Parking on the Long Beach State campus, which has been consistently rising in cost, now sits at $500 for the 2022-2023 academic year, and students have expressed frustrations over the new price.
The increase of an estimated 12,000 students on campus this fall semester has further limited available parking on campus, and the increase in parking prices has aggravated some students, such as fourth-year biology major, Erica Velasques.
“I have been here for four years now, and the parking is ridiculous. It continuously hurts my bank account,” Velasques said.
The annual 2021- 2022 income report from the CSULB Parking and Transportation Department said CSULB is the 13th lowest CSU campus in terms of permit cost out of the 23 campuses in the CSU system.
Since the last fiscal year, the on-campus semester parking permit price will rise by 20% annually. It has risen to $250 per semester for the 2022-2023 academic year, with the annual permit at $500.
Students, such as third year engineering major David Acosta, have opted to park in areas off campus to avoid paying for a new permit.
“I park on the street outside of campus, but I get here at 11 a.m., so I usually end up walking much longer,” Acosta said.
Acosta said he walks about one extra mile to class from his spot in the residential area on Knoxville Avenue.
Acosta is not the only student looking for alternative ways of getting to class.
Devine Laughlin, a CSULB second-year English major, said she started taking the bus more to save money, since she financially supports her home of five people.
“I’m the only one that is working right now in my house because my family is not mentally or physically able to handle a workspace right now,” Laughlin said. “Saving money is difficult for me, so I do what I can, when I can.”
Chad Keller, the CSULB parking and operations public affairs and communications specialist, said the university was aware of the “financial hardships” students face.
“We’re sensitive to that fact,” Keller said, adding that the department can only spend money that it has.
Because of California Education Code Section 89701, the university parking services are self-funded, and a big portion of their funding is through purchased parking permits by campus commuters.
Recently the department has had to reach into the reserves to support projects around campus. The parking services’ budget for the fiscal year of 2021-2022 was reduced by an extra $1 million leaving the operating budget at $4.9 million.