Parking at UIS

Parking at UIS

Photographs courtesy of UIS Parking Operations

Parking is about to get a lot more expensive at UIS. In 2019 a student could have access to the majority of campus parking for $88 a year. The same access will now cost the same student $343. 

In previous years, parking at the university was quite simple. Pay for a hang tag every semester, and the student can park in the residential parking lot assigned to their living space. Many parking lots were free to use for non-overnight parking and some spots were metered. In an effort to raise revenue, a new tiered system will be implemented, getting rid of free parking entirely and making the majority of campus cost students hundreds of potential dollars a year for parking. 

There are four different tiers. These are residential, economy, standard and Personal Exclusive Reserved “Kar” Space (“PERKS”), the new reserved parking program. 

The residential tier costs $88 a year, and allow the student to park in the lot closest to their residence, which are generally further away than the PERKS spots. This cost is the same as it has been in previous years. 

The second tier is “economy,” although paying for this will ironically double the cost that students have been paying in previous years. This tier allows students to park in about half of the lots on campus, although they are consistently the lots furthest away from campus buildings. Students who currently wish to use these economy lots must pay for a second hangtag on top of their residential one. A student who lives on campus and wishes to park in these lots (which used to incur no extra charge) will now be paying $176 instead of $88. 

The third tier is “standard,” although it costs almost three times as much as what students are used to paying. This tier allows students to park in all the parking lots with the exception of the PERKS spots. It costs $255, and this must be added to the $88 for residential parking for students who wish to live on campus and use these lots, bringing their total to $343 for what used to cost $88. 

The final tier is PERKS. PERKS is a program where recipients get a reserved spot for their vehicle for about a dollar a day ($360 a year). This final tier comes with access to the same lots as the standard tier, but also comes with one reserved spot. Residents who have PERKS may still also have to pay the residential fee, depending on whether or not their spot is near their living arrangements. 

Visitors are told to either park at metered spots on the sides of roads or lots with meters or kiosks.  

When parking that used to cost $88 now costs $343 a year – a change of almost 400 percent) people will be upset. A parking tag now costs as much as fourteen parking tickets and some students have expressed concern that they would probably pay less in tickets than they would in parking fees. Parking is an important privilege, but one that needs to be done at a price that does not drive students away from campus housing. Residence on campus is already more expensive than the surrounding area and this new system makes it even more desirable for students to take their money somewhere else and leave the campus entirely.