EDMOND — The price of commuter and housing parking decals at the University of Central Oklahoma increased for the 2013-14 school year from $100 to $125, and some students are not happy about it.
UCO Transportation and Parking Director Raul Martinez said the price increase was needed to improve parking lot maintenance and expand alternative transportation, as well as to save money for emergencies.
“We have to provide a good product,” he said. “My goal is to get our students to, from and around campus in the most effective manner.”
Martinez views parking as a student's first and last experience on campus, so quality is everything to him.
The price of parking at UCO had been $100 since the 2009-10 school year, but Martinez felt the increase necessary to continue a strategy his department has followed since 2008 — to develop and expand alternative transportation to reduce the need for parking on campus.
“We really want to provide many options,” Martinez said.
The BUM-A-BIKE program (started in 2008) and the Cycology bike shop (opened in 2010) were initiatives set up to give students a faster method of getting across campus and Edmond and to provide access to a full bike shop.
In 2009, the bus system Citylink was introduced, providing a transportation service for Edmond residents and a Broncholink route designed for UCO students. The route circles the campus every 30 minutes and visits nearby apartments.
Hertz on Demand is a way for students who are at least 18 to rent a car. UCO has two Hertz vehicles on campus, and students, after registering and reserving online, can use them for $8 an hour — gas and insurance included.
A car pool program also has been put in place. Any commuter student with a valid decal can park in the visitor pay lot on the east side of the Nigh University Center. The program is used by an average of 80 cars a day, Martinez said.
All four programs are “decreasing the demand for parking,” he said.