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Parking at Mason

Posted by: | June 19, 2009 | No Comment |

By Christian Smith, Connect2Mason Director

For years, students at George Mason University have found issue with the parking options on campus, citing the prices of fines, the cost of permits and not enough parking availability. 

But, in a recent interview with Connect2Mason, Josh Cantor, director of Parking and Transportation, said in response to the complaint about the fines levied by Parking Services, “It’s actually a minor source of our revenue. It’s probably 8 to 10 percent of our revenue stream.” 

“There has never been a day . . . where we have had less than 700, 800 spaces available,” said Cantor speaking about the cost of permits and parking accessibility. 

“For what you pay here compared to what you pay at the University of Maryland, University of Virginia and Virginia Tech, 90 percent of our students are parking closer than what those students would.” 

If you are a residential freshman, though, your parking permit will not allow you use of most of the parking locations usually open to the general student population, a practice not uncommon in the Virginia higher education system. 

The residential freshman parking permit allows access to the West Campus Parking Lot and costs $90. According to a Parking Services representative, the lot has a capacity of 800 vehicles and is located approximately a mile from the main campus. A shuttle runs every 15 minutes between the lot and campus.

Other Commonwealth schools prohibiting freshmen from parking on their main campus include the University of Virginia, James Madison University and the University of Mary Washington where freshmen are not allowed to have permits unless approved by the chief of police. 

Like Mason, Madison allows freshmen with disabilities to park on the main campus, but Madison makes a further exception by allowing freshmen with off-campus jobs to also obtain on-campus parking.

For commuter students, Mason does not make a distinction in parking accessibility based on class standing. All freshmen commuters have access to general lots J, K, L C, O, P, M and the back of A. These permits cost $125 per semester and $225 per year. 

Motorcycle parking permits, including mopeds, scooters and bicycles that use parking spaces are $70 per year or $35 for the spring semester. A $15 secondary permit may be purchased if the motorcycle is the student’s second vehicle with a campus permit. 

All residential and commuter students are allowed motorcycle permits, however, according to a Parking Services representative, motorcycles left in a parking spot for more than a few days will be ticketed. 

Purchasing permits is as easy as going online. Permits can be obtained beginning in July through the Parking Services website

Students who do not purchase their permits online may participate in the August Ballroom Sale, the exact date of which is not yet determined. After that sale, permits will be available at the Parking Services office located next to the Sandy Creek parking deck.

under: Getting Around