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Stony Brook unveils new parking prices for 24-25 school year

Stony Brook University’s commuter premium parking lot near the L.I.R.R. Parking costs for the 2024-25 school year are expected to increase in the fall of 2024. IRENE YIMMONGKOL/THE STATESMAN

Stony Brook University’s parking prices are once again undergoing changes.

On March 20, Mobility & Parking Services (MAPS) sent out an email to all students informing them of an increase in parking costs for the 2024-25 school year. The plan echoes the effort that the University attempted to implement for the 2023-24 academic year, which was canceled after the University failed to reach an agreement with the several employment unions present on campus.

Like the originally proposed plan, the new model will raise student parking costs and introduce a tiered model. However, compared to the previous plan, the amount that students will be charged for parking has significantly decreased and there will be fewer tiers for students to choose from when purchasing a permit.

Notably, this plan will not affect faculty or staff. According to a MAPS webpage explaining the changes, the University has not yet reached an agreement with the various unions present on campus. According to the contract between United University Professions (UUP) and New York State, parking prices cannot be raised for staff or faculty members represented by UUP without going through a collective bargaining process with UUP first. Other unions on campus have similar clauses within their contracts.

“Any changes to Faculty/Staff parking are subject to the collective bargaining process. MAPS is currently in negotiations with various collective bargaining units,” reads the webpage.

Kendra Violet, the executive director of MAPS, attended the Undergraduate Student Government’s (USG) weekly Senate meeting on Thursday, March 21, to give the Senators a presentation on how the new prices would work and answer questions.

According to Violet, MAPS is currently facing significant financial headwinds that necessitate an increase in parking prices.

“The revenue really dropped during the [COVID-19 pandemic],” Violet said. “The challenge is that those projections, where you see the negative for 2023-24, that’s what our state is going to look like over the next five years. We’re just going to have continuous negative balances, which is going to eat away at the ending cash balance.”

Violet also acknowledged that there would continue to be financial difficulties after the plan was implemented and that the department would have to continue exploring ways to boost revenue.

“This is going to help us address some of the concerns; it’s not the complete solution,” she said. “This will just help us start moving in the direction that we need to move in. We have to get to a certain number … and so this helps us do that, but there is more that we need to do. But this will get us started [in a way] that is, we hope, a little easier than the original plan.”

Violet also confirmed that MAPS had been in negotiation with the unions on campus since May of 2023.

The plan being implemented in the fall will offer permits for three distinct tiers of parking: Commuter Core, which will include student spaces in Lots 2, 3 and 6, Commuter Perimeter, including student spots in Lot 5 and Residential Perimeter, which includes spots in designated residential parking areas.

Commuter Core permits will cost $135 a semester with an additional $90 fee for the summer. Commuter Perimeter permits will cost $90 per semester with a summer cost of $60, and Residential Perimeter permits will cost the same as Commuter Perimeter permits.

However, when addressing USG’s concerns about affordability for students, Violet said during the Senate meeting that MAPS will be introducing a program to give certain students discounted or free parking permits.

10% of students purchasing Commuter Core permits will be able to do so at the price of a Commuter Perimeter permit, while 10% of eligible students purchasing either a Commuter Perimeter permit or Residential Perimeter permit will be able to do so at no cost.

According to MAPS’ website, the discounted or free permits will be given out on a first-come, first-serve basis to students who meet certain criteria. Those eligibility requirements are still under discussion and will be revealed by the end of the spring 2024 semester.

Kaya Turan, the president of the Stony Brook chapter of the Graduate Student Employees Union, said in an interview that while his organization was still bargaining with MAPS, he wanted students and faculty to both have access to fair parking prices.

“This is an issue that affects everyone, and the graduate student employees union stands with the undergrads as well,” Turan said. “We want everyone to be able to park affordably on campus.”

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About the Contributor
Sky Crabtree
Sky Crabtree, Assistant News Editor
Sky Crabtree is an Assistant News Editor for The Statesman and a sophomore studying journalism and political science. He joined the paper in the spring of 2023 as a news reporter and was promoted at the end of the same semester. Outside of The Statesman, he works as a news intern for WSHU Public Radio and hosts "The Political Corner," a segment on the Stony Brook Media Group's news show.
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