Thursday, March 5, 2015

Increased enrollment has lasting effects on transportation.

By: Elisha Colip

SAN MARCOS- Students face complications with transportation, both parking and campus shuttle, to and from class due to increased freshman enrollment for the 17th year in a row.

The fall 2014 enrollment was at 36,790, over a thousand-student increase in one year according to a press release from President Denise Trauth. Higher enrollment means even less parking for those already attending the university. With the influx of students, the city of San Marcos is also changing, attempting to grow with the university.

“The town of San Marcos just feels like it’s shrinking. Traffic is getting worse; places are getting more packed and even campus feels crowded,” said Alexandria Woodward, a senior at Texas State.

There are various parking permits that you could register and the prices vary. On campus parking permits range from $115 to $485 for a calendar year and the shuttle fee that you pay each semester is $95, according to the parking services website. With these prices, you are still not guaranteed a desirable spot on campus, or for the busses to be on time.

“I didn’t even get a parking pass this year, just because you still can’t find a place to park most of the time. I think the busses are doing as good as they can,” said Trent Richter, a senior at Texas State.

Freshmen suffer from the parking crisis in particular, living on campus they are forced to park on campus if they have their cars with them here.

“I live in Blanco and right next to my dorm there was all this parking and it was awesome, but now they are building another hall [and] there will be more students so they decreased the parking. I’m paying a lot of money for that parking pass and I have to drive around for 10 minutes to get a spot,” said Shayna Middleman, a freshman at Texas State.

Students rely on there being parking and the shuttles being on time to get to class. The growth of the university has made it hard to be on time to class according to Eric Dittmar, a senior at Texas State. There might be other options out there to accommodate the students and faculty of Texas State in the parking crisis. Like many students, Amanda Wood commutes, parks at Bobcat Stadium and then takes the shuttle to class from there.

“Sometimes the bus schedule doesn’t really work because they don’t have very many busses late at night… I think the longest I’ve waited for a bus was like an hour because they were only running one bus for Bobcat Stadium,” Wood said.

Even with a ‘park and ride’ like system, the busses are still not reliable enough to get the students places on time. The university sees the growth as a positive reflection of the quality of education they offer, but not all students agree that the university should continue to grow.

“I think Texas State should change its requirements and make it just a little but harder for people to get in. This town isn’t big enough for this capacity of students,” Woodward said.

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