Parking has always been an issue at Texas State, and this semester is no different. The university has a lot of parking lots, but many students don't buy parking permits because they're costly and don't guarantee a place to park.
Students who are caught parking without a permit or in the wrong zone can be ticketed. A fine will set a student back 40 dollars, or 55 dollars, if they're paid late. Trams are available but they aren't necessarily convenient.
There are also parking garages on campus where students can pay to park, but they can cost as much as 14 dollars a day. For Bobcat Update, I'm Tyler Gaudin.
As the Texas State student population continues to grow, there are some growing pains at the university. Many students complain about the crowded buses. They believe more buses are needed to accommodate the number of students.
Riding a bus is just one way to get to campus. An alternative is to pay for a parking permit, but parking is limited and the lots are often far from the classrooms.
Driving near campus can also be a problem because of the road construction projects that are underway. For example, North L-B-J is being widened.
((SB))Often students have to use detours while walking on campus because of the various construction sites. Fortunately, that's not the case at Old Main anymore, but many projects are still underway.
For Bobcat Update, I'm Jordan LeCroy.
Purple, red, silver, green with envy--for a parking spot, that is. A student has to search to find one.
[SB Brittney] "It takes me at least 30 minutes to find a parking spot on campus, if I even do."
Others don't search at all.
[SB Cory] "Parking sucks. I just ride the bus."
From 2012 to 2013 the first-time freshmen enrollment population rose by nearly one thousand students.
[SB Brittney] "There's all these incoming freshmen, and they are going to have cars and there's not going to be enough room."
Interim Director of Transportation Services at Texas State, Nancy Nusbaum, says because more perimeter parking permits have been sold this year than residential permits, purple and all permit lots fill up faster. She said this fall nearly 500 residential parking spots were unused. The Parking Services website says a permit does not guarantee a parking spot, and lack of space does not justify parking illegally. For Bobcat Update, I'm Megan Carthel.
The university is attempting to accommodate ever increasing enrollment. It's out with the old and in with the new. For example, apartments are being torn down to construct a new engineering building.
Texas State student Shellie Billingsley says navigating around construction sites is time-consuming, but ultimately the projects will be beneficial -- especially to future students.
SBAccording to the most recent U-S Census, San Marcos in 20-13 had the highest rate of growth among all U-S cities. For Bobcat Update, I'm Skye Wallace.
Last April, the University cancelled its interurban tram systems running to San Antonio and Austin, citing high costs as the reason. School officials said at the time that the buses used for the service would be used instead on other routes where the demand was greater. After almost a year later since the cancellation, some students are thinking the change is inconvenient and unhelpful. They find themselves circling the parking lots to find a space or cramming together in the residential buses. San Marcos students, like Katie ??, say getting to class is often a frustrating experience.
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San Antonio and Austin commuters also feel the strain. The commute now costs more -- to pay for gas and for a parking permit. And when the commuters arrive, they're not assured of finding a place to park.
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As the spring semester kicks off, commuters can only hope something is done to correct the issue soon. For Bobcat Update, I'm Audrey Seifert.
The University Bookstore and K-T-S-W sponsored the Spring Bookstore Blowout. The event attracted many students shopping for books the first week of school.
As students checked out the sales or waited in line, K-T-S-W's promotional staff handed out free C-D's, posters, and other merchandise. Live music included Melina Evalyn, Davy and Amelia, along with other artists like acoustic musician Tyler _____. The Austin Musician said one of the popular features was K-T-S-W's freebie wheel.
While the fun was happening downstairs, it was all business upstairs. Bookstore staff made sure to help anyone who had questions or needed help finding the right textbooks. The process of getting your textbooks can be stressful.SB
For anyone who bought or rented textbooks from the University Bookstore, the deadline for a textbook refund is January 22nd. For Bobcat Update, I'm Taylor Alanis.
Students who have vehicles soon discover that finding a parking space is like finding a needle in a haystack. It can be upsetting.
SB Chris Vasquez: "It took me over an hour to find parking! It was really messed up."
School officials have attempted to improve parking, but some students say a lot more needs to be done.
SB: "The school has been working on providing more paid parking, but really we need more free parking for commuters. We just don't have enough of those."More buses have been added, which means fewer students have to drive to campus. However, some students believe the bus system is also lacking.
SB: "There needs to be more buses picking up students from commuter lots."
School officials say they hope to fix the parking situation soon. If students have any suggestions, they can share their ideas at the university's weekly board meeting at the L-B-J ballroom on Thursday nights at 7 o'clock. For Bobcat Update, I'm Ila Mar.
Texas State is a growing university with more than 35-thousand
students enrolled. About 40 percent of those students live outside the city of San Marcos and commute to the university, and they have five commuter lots where they can park. Texas State offers four zones of parking passes ranging from 115 to 485 dollars. The zones with the most availability are the red zones, which are primarily for faculty and campus residents. Texas State commuter, Zach Harrow, says that Texas State isn't doing enough to solve the parking problem.
The newest parking option on campus is the Edward Gary Street Garage near the San Marcos square. The seven-floor parking garage is only open to payment parking, not permits. The biggest commuter lot for students is the lot by Bobcat Stadium, which typically fills up by 9 A-M. Texas State Senior, Bailey Bounds, says that even the open spots in commuter lots are too small or can be difficult for parking.
The university encourages students to avoid on-campus parking, and promotes alternative ways to get to campus such as riding bikes or taking the Bobcat Tram. For Bobcat Update, this is Emily Liberto.