The Boise State Parking and Transportation team, alongside the Department of Public Safety, have made several changes related to campus parking for the 2022-23 academic year.
These changes come as a response to a user satisfaction survey conducted by the Department of Public Safety during the spring 2022 semester. The survey was sent out via email to a random sample of 3,000 Boise State students and employees, and roughly 17% responded, according to the department.
The focus of the survey was to gauge user satisfaction with various parking and transportation services on campus, and respondents were asked to offer suggestions on how things could be improved.
“Survey results revealed several themes, including that the majority of employees and students are satisfied with parking services,” Linsey Hartke, director of Parking, Transportation and Systems, wrote in an email to The Arbiter. “Respondents voiced interest in new and expanded services including new parking permits, options to support hybrid workers and learners, and expanded shuttle services.”
One of the more notable changes this year is the addition of “scratch-off permits,” which are a single-day permit that allow the user to park in any commuter, reserve, or garage lot. These permits will cost $15 a day and are available for purchase during the Transit Center operating hours.
These permits were created after survey data revealed a demand for more flexible parking options, according to Hartke. Prior to this change, single-day permits had to be purchased two weeks ahead of time.
Students and faculty can buy scratch-off permits five at a time, and will receive the sixth permit free when doing so.
Another new addition this year is the creation of “CrossParking” permits, which are purchased in addition to a pre-existing residential permit. On-campus residents can opt into this by purchasing a “PM” permit, which allows the driver to park in lots other than their own from 4:00 p.m. until midnight.
Parking on campus is finally merging with the technological world, as physical parking meters are going to be replaced by ParkMobile, an app that allows users to select and pay for parking.
“Survey data showed that the university community is interested in more metered parking on
campus,” Hartke wrote. “To meet this demand, we will increase the footprint of mobile, metered parking on campus and remove physical parking meters over the coming weeks.”
As the physical meters are removed, they will be replaced with signs with the ParkMobile zone number listed, directing users to the app.
An email was sent out to all Boise State students, faculty and staff on Aug. 3 with an overview of these changes. The initial email stated that the threshold for an academic hold to be placed on a student due to unpaid fines would be lowered to $100, but this statement has since been retracted.
In accordance with University Policy 3200, holds will only be placed on student accounts once a student’s fines meet or exceed $500. Hartke encourages students to “pay or appeal any fines in a timely manner to prevent potential account holds.”
Students also now have the option to have their parking fines waived through Boise State’s Ticket Diversion Program.
Through this program, students may volunteer for the Department of Public Safety to cover the cost of their citation. First-offense tickets are $35 and will be waived after three hours of volunteering.
Students can also choose to have $25 taken off of their fines by attending a bicycle safety class at the Cycle Learning Center. This class is roughly an hour and a half, and helps the commuter better understand bicycle transportation.
The Department of Public Safety is currently working on developing a parking permit steering committee. This committee will be composed of students, faculty and staff who will work to continue assessing the need on campus and determine where improvement is still necessary.