Parking passes are stressful

I have been a student at Los Medanos College for about two and a half years. During my time here I have come to love LMC, from the size of the campus, to the great resources offered, to the outstanding professors who teach here. Although there are numerous things I love, there is one thing that continues to be an issue for myself and other students: purchasing daily parking passes.

There have been many times where I have gone to purchase a daily parking pass, which costs $3, and have had an issue with the parking pass dispensers either not taking my cash or my debit card. This made me curious to find out how many others encountered the same issue.

So I created a survey of four questions and asked 60 students about their experiences with the daily parking passes. Of those 60 students surveyed, 33 of them said they purchased daily parking passes. Of those 33 students, 17 students (51percent) reported they have had an issue with purchasing a daily parking pass. Of those 17 students, the most commonly found problem was that the machine would not take their money. Thirty percent of those 17 students said that they had been charged more days than they had planned to purchase. The other 18 percent of those 17 students complained that the parking pass machine had taken their money without giving them change. This was one issue that I was unaware of. One student complained, “With all the money it’s taken from me I could’ve purchased a pass for a full week.”

Having to run or drive to find a parking pass machine that actually works takes students’ time away from classes — classes that they pay for.

“It’s very inconvenient,” said student Ruby Garcia.“It’s really frustrating. Especially when you’re in a hurry and you have to drive around to find a machine that works when half of them are broken. And then they charge you with a $40 fine if you can’t buy a parking pass,” one student complained.

And if the machines are charging students more than they should be, then that is just more money taken away from students.

With all the issues the parking pass machines have, you would think that they have been there for a while, but would it surprise you if I said that they were installed only five years ago? It surprised student Ahjae Kendrick, “They’re only five years old? They look and act like they’re 10 years old,” she exclaimed.

Still somewhat new but with constant problems, maybe it is already time for an upgrade. Maybe not a complete replacement, but if the machines were to be checked every two or three weeks to make sure they are working properly it would make a big difference. In addition to that, possibly having access to more parking pass machines would be helpful as well. That way, students don’t have to drive all the way to another parking lot to find a working machine.

Many argue that students should just buy a semester parking pass for $40 instead of wasting money buying a daily parking pass for $3, but everyone has different circumstances. Some students wait for their financial aid to come in before they can purchase a parking permit while other students may be living pay check to pay check and cannot afford to purchase a $40 parking pass. Whatever the reason, there are still many students who have to purchase daily parking passes.

If the school is here to help students and to make sure that our college experience is a great one, I hope that they are willing to make purchasing parking passes more convenient. After all, the money students are paying — and even losing — purchasing these parking passes is going toward the school.