Daniel Chi / Asst. photo editor
The total number of parking passes purchased on campus for the 2012-2013 school year exceeds available parking spots and is causing conflict for some commuter students.
There are about 36,000 parking spots on Ohio State’s Columbus campus, according to the OSU Transportation and Traffic Management. Lindsay Komlanc, spokeswoman for OSU Administration and Planning, said 37,494 passes were sold to park on campus this year, compared to a 35,679 passes sold for the 2011-12 school year.
Komlanc said that even though the number of passes has increased, Transportation and Traffic Management will be able to provide enough parking areas for parking pass customers who use campus at different dates and times.
“It is hard to say, but we do know students coming to campus have a demand for parking spaces on campus,” Komlanc said. “If we have to shift spots around, we can do that to accommodate others.”
The purchasing period for passes was shortened this year, due to the conversion to the semester system. From mid-June to September, more passes were sold compared to the June 2011 to October 2011 purchasing period last school year.
Komlanc mentioned that the two most common passes purchased for students are types ‘C’ and ‘WC5’. This year, 5,483 ‘C’ passes had been purchased as of Sept. 7. This total increased 2,293 passes purchased from the 2011-2012 school year.
‘WC5’ passes are for students rank two and above who can park near the West Campus residence halls, and ‘C’ passes are for graduate students and commuter students rank three or higher.
Parking passes available currently give buyers permission to park until July 31, 2013. Prices decrease each month leading up to the expiration date, but ‘C’ passes purchased before Aug. 1 cost buyers $264 for the year, while ‘WC5’ passes cost $381.
Because of the limited availability of spots and cost of parking passes, some students said they choose not to park on campus.
“I have a car but don’t drive it to class,” said Mariel McGuiness, a second-year in biology. “Its just the hassle of it, and I don’t know where I would park.”
Other students said if they wanted a ride to campus, they would find another way to get one.
“I wouldn’t buy a pass, I would just ask a friend for a lift,” said Ashley Guan, a first-year in actuarial science. “Parking is too troublesome.”
Parking passes continue to be sold without an increase in lot availability for this school year.
In June the university Board of Trustees finalized a deal to lease all parking operations and assets to QIC, Global Infrastructure, an Australia-based investment company, for $483 million.
The accepted bid limits parking rate increases by 5.5 percent for the first 10 years of the agreement. After 10 years, rates will be capped at 4 percent or a rolling five-year average of inflation, whichever is greater.
McGuiness said she doesn’t agree with the privatization of parking because it made parking more expensive for students.
Guan said she had no objections to privatized parking but said she wouldn’t buy a parking pass either way.
QIC partnered with LAZ Parking, a company that specializes in parking operations, to take over operations of all permit sales, parking lots and parking garages. The agreement too effect in September.
Alexandra Casola contributed to this article.
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: Oct. 9, 2012
An earlier version of this story stated that the LAZ Parking