By Kaitlyn McCormick
ALMOST 90 spots have been reallocated to improve student parking with more changes to come after Rider implemented an unexpected parking fee for all students over the summer.
Mike Reca, Rider’s vice president for facilities and university operations, said that the parking improvements made since the spring cost roughly $60,000 for the 87 spots that were rededicated for student parking in order to help commuter and residential populations.
While he couldn’t give specifics yet, Reca said even more projects are in the works to provide “more convenient parking to the residence halls.”
In addition to these new spots, which reduced the size of the visitors lot on the South side of campus and utilized spaces in the administrative lot, other spots were re-striped and new signage has been added to various lots and crosswalks.
It was announced via email in June that students who plan on keeping a car on campus must pay either $125 per semester or $250 for an annual permit to park their rides. Previously, only freshman resident students had to worry about a parking fee, which was a one-time payment of $300.
Many students and alumni took to social media to post their gripes about the new bill, especially those who had already paid their freshman year.
“Never been happier to have graduated. This is desperate and unfair,” one user wrote in an Instagram comment on The Rider News’s post about the increase.
“Rider better get it together,” said another.
During the faculty and staff convocation on Aug. 31, University President Gregory Dell’Omo addressed the controversy of the new fee.
While he made the point that Rider was likely one of the last schools to implement a parking fee, Dell’Omo did say that they had been trying to put it off. Now, the implementation is expected to generate about $550,000 in revenue for the university in fiscal year 2024.
The announcement email, sent by Vice President of Enrollment Management Drew Aromando, explained that the new fee was intended to fund improvements and maintenance to lots across campus.
According to Reca, these changes are expected to happen incrementally, with more upgrades being made each year, funded by the permits.
Permit fees were due on Sept. 1, but anyone who has yet to register their vehicle with public safety is urged to do so.