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Letter to the Editor

Re: “Permit prices could rise by 20 percent … again” by David Guidi, Jan. 31.

What is with people, especially students, expecting free services? Is it the years of handouts from loving parents that causes them to lack a sense of reality?

The fact of the matter is that higher education is a privilege, not a right. A degree takes a lot of hard work and, yes, money. This investment is done with the expectation that it will benefit students economically in the future.

Any business major, as well as anyone who has taken an economics class, knows the economy is driven by supply and demand. In this case, the purpose of increasing parking permit rates is not to gouge the students financially. It is to cover the debt incurred by the University for this increased demand.

Construction costs in the recent past have increased dramatically. The article clearly states the millions of dollars each new parking garage costs the University. USF Parking and Transportation Services has no choice but to increase the charge for those who wish to have them. It makes simple business sense.

One thing I firmly disagree with is the increase in the cost to the residents and staff at the University. Residents pay enough for housing on campus. Also, everyone should be entitled to park at his or her home at a reasonable fee.

The same should be applied to the staff who have to pay for parking at the workplace. The staff at this University is underpaid, whatever their salary, and should not have to spend a portion of this minimal income on parking.

Where should the difference be made up? The loss should be made up from those who overcrowd the University with vehicles: commuter students.

There is an ample opportunity for each commuter to arrive on campus free of charge. For those who live close to campus, there is the Bull Runner, a bicycle and even something as primitive as walking.For those who live outside of these services, there is the HARTline bus. Any ID-toting student can ride the bus free of charge. For those living outside of Hillsborough County, there are various park-and-ride lots around campus of HART services.

All of these means of transportation take additional planning and time but are a feasible alternative. If none of these alternatives work, you can do what I am doing and continue to pay the cost for these parking decals until you are no longer willing to pay anymore.

It is only fair that I, as a commuter, pay for these parking structures and not the University. If there were millions of dollars being made, there would be a need for discussion. But the truth is that Parking and Transportation Services is millions of dollars in debt trying to meet the demands of students.

James Callihan is a sophomore of undeclared major.