How much is your Tech parking permit really worth?

Photo by Casey Gomez

Anyone familiar with parking on campus, specifically Peters parking deck, understands the level of emotion generally felt when you pull into the deck and see the dreaded flyers taped near the entrance, notifying fellow drivers that Peters will not be available on an upcoming date.

There is an initial amount of frustration, followed by the sigh of indignation, because what can you do about it?

Well, as a veteran of these experiences for the past three years now, I decided to finally find out: How much money do we actually spend for parking? Looking at last school year (2016-2017), I crunched some numbers and did some calculations. All numbers were found of my own accord and calculations, not any third-party site or metric.

Annual individual permits cost $795 each, so let’s just break this up by semester to be more tangible. In the Fall of 2016, there were 110 potential days of utilizing the parking deck, excluding school holidays. An annual parking pass is worth $397.50 per semester. So $397.50/110 days = $3.61 per day. Now that doesn’t seem too bad, right? Realistically, that’s only a Starbucks drink.

In another lens, however, that’s an Uber ride: hypothetically, you could Uber to campus once a day every day for that same amount, and any weekend or day that you carpool with a friend, that’s an extra $3.61 in your pocket.

Let’s not forget about the long-awaited fall football schedule. Each football season, Tech has eight home football games, and you know what that means, anyone in Peters parking deck must relocate to designated areas or be towed.

How does that affect the metrics we previously established? Well, since there’s the potential to park for $3.61 a day on campus, and eight days are allocated to football pass holders, that’s a loss of approximately $28.88. That’s a lot of coffee.

Additionally, let’s not forget about the long awaited end of each semester: graduation!

Specifically, Tech has three separate ceremonies, and guess what that means? An extra three days racks up $10.83, which brings the semester total to finish at a loss of about $39.71.

The same analysis can be utilized to crunch the spring semester numbers as well. Especially last spring, there was somewhat of an anomaly that will produce some unfavorable stats for pass holders, and that is Atlanta United. The team played nine games at Bobby Dodd, and that’s an additional nine days in which students were not allowed to park in Peters. That’s an additional loss of $32.49 that is not normally expected.

Atlanta United may be a great acquisition for Atlanta, but what about Tech’s students? Why do we have to rearrange our academic agendas to accommodate for such events, especially if we don’t even get the opportunity to attend?

Tech should consider how off-campus students are being affected by events and transportation restrictions.

Finally, there are the three graduation ceremonies at the end of the spring semester as well, equating in the $10.83 loss. This brings the overall total of last spring semester to $43.32 essentially wasted.

Over the course of the 2016-2017 academic year, students parking in Peters forfeited a total of $83.03, and keep in mind, that’s only accounting for the events that I can think of off the top of my head.

Granted, I suppose things could be worse; individual permits do provide their freedoms, but in an age of ride-sharing, students should consider more thoughtfully their transportation options before blindly handing over money to an institution without first weighing all of the options.