Would you park two miles away to save a buck?


Ramona Lot, about two miles away from campus, is set to be open all semester in the fall, as 1000 parking spaces on campus are going to be obstructed during construction. (Photo by Rin Carbin)

Robert Todd

What’s this? A parking space? No, it’s just a Fiat you couldn’t see from a distance. You spot someone walking to their car and wait for them. They get in and turn the engine on, but they’re just sitting there. What are they waiting for? The pressure of other angry drivers piling up behind you becomes too much to bear, so you move ahead only to see them pulling out in your rearview mirror as some other commuter benefits from your lack of conviction.

The search continues.

It’s no secret that parking at Sacramento State can be difficult, and construction on campus in the fall promises even more challenges, but the silver lining might come in the form of a cheaper permit.

The Ramona Lot, which is located at 3001 Ramona Ave., about two miles off campus, has roughly 350 parking spaces available to students during the first two weeks of the semester.

There is a shuttle service that picks up and drops off students near The WELL and Folsom Hall every 15 minutes.

While this lot may not be available as of press time, University Transportation & Parking Services Senior Director, Tony Lucas, said the plan is to have it open for the entire fall 2017 semester while construction on parking lots 1 and 4 commences, which will remove about 1,000 of the total 13,000 on-campus spaces.

To compensate for this, Lucas said UTAPS will offer half-price permits to students willing to park at the Ramona Lot during the fall semester, as he anticipates parking in the closer lots will be more difficult than normal.

“We know that it is not ideal,” he said. “We know that you don’t want to pay a hundred and seventy bucks for a semester parking permit and then park out at Ramona.”

Janet Kim, a nursing student, said she wasn’t sure if a cheaper permit would entice her to park that far off campus, however.

“It’s kind of a gamble, because you could probably find a spot much quicker,” she said.

Richie Nguyen, an electrical engineering major, said “I’d go there every day,” if it meant saving money on a permit.

Lucas said he would like to encourage students to pick up a commuter sleeve at the UTAPS office, which will allow them free use the regional and light-rail transit systems. This is available to everyone as a part of their student transportation fees. He said he also wants to make parking and transportation presentations mandatory during new student orientations this year, so they’ll be more prepared for the construction.

“It’s difficult,” he said. “The campus is trying to grow, and part of the growing means they have to build new facilities to replace old facilities, and unfortunately, the only available spaces the campus has when it wants to expand is in, guess what? Parking lots.”

Part of the construction is parking structure 5, which will house 1,750 spaces and is scheduled to be completed by the start of the spring 2018 semester.