A plan to solve the parking crisis is coming to you in two weeks for you to vote on. Is it a good plan? Yes. Is it better then that status quo? Yes. Are there alternatives that provide the same benefits and less downsides? Yes, alternatives exist that pursue the same end through different, perhaps better means.What is the biggest problem with this plan? Many groups of students, especially co-op students and drivers, are getting the shaft.
I suggest an alternative — not a bus pass fee, but a transportation fee. If an additional $40 were attached to the $120 universal bus pass so that it became a $160 transportation levy, and these additional funds went to subsidize student parking, a parking pass would decrease by more than $125. A parking pass will be approximately $312 next year; this scenario has drivers paying $345 for all their transportation needs rather than $432 — the levy of $160 and a parking pass at $187. Instead of saving $420 a year, those who take the bus will still be saving $380.
I believe that the concerns of drivers and co-op students that the bus-pass referendum shafts should be dealt with.
I am not encouraging you to vote no. I am encouraging you to look at the big picture; it is important that everyone’s concerns are acknowledged and understood. This is only one option — if it does not pass, other options, perhaps more satisfactory, will be presented to you next year. Given time, everyone’s concerns will be satisfied. Do we have the time?