees had to stock the machines, collect the cash and reconcile the amount with the number of passes sold. Police officers patrolled the lots looking for scofflaws.
“There were students who were pirating passes and not paying, and with 30,000 students here every day, it is tough to get the whole population to participate equitably,” he said.
Administrators worked closely with students to develop the new fee, Foltin said.
Antwain Thomas, a student at Cleveland’s Metro campus who served as a student trustee, said the proposal took student leaders by surprise but they worked with the administration.
“It’s not the optimum option but one we can work with,” he said.
Thomas said he often takes RTA to class and was pleased the new fee will not penalize students who take public transportation.
Last year, Tri-C students could buy discounted RTA semester passes for $240, a $100 savings over the cost of standard RTA passes. This year, the semester pass will cost $180, so the addition of the new fee will not exceed last year’s cost, Foltin said. Tri-C and RTA each contributes $80 toward the $160 savings per pass.
And, for the first time, Tri-C students can buy a monthly RTA pass for $45, a $40 savings from the standard cost, he said. Tri-C and RTA will each contribute $20.Many students have said they couldn’t afford the discounted semester RTA pass, so paid $85 a month for a pass.
Students and administrators have tried for several years to resolve an inequity in which Tri-C students paid full price for RTA service while all students at Cleveland State University and Case Western Reserve University are charged $25 a semester for RTA’s U-Pass, which allows students to ride free of charge on all RTA buses and rapid trains.
While about half of Tri-C’s more than 6,500 students who attend classes at the Metro Campus rely on public transportation, a majority of students at the other campuses drive and didn’t want to be charged for a bus pass. RTA was not able to offer U-Pass solely to Metro students because the transit agency would lose money, RTA officials said.
Most of the students at Lorain County Community College in Elyria and Lakeland Community College in Kirtland drive to campus. Parking is free at both locations, but fees are charged to cover parking lot maintenance and other costs.
A $3.75 general fee is charged per credit hour at LCCC to cover parking lot and road maintenance and renovation.
Lakeland charges a $14.25 flat fee to all students each fall and spring semester to cover parking lot maintenance, a shuttle service, safety, exterior lighting and rental of off-campus facilities. Lake County students who attend Lakeland ride free on the county’s Laketran buses.