Parking Cost Inequality Revealed

While neighboring districts pay $30-$50 for student parking per year, Triton students pay $180

November 13, 2019

Triton High School parking lot as it appears from a bird's eye view (Google Earth photo)

Google Earth Image

Triton High School parking lot as it appears from a bird’s eye view (Google Earth photo)

     Triton students such as junior, Andrew Babine are tired of paying the excessive cost of parking when other schools in the area charge less than half the amount Triton does.

     With the cost of a parking pass for the school year being $180 many students have no choice but to pay for daily parking. With the upcoming fundraising event for the junior class, many students will not be able to paint a parking spot without an annual pass. 

     Students can purchase a parking pass for the whole year, for $180. However, since not all students can afford the cost of a parking pass they must pay $1 per day. One proposal is that students can pay per quarter or semester, if they cannot pay it all up front. 

“Paying by quarter or semester would make it more affordable for many students,” said Babine.  

     Across the America, a majority of a public schools charge students for parking, according to The San Diego Union Tribune. Students have no choice but to purchase a parking pass or pay daily because there is  nowhere else to park. Since Triton is a public school, presumably, the parking lots are paid for by the state and the taxpayers. However, “(Public schools) charge a fee because they’re taking advantage of a captive market,” according to Texasscorecard.com. Many students’ parents work full time and if they are not able to take the bus, driving themselves to school may be their only way of transportation, giving them no choice but to pay for parking, whether they can afford it or not. Many public schools can take advantage of the fact that students will pay the cost of parking, no matter how expensive because it is the only place to park. 

“Not every kid has $180 lying around. Most students have to earn it themselves.””

— Andrew Babine

 

   Similar to Triton, some schools in our area have the option to pay for parking annually instead of all up front or paying for it weekly, such as at Georgetown High school. However, their cost of parking is only $30 for the whole year. In addition, Ipswich High school is also only $50. These schools can afford parking lot maintenance such as plowing and putting down salt but Triton’s parking is still at almost triple surrounding school’s costs. Because of this major gap in prices it leaves students and faculty to wonder where the money from parking goes to. According to Triton Superintendent, Brain Forget the money collected from parking fees goes toward general funds for the school.

       “While there is no one that wants to charge the fees, we simply haven’t found a way to recoup the money we would lose if we were to remove fees altogether,” said Forget. 

     Although Forget has pushed for the price to be decreased there is no way to eliminate the price or significantly lower it all together. However, it has been discussed to change the way students are allowed to pay.

      In efforts to try to raise money for events such as prom, junior-senior breakfast, etc. the junior class is setting up a day for students to paint their parking spots. However, according to junior class advisor, Jamie Richards only a small number of students have signed up. This seems to be the result of the high cost of parking, so some students don’t even have a spot to paint. 

“We decided to create the fundraiser because many students wanted to paint their parking spots. Although, the price of a parking pass and painting a parking spot is costly students don’t realize this is the lowest price we can charge in order to make a profit,” said Richards.

     Some local schools in the area, such as Amesbury and Newburyport High School allows seniors to paint their parking spots before the first day of school, which inspired Triton to use the idea as a way to raise money for the Junior class. However, along with the cost of a parking spot students must pay $25 to paint their spot and supply their own paint. The lack of students painting a parking spot is likely due to the fact that students are not willing to pay over $200 for painting a parking spot. 

     Babine, along with other students have grown weary of paying parking fees because the school doesn’t inform them of where there money is going. Since Triton’s parking lot has already been paid for by the state and taxpayers it leaves one to wonder why the school needs to charge so much for parking when they already gain revenue from other student fees and expenses. 

How do students want to pay for parking?

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