62°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

New Parking Garage Offers Fewer Choices

Bayside+parking+lot+entrance+sign.

Bayside parking lot entrance sign.

Aug 15—The University of Massachusetts Boston released their final Parking System Pro Forma report on Jan. 29, 2018. Stating all the stats and percentage increases for the new garage and parking lots, what used to be a $6/day flat fee for parking in the Bayside Lot is now a “$9/day flat fee (50 percent increase)”. This is the first time in 14 years that the original price of $6 will have been changed.
These changes were warranted by the new, first free-standing parking garage, Parking Garage West. According to the UMass Boston website, it will house “approximately 1,400 parking spaces [which] will include dedicated spaces for carpoolers, electric vehicles and persons with disabilities. A high capacity indoor bicycle storage room will be located on the ground floor.”
This increase in parking fees this academic school year leaves many students in tough situations. Sophomore Diana Blell said:“I drive every day to UMass Boston from a town just outside of Braintree. Without traffic it can take me 30 minutes to get to school, with backroads during traffic times it can take me 40 minutes, and if I get stuck in the traffic on the highway it can take me anywhere between 1-2 hours. It was already quite expensive to park at the University not considering the late shuttle buses, never running on time in some extremely cold weather. With the building of the newandcloser parking garage, students and myself were excited for a better area to park. Once we learned the price that short dream failed. $15 a day to park in the garage and $9 to park in Bayside was too extreme considering it is predominantly a commuter school so it should have more available and cheaper options for students to park and get to class in timely manners. A lot of students can’t afford the tuition along with these high parking fees whether it is daily or any semester passes that may be available.”
Even though returning students are grandfathered in, with the new $410 price tag for a Bayside Lot semester pass, it’s still a 20 percent increase from last year. When first hearing about the new garage and fee increase, one student, Lizzie Lefrançois, stated, “Why should I have to pay more for something I didn’t even want?” Another sophomore said, “My commute is now an hour and a half instead of 30-45 minutes because I have to take public transportation.”
The university wants more people to start taking the MBTA to school, but it’s not a feasible option for many. People come from all over eastern Massachusetts to attend, not just from Boston suburbs. That being said, of students asked, one hundred percent agreed they wouldmake the switch topublic transportation if it wereeasily accessible tothem. 
In theory, everyone taking the MBTA would work–but as a whole, the T system is not even 90 percent reliable. Heavy winter snows and severe cold shut down and delay the trains regularly, as well as the constant construction. According to http://www.mbtabackontrack.com, as of Aug 14, 2018, the commuter rail is 90 percent effective, subway is 87 percent, and buses are 71 percent effective.
Increased fees aren’t just affecting students–faculty and staff parking fees went up 68 percent and they are now paying $576 for Bayside Lot semester passes. As if this initial increasewasn’t enough, “long-term parking fees (i.e., monthly or longer) for faculty, staff, and students increase by one percent per year.”