By Diana Park
CCC Journalism Program
Student parking rates for a full semester at the CCC Camden City campus parking garage range from $130 to $270, unlike the Blackwood and Cherry Hill campuses, which have free parking lots.
Marketing Specialist Jason Love works for the Department of Business Services at the Camden City campus and oversees the parking garage. “Student parking rates were determined by the pricing of other parking garages in Camden,” says Love recently. He notes Rowan and Rutgers students, along with commercial businesses and other institutions, pay a higher rate than CCC students.
Love explains much of the cost goes toward structure upkeep because of the wear and tear of the parking garage, along with software, hardware and daily operations. He also points out a small part of the parking fee goes toward the new tax the city of Camden has imposed on parking garages – a tax that goes toward the demolition of vacant buildings to improve the city.
Tiffany Pinto, an education major at Camden County College, pays a little more than $200 per semester in parking fees. Pinto says the cost of parking is equivalent to the cost of a college textbook. “I think it’s very high. It’s ridiculous,” she says.
Pinto complains she often has to park on the seventh or eighth level of the garage because by 9 a.m. no spots are available on the lower levels. Despite that, she says she has never found herself without a parking spot, even though the garage is shared by many.
County Safety Officer Gia Roman, a pre-nursing student at Camden County College, also considers the price of parking to be pretty high. “If you’re a full-time student, it is priced fairly, but it’s kind of unfair for students who are only here for two classes,” she says. Although she is exempt from paying the parking fee because she works for the college, she is sympathetic to those who do have to pay.
Roman has evening classes four nights a week and appreciates the added security of having cameras, emergency boxes and adequate lighting in the garage. “You don’t have to worry about your car getting broken into … the security will walk you to your car at night if needed,” she says.