OPINION: Why can’t I pay for parking permits with quarters?

Seriously, why can’t I pay for parking permits with quarters?


Kameron Schmid - The State Hornet

An artist’s (me) renditions of two notes I left on the dashboard of my car for the parking attendant as I parked in Parking Structure V when I could not pay for my daily parking pass during winter break due to the ticket machines not accepting change.

Kameron Schmid, Copy Editor

Forgive me, readers. Forgive me if this is too trivial for you to care about at the moment. And forgive me if I am taking this too seriously in the following 421 words.

But why can’t parking permit machines at Sacramento State take change? Why?

First, to explain the issue — parking at Sac State is tough to begin with. Easier since Parking Structure V opened, sure. But difficult nonetheless. Daily parking permits cost $7 and two-hour permits cost $4.

Drivers who, for any reason, need one of these two permits, should have the option to use the change in their car to pay for that permit. There is not a single legitimate reason against it and plenty for it.

For one, not everyone can pay in non-change methods all the time. The vast majority of people on campus are broke college students. I, myself, was/am one. And for the last semester, not only was I broke, but I also didn’t drive to campus enough to make buying a $174 semester-long permit worth it.

I understand that most students (maybe even the vast majority) who drive to campus make the decision that a semester-long permit is the best option for them. Most people who come to campus on the average day don’t need a short-term pass. But that makes it more necessary for UTAPS to accept quarters, not less.

There are a lot of different hypothetical scenarios that make taking change easier on the driver while adding little work to UTAPS and Sac State. Sometimes people in a pinch prefer to pay in a combination of cash and change. Sometimes people simply don’t have enough on their card.

If UTAPS were to accept quarters, it’s not like they would drown in a sea of them. How many people would utilize the availability? I know I would have. In fact, on most days where I wanted to pay with quarters, I opted (or was forced, depending on my bank balance) not to pay at all. That lost revenue is on your hands, UTAPS, not me.