Parking and transportation services disappoint with reimbursement decision – The Oracle

The USF’s rationale for not issuing a refund is understandable, but it should have been consistent in its communications. ORACLE PHOTO / LEDA ALVIM

On March 30, USF Parking and Transportation Services (PATS) announced that it would not reimburse students who purchased permits for parking on campus. PATS said it will no longer honor these requests due to “the future financial impact of COVID-19” and therefore may continue “to maintain [its] parking facilities and operating costs, ”according to the announcement.

This decision is frustrating for many students who were unable to use the permit for the second half of the semester. It is doubly frustrating when put in context with the department’s previous statements. The price of a parking permit for a non-resident student can cost $ 91 for a single semester. As many students and their families lose their jobs, even a small refund can make the difference in whether a student can afford necessities like grocery stores.

The ministry tweeted on March 20 that its “The current policy of providing pro-rated refunds for returned parking permits has been temporarily suspended. ” PATS went on to explain that it was working on a refund plan for returned permits, a decision that was clearly overturned 10 days later.

If the department feared it was unable to repay, it should have refrained from suggesting that it was.

To his credit, PATS is funded differently from other departments on campus. The department is entirely dependent on revenue from parking cards, meters and citations collected on campus. Obviously, it is important to fund these services, but rather than making students pay for passes that they cannot use, the university should work with the state government to find emergency funding. Colleges and universities in general need financial help during COVID-19-related closures, and parking and transportation services are no exception.

Besides, if the state funded parking and transportation, future parking card prices could be reduced and the department could give quotes less frequently.

In a time when the economic outlook is bleak for many students and their families, playing fast and free with refunds is not appreciated.

PATS’s financial situation is understandable, but it should not have promised repayments it cannot provide.

Jared Sellick is a senior specializing in political science.

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