This story was updated Monday, Aug. 26 to add that faculty also can park in city lanes with a parking permit.
Students and employees who use Texas A&M University-San Antonio’s city lane parking spaces must now buy and display a parking permit.
The City of San Antonio has granted A&M-San Antonio authority to enforce permits for parking spaces along University Way and Jaguar Parkway slip-lanes, according to Christian P. Harmon, manager of parking and transportation at A&M-San Antonio. Under the agreement, the city will receive 25 percent of any revenue generated from fees and citations collected.
In the past, parking in the city lane parking spaces was free. The new parking policy took effect in fall 2019.
The university now has three types of parking permits for students, including commuter, residents and city lane.
The commuter and resident parking permits for Lots 2C and 3 as well as the city lanes cost:
- $40 per semester
- $80 for fall and spring
- $90 for the academic year, including the summer
The faculty and staff parking permits for Lots 1, 2A, 2B and city lanes cost:
- $50 per semester
- $100 for fall and spring
- $120 for the academic year, including the summer
The city lane parking permit for students and employees cost:
- $60 for the academic year
There are 600 parking spaces along Jaguar Parkway and University Way for students, faculty and staff, including 55 parking spaces on Jaguar Parkway near Esperanza Hall reserved for residents.
Harmon said the university will start enforcing parking permits Sept. 3.
“This gives this week and next week, enough time for students to get the information and register online and then visit our office in order to pick up their parking permit,” he said.
He said the parking permit registration link did not work, because of a necessary update from Omnigo, the parking permit registration software.
“Because of that we are creating a definitive grace period,” he said.
Kinesiology junior Cody Everett said he has been parking in the city lane parking spaces for two semesters. He said he decided to buy the city lane permit, even though the walk is inconvenient.
“It’s kind of annoying. It was the only free parking that we had,” he said.
“I understand that you gotta do what you gotta do,” he said. “A whole year I didn’t have to pay for it, but it’s whatever.”
Communication senior Aricela Mendez said she has been parking in the city lane slip-lanes since summer 2017 and that she’s graduating in the fall semester.
“I feel that it’s kind of unfair because you are paying tuition to go to this school, so why do we have to pay for parking?” she said.
She said she has never minded the walk from parking in the city lane parking spaces, since she arrives 30 minutes before class starts.
“It wasn’t beneficial for me to buy the $60 city lane pass,” she said. “I just bought the $40 commuter since it allows you to park in the city lanes and student parking lots as well.”
Harmon said the university previously did not have the ability to charge fees or enforce the area. He said working with the city took a year and that parking in the city lanes is on a first come, first served basis but is offered at a discounted price.
He said his department reached out to the City of San Antonio to collaborate on a shared revenue system and that the university will do all of the legwork and enforcing.
“We basically took everything off of their hands, and the only thing we didn’t take was ownership,” he said.
He said the university has held the responsibility of maintaining bushes and city streets, which has cost up to $101,000 annually. He said he expects to generate more than that figure with the new funds coming in. Revenue generated from permits or fees will also go toward the facilities budget.
“We do plan on doing additional security footage that would be out there, and then also being able to funnel some of the money to the actual development of the campus lots,” he said.
Justin Barrow, information technology major and student worker for the Jaguar Fitness Center, said he used to be a resident and occasionally parked on Jaguar Parkway, but now he parks in Lots 2 or 3. He said the change is a little excessive and that he doesn’t like the pricing.
“I think it’s a little steep, but there’s nothing I can really do,” he said. “I have no power to change it and I need somewhere to park so it is what it is.”
Harmon said he will have daily reports on people who have their permits and start enforcing based on the information.
“We want to make sure to give that value back to the students. They did what their responsibility was,” he said.
He said someone who uses a parking spot without a permit is taking it away from a student who could have legally parked there.
“We want to do right by those students that are responsible and buy a parking permit, make sure we penalize those that don’t follow the system,” Harmon said.
Parking without a permit or failure to display a current permit can lead to a citation fee of $60, according to the university website.
Harmon said people on campus should not have to worry about what adjustments are made.
“Parking should be an afterthought,” he said. “You should buy your parking permit once and you should just, ‘Oh that’s where I need to park and I should just do it.’”
He said parking should be user friendly since it’s an auxiliary service.
An auxiliary service is any service on campus that is not academic that still provides support services to the campus, according to Juan “Johnny” R. Guevara IV, assistant manager of Auxiliary Services at A&M-San Antonio.
Harmon said parking is an important service on campus.
“You can’t have a university without parking lots,” he said. “Same thing as you can’t have an H-E-B without a parking lot.”
He said it was a big impact a few years back when the university raised the parking permit prices from $60 a year to $90 a year. He said the university is planning to build a funding reserve to construct Lot 4 when the time comes.
“Permit rates naturally rise as you build more lots because you are accumulating more debt, but if you build a reserve you’re building a cushion,” Harmon said.
“We want to make sure we’re looking at things strategically to collect that revenue and never make such a severe jump again,” he said.
Biology freshman Briana Alvarado said it’s upsetting for some people and investing in a parking permit depends on how long a student is at the university throughout the week.
“I guess it’s a good way to bring the campus money and to help our campus grow bigger than what it is now,” Alvarado said.
Students, faculty and staff can register their vehicles online and parking permits can be purchased online and picked up at Parking and Transportation Services in the Central Academic Building, Suite 117. For more information, call 210-784-CARS (2277).
Kevin Castro contributed to this story.
Permit Registration Link:
Citations Fees link:
For more information on 2019-2020 parking permits: