By Derek Nesbitt
The Lansing Star
LANSING — Lansing Community College students expressed concerns Monday, Oct. 29, about public parking in Lansing and how big of an expense it can be for college students. But it turns out the students were unaware of parking discount cards available to the public.
Anyone, including students, may use the discount card known as the V.I.P card for parking structures at any time, which allows a discounted rate of 70 cents per hour, according to Lansing Parking Services supervisor Susan E. Wyatt.
Wyatt also said it would be less expensive for a student attending school or someone working in the downtown area to park in a structure during the time period of class or work, while errands would be easier to run parking a vehicle at a meter instead of a parking structure.
According to the city of Lansing Parking Services website, parking rates vary by location and facility.
Student Aireyana Jones said parking in Lansing can be ridiculous with rates that are too high for college students driving to campus to attend class.
“Lansing is a city where kids go to school and are expected to pay high rates for parking such as 65 cents an hour, which is high for a college student like myself,” said Jones. “Sometimes when I finish two classes in one day, I spend almost $10 on parking because Lansing Community College has no student parking.”
Jones said before leaving home each day, she tries to remember to gather enough change for meters so she can avoid parking tickets but also tries her hardest to avoid driving to campus for that specific reason.
“I try not to drive to campus by riding with someone else so I don’t have to worry myself about parking tickets because of parking meters,” Jones said.
Andrea Bozeman, 18, a business administration student at Lansing Community College, also said she tries to get to campus other ways besides driving to avoid tickets.
“Taking the bus or traveling by foot would be the best way in my opinion to avoid meter and structure parking, so I sometimes find myself trying to catch a bus, which is mostly unsuccessful because I never get up early enough,” Bozeman said.
Bozeman said if she doesn’t have enough money for meter or structure parking, she often finds herself parking in a handicap spot to avoid being late to work or class, while still being concerned about parking tickets.
For the sake of college students, Bozeman said she’d eliminate meter parking in Lansing because of the hassle it causes local students in the area.
“Scrambling up change to go to class is hard and complicated so I wouldn’t have meter parking. It would be free to park on the streets or in structures,” Bozeman said.