(Why do I have to pay for parking and where do my permit fees go?)
Many members of the university community wonder why they have to pay to park on campus. The reason is that the Texas State Parking Services department is a self-sustaining unit. The purchase of a parking permit enables the university to manage approximately 13,000 parking spaces on campus. Parking permit fees help build and maintain parking lots and parking garages, to purchase supplies, to post signs and other items that make the parking program successful. Monies received from the sale of parking permits, parking citation payments, and meters also fund the parking enforcement program. These expenses are assessed annually by the department and university administration. Enforcement of the parking rules and regulations ensures that everyone has a fair and equitable opportunity to park on campus.
Parking permit fees at Texas State compare favorably with those of other universities within the Texas State University System. However, each university has different needs and requirements for parking; therefore the fee structure for each university is individually based. Annually, the Texas State Transportation & Parking Committee reviews the proposed budget of Parking Services for the upcoming year and only recommends raises in permit costs if it is determined necessary to meet anticipated expenses.
In 2009, the Speck garage added 721 parking spaces on west campus and in 2010 the Mathews Street garage added another 943 spaces to the center of campus. A new 455 space parking garage is in the construction phase, to be completed in September of 2013. This new parking garage will be located along University Drive and Edward Gary (behind Sterry Hall). This garage will be similar to the LBJ Parking Garage, everyone will be charged for parking in the garage. In addition, the Master Plan for 2006-2015 includes plans for several future garages. The bond debt from the construction of parking garages is paid from Parking Services revenues.
Staff and faculty also have options for parking including carpool and the Bobcat Tram. During the fall and spring semesters, priority will be given to carpools of three or more individuals coming from outside the San Marcos area. Carpool groups will be issued a carpool permit at no cost however; carpool parking is restricted to the designated spaces identified on the Traffic and Parking Regulations campus map. The Bobcat Tram provides bus service to all members of the university community. There is a nominal fee to ride the Bobcat Tram to and from Austin or San Antonio; there is no cost to ride any of the campus or San Marcos city routes. For additional information about the Bobcat Tram website.
Parking Services is constantly looking for ways to meet the demand for close and convenient parking on campus. For additional information about Parking Services revenue sources and expenditures visit the Parking Services website.