Highline needs attractive rides

By Thunderword Staff

Parking at Highline is annoying. Everyone around campus seems to always have something to say about parking.

Rush hour for parking at Highline is between the hours of 10 a.m. and noon. Some would suggest arriving at school earlier, however, not everyone can get to school earlier. Even then, if everyone got to school early there would still be a problem with parking.

Highline has come across an issue that can't be resolved by building a parking garage. The state will not give Highline money to do that. Building a parking garage is very expensive. Students often ask "why doesn't the school building a parking garage?" A parking garage at Highline would cost $20 million if not more.

Now there's another interesting fact about Highline. Highline has been trying to be more green. Being more green partly involves encouraging students to ride public transportation. Riding the bus is far more green than driving your own individual car.

Highline could address the chaos of parking and being more green by encouraging students to ride public transportation more. They could do this by reimbursing students with more money for riding the bus.

Student parking permits fees vary depending on the number of credits you take. For a part-time student that is taking five or less credits it's $29. For a student taking six or more credits the fee is $46.

But public transportation can be more expensive. If the student is over the age of 18 they have to pay on average $2.50 per bus ride. If the student rides the bus twice in a day, their spending on averages $5 per day. Now if the student rides the Monday through Friday and pays $5 per day their total comes out per week to be $25. On average there are 10 weeks per quarter. So the student is spending $250 per quarter just on public transportation.

Students at Highline who ride public transportation are paying on average far more then students that get a parking permit, at least up front.

ORCA cards are offered by Metro and other local transit agencies. ORCA has the ORCA Lift, which is for low-income riders. The card of cost little to nothing at all if the riders qualify. With ORCA Lift, riders get to ride for 50 percent or less on the different types of transportation.

ORCA also offers one-month passes that cost anywhere from $18 to $207, with which you could ride the bus as many times as you want without getting money deducted like in using the E-purse. To get more information on the monthly pass go to https://orcacard.com/ERG-Seattle/p1_001.do. In the E-purse the minimum amount you can store is $5 and the maximum amount you can store is $300.

Highline offers to reimburse up to 15 percent but not to exceed $17.55 for students who are using an ORCA card. In order to receive your reimbursement, you must fill out a reimbursement form. The reimbursement form can be found at https://safety.highline.edu/student.orca.php, along with the instructions of where to drop off the form and how long it will take for you to receive your check.

Nonetheless getting a parking permit is currently cheaper than riding public transportation. Highline needs to make it more attractive to ride the bus by raising the amount of money students get reimbursed.

The main point of all of this is that riding public transportation is expensive. Highline should encourage students to ride public transportation but at the same time reimburse students more money than they give right now.

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