TUCC students face parking issues

Validation system problems recently caused headaches for TUCC students. Management is working to correct them.

Students who take classes at TUCC recently found themselves forced to pay $8 more for guaranteed discount spots at the Centre Square garage at 15th and Market streets.

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WALBERT YOUNG TTN The Centre Square garage, across Market Street from TUCC, offers $5 evening and weekend parking for students.

In an e-mail sent to TUCC students the last week of October, Associate Director William Schreiber addressed technical difficulties with the validation process for the garage. Some students who have parked there after 3 p.m. on weekdays or during weekends, times when discounted parking in guaranteed, were being charged $13 instead of $5, according to his e-mail.

If the price comes up as $13 after inserting a validated ticket, Schreiber urged students to cancel their payment and notify a Central Parking employee to have their ticket knocked down to $5.

Centre Square Parking Manager James Urso noted the efforts he and his staff went through to alert students about these technical difficulties.

“[Central Parking employees] have posted signs on the payment machines reading ‘Attention Temple Discount Parkers,’ which provide specific directions on how to correct the miscalculation,” he said. “More importantly, we have provided TUCC with discount validation tickets to use until the technical problem is properly diagnosed and corrected.”

This technical difficulty has added to the frustration TUCC students are experiencing with the Centre Square Garage. Other than this malfunction, many students expressed dissatisfaction with its fare rates and parking times.

Central Parking charges $5 a space for Temple students for parking between 3 p.m. and midnight weekdays and up to 12 hours on weekends, Urso said. Before 3 p.m. weekdays, students must pay the regular fees to use the garage.

“I think [the fare] should be $5 all day, especially during the SEPTA strike,” senior human resource management major Joe McEvoy said, adding that he does not like the rule that students cannot park at the discounted rate until after 3 p.m.

Senior Elina Shklovin echoed McEvoy’s opinions. Shklovin, also a human resource management major, said she was frustrated with parking at TUCC.

“Spots are tight,” she said, adding that the time rules for discounted parking were an inconvenience.
“I think it should be open from morning until night because people who have night classes have to come in early to do assignments, and it’s not fair to make us pay $29,” Shklovin said.

Other than these issues, students have much to complain about. Urso acknowledged he and employees received complaints from students regarding the TUCC security staff, claiming they have refused to validate their ticket which had correct entry time and a valid Owl Card for identification.

Schreiber said he was unaware of these complaints. He stressed the rules set in place, which prohibit students from using the parking garage at its discounted rate for anything other than Temple-related activities, including class, faculty appointments, meetings and lab use.

Senior risk management and insurance and legal studies major Kendall Givens said she recently started taking advantage of the discounted parking at TUCC and was thankful for the garage.

“I wish it was free, but it’s OK,” Givens said. “At least it’s a place where we can park for just temporarily.”
The Centre Square garage is privately owned and managed by Central Parking, but has a partnership with TUCC. Another garage in the area, Expert Parking’s location on Market Street at 17th Street, also offers the discounted rates to students for night and weekend parking at TUCC.

“[The partnership between the Centre Square garage and TUCC was] probably based on location and convenience to TUCC,” Urso said, noting that he was unsure of its actual origin.

Schreiber said the garage is very beneficial to TUCC students.

“Temple has had a relationship with Central Parking for many years, and there have been very few problems,” he said. “When I distribute the parking information over the TUCC student listserv at the beginning of each semester I often receive replies from students saying how much they appreciate the discounted rate of $5.”

Lena Van can be reached at lena.van@temple.edu.

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