Editor's note: An earlier version of this article stated that the Transportation Access Fee was 137.57 per credit hour. The correct amount is $9.10 per credit hour. We apologize for the error and have corrected it.
Parking at UCF is a lot like The Hunger Games, and the odds are rarely in your favor.
The daily scramble by 36,000 student drivers for only 11,313 parking spots on the main campus only makes the sight of a green parking citation envelope on your windshield that much more of a slap.
So where does that $30 from the ticket go?
“All revenue from citations and parking permit fees helps fund the department’s general operations serving the UCF community,” said university spokesman Mark Schlueb. “That includes the shuttles that students ride, which cost about $6.7 million a year to operate, and the parking garages, which have annual debt payments totaling about $4.7 million.”
In 2014-15 — the latest budget figures available — UCF Parking Services and Transportation collected $20.5 million in revenue.
Money from parking tickets totaled $1,024,687, or about 5 percent. There were 34,594 parking citations written last year, a decrease of 4,076. The revenue from parking tickets in 2013-14 was $1,167,678, meaning there’s been a decrease of $147,991.
Schlueb said the revenue varies from semester to semester based on parking demand, but that the level on enforcement hasn’t changed.
Unable to receive state funding, Parking Services collects revenue from citations (4.89 percent), parking permits (23.75 percent), daily permits and metered spots (4.57 percent), miscellaneous activities (.79 percent), and from the Transportation Access Fee paid by students (66 percent).
If you don’t know, students at UCF pay $9.10 toward the Transportation Access Fee per credit hour.
That revenue, Schlueb said, including that which comes from student parking tickets, goes to fund operations and expansion, including the work on Garage C, which will add 600 more spaces.
In 2015, the Central Florida Future conducted a week-long anonymous survey to investigate issues students have with parking.
The survey found that 40 percent of the 686 participants took 20 to 30 minutes to find a parking spot, 74 percent of those surveyed had missed class because they couldn’t find parking, 54 percent said they had parked illegally in order to make it to class on time, and 52 percent resigned themselves to parking off campus in anticipation of not being able to find a spot.
Avoid the ticket
If you park on campus on Mondays and Wednesdays, you could be more likely to get a ticket. Schlueb said those two days are the busiest for ticket writing and added that Parking Services employees have assigned zones and tend to hone in on areas in which parking rules are typically abused.
For students who do get a parking citation, there are two options: pay or appeal.
Students can appeal a parking citation, which can range from $20 to $250 depending on the violation, within 10 days of receiving the citation. In 2015, 8,178 parking tickets were appealed.
To help with the the decrease in parking spaces due to construction, UCF has implemented a new program called Park and Ride though which students can park in lot E4, and shuttles will transport passengers to the Health and Public Affairs shuttle stop every 15 minutes.
Due to the Park and Ride’s positive response, UCF has temporarily extended the hours for the program, which now operates weekdays from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Alissa Smith is the News Editor for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @thealissasmith or email her at AlissaS@centralfloridafuture.com.
Shaquriah Jackson is a contributing writer for the Central Florida Future.