TPI fee aids campus parking problem

Leigha Gregory Contributing Writer

On Monday, Feb. 9, Tech students received an email from Student Body President Chance Hale regarding a survey about the proposed Transportation, Parking and Infrastructure (TPI) Fee.

This TPI Fee proposal presents a blanket fee starting at $125 per semester which contributes to the construction of up to three parking garages and funding improvements for pedestrian crosswalks, streetlamps, parking lots, shuttle services, bicycle parking zones and sidewalks.

For the sake of students’ parking ease, the TPI fee is necessary. This fee would aid students’ concerns. Students must outweigh the annoyance of several more years of construction with the goal in mind of University advancement and more parking availability.

The TPI fee could be effective as early as Fall 2024. While the fee would start at $125 the first two semesters, it has the potential to increase or decrease based on the discretion of the Vice President for Planning and Finance, Business Office and Auxiliary Services. However, the increase will not exceed $50 before the end of Spring 2028.

The new parking garages would be located in the STEM Center parking lot, Volpe Library parking lot and Crawford/ROTC parking lot. The first parking garage is planned to begin construction beginning January 2025 and ending in January 2026 according to the SGA Bill Template for the TPI.

Currently, parking passes are $260 a year. If the TPI fee is implemented, students would no longer pay for parking passes. According to the bill template, “Every student would receive a parking pass and be able to park in any student-allowed parking space on campus.”

This change would affect every student. Even if a student does not have a car, they still have to pay this fee. This could be an incentive to bring a car to campus since every student is ensured a parking pass.

For students who live on campus, they would no longer have to worry about finding a spot close to their residential hall. They are more likely to find a spot easier with the implementation of three parking garages.

For people who live off campus, it would resolve the rush of trying to find a parking spot in a full lot.

If you ask any Tech student how they would improve the University, the majority of students would have an answer related to the parking situation. Personally, several classmates have complained about how they had to park at the intramural fields while their class is on the other side of campus. It can be a common occurrence for students to show up several minutes late to their class and criticize the full parking lot and detours from the construction.

This proposal emphasizes Tech faculty listens to the students. Regardless of the outcome, this proposal serves to show the University is working to find solutions to promote student success and comfort.