New fee for east Union lot

Hannah Baker

Barricades are up and soon The Union parking lot will officially be a pay lot.

When the lot adjacent to the east side of The Union switches to a pay lot, students, faculty and staff will still be able to park there, but it’ll come at a price.

This lot was once an all-pass lot, meaning any person with a commuter, reserved, or other parking pass was able to park inside the eastern lot. That will no longer be the case and only people willing to pay will have access to the lot.

There are 143 spots available—all of which will be monitored by the Amano McGann revenue control system.

There is an initial parking fee of $2 and another $1 charge for every hour the driver wishes to park there up until $8. Pay lot hours begin at 5 a.m. and end at 4 p.m.

Parkers can still park their cars in the lot after 4 p.m. for free, but they still need to go through the motions of paying. The only difference is when they punch out the fee will read zero dollars, said Derek Peterson, the director of the University Bookstore and auxiliary business operations.

To access the lot, parkers will need to grab a ticket in order to raise the barricade. Then they use the same ticket to punch out when they leave and the kiosk will calculate the amount due. Fees can be paid with a credit card, debit card or Hobo Dough, said Peterson.

If a car is left in the lot between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m., Peterson said it will be subject to an after-hour parking citation and immediate tow.

Peterson said SDSU is waiting for a final sign off from the vendor — which is having a few issues interfacing the Hobo Dough servers. The tentative date for this new system to become operational is Nov. 28, said Peterson.

One other change that will take place due to the pay lot process is that when an event is taking place in The Union, Peterson said only the specific amount of spots will be reserved and the entire lot will no longer be off-limits to others who are not attending the event.

Jennifer Lichty, operations manager for Student Union Activities, said the lot change is a way to be more effective in terms of parking.

“It frees up more parking for students who are willing to pay,” she said. “It’s enforceable and only uses the number of spots needed for events, which are reserved so it doesn’t block more [parking] than necessary.”

Lichty said switching the lot to a pay lot is a “happy medium.”

Some students said although having the option of a pay lot is beneficial for those who do not already have a parking pass, many have already spent the money on a pass.

“They already screw us over for buying a pass. It’s good for some, but bad for others,” said Derrick VanderBoom, a sophomore construction management major who has a Commuter pass.

Other students agreed and had mixed feeling about having a pay lot.

“For me personally it won’t affect me much and it could be a good option for some people,” said Cory Jones, a freshman architecture major. “But it seems like just another way for SDSU to charge you.”