BRIANNA SCHUTZ/Montana State News
Enrollment is spiking at Montana State University, just as it is on many campuses around the nation. But the availability of parking is not keeping up with that enrollment growth. Students often express their inability to find spots if they do not get to campus before 8 a.m. classes begin.
MSU freshman Hannah Prester expressed her frustration by saying, “I paid 159 dollars for a parking permit and still drove around parking lots for over 15 minutes searching for a spot which then resulted in me being late to class and forced to sit on a concrete floor for its entirety because the class has been allowed to be overenrolled.”
Hannah is not alone in her concerns about our parking issue.
When surveyed about parking, students had a lot of suggestions and opinions on our parking situation. Many students that have purchased premium parking permits are often being forced to park in other lots or spend 15 plus minutes searching for spots, occasionally resulting in being late for class. Parking garages, underground parking garages, or a separate long term parking lot for residence hall students were all suggestions to help alleviate the parking problem.
Building a parking garage or additional lots may not be an immediate solution. MSU and Bozeman could consider some options that other schools of our size have begun using. The University of Montana, Northern Arizona University, and Weber State all have very efficient bus systems set in place. When asked about the buses used in Missoula to get from various locations in town to the campus Montana student, Kylee Watkins said, “Oh yeah, our bus is great. They pretty much run all the time, you don’t really have to wait very long and they take you all over. It’s definitely a reliable way to get around.”
University of Montana has a parking permit with a reduced price that promotes car pooling, an option to help have less cars on campus for a discounted student price.
Edited by Jesse Powell.