OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — UNO students Mark Jareo and Jesse White have a few things in common: both study music, hold parking permits and are frustrated with their situation — parking near the Strauss Performing Arts Center.
"It doesn't guarantee you a spot either if you're in any of the parking garages. You just get to park there, but if it's already full, it's like, you're paying that much money for a hope you're on time," Jareo said.
How much do they cost? Student permit prices range from $149 to $299 for the year. Faculty permits are between $350 and $575. The costs for parking hits staff hard, including custodial supervisor Cornell Sudduth Jr.
"They take it out of your paycheck deduction. I think it was around $7 to $11 a paycheck. I get paid twice a month. That's like $20 to 30 dollars a month that could be used for something else," Sudduth said.
The price hike averages a little more than a dollar a month for faculty, staff and students. But why are these increases happening?
"Right now, as you can see, we're doing very extensive repair on the lower level of the east garage here. We're also doing an extensive repair on our west parking facility. Also, we're doing repairs on our asphalt and concrete lots. It's a very modest increase," said UNO Assistant Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance Jim Kamm.
There are garage and surface lot options for permits and different price ranges. For those struggling to find a space in a surface lot, Kamm suggests investing in a parking garage.
"The university invested extensively in a new parking garage, the Pacific C parking garage, several years ago. That has never hit full occupancy," Kamm said.
Students like White just want a break when it comes to parking.
"If you want to park right next to the building — even like, right behind where we're standing — you have to use Park Omaha and pay for those spots on the day per hour as well. So it's like this endless revenue stream for them," White said.
UNO clarified that if you have a parking permit, you don't need to pay Park Omaha. It's just another option for the same lots.
"I don't know why we even have to pay for parking when we're already giving money for tuition and books and things like that," White said.
For more info about permits, click here.