By Zach Bachar | February 19, 2021
UAlbany’s Parking & Mass Transit Services has relaxed the enforcement of specific lot designations and first-year student permit rules this semester as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
First-year students are now allowed to buy a $50 parking permit for the Spring 2021 semester, because parking “would be plentiful” during this semester, said Jason Jones, a member of the Parking & Mass Transit Department.
“After discussing with senior leaders within Finance and Administration…any reasonable first-year student parking request to PMTS was granted,” “Jones added.
About 300 first-year students have registered vehicles with the parking department. However, Jones said relaxation of the rule will only exist for one semester with an influx of on-campus students expected for Fall 2021 due to projected vaccine distribution.
Another policy changing is the parking designation rule. Previously, UAlbany students were required to park in the designated lots closest to where they live. According to Jones, students can now park in any student area. This is mainly due to the increased availability of parking spots due to fewer students on campus.
A crowded parking lot on campus Credit: Habib Affinnih | ASP
The decrease in the number of students on campus, however, has impacted the parking department’s revenues. Jones said overall revenue has declined by nearly 65%. The number of citations has also decreased to 2,553 compared to 6,366 at this time last year.
In addition, PMTS has had pandemic-related expenses. It has secured an outside company to clean the interior of UAlbany buses three times each week and has created a quarantine/isolation van service that operates 75-80 hours per week that transports students suspected of having or confirmed to have COVID-19 to designated quarantine/isolation locations around and near campus.