How do SMU parking tickets work?

Who hasn’t gotten a parking ticket at SMU? I, for one, have gotten one almost every semester I’ve been here. From having your sticker on the wrong side to parking on the wrong level of the right lot, your parking mishaps could cost you anywhere from $30 to $300. But where does all that money go?

According to SMU’s head of parking, Mark Rhodes, SMU parking enforcers write around 20,000 citations a year. With new license plate recognition technology in the works, this number is expected to rise significantly.

Parking citation revenue covers parking enforcement and the campus safety escort service. Rhodes said no tuition money goes to paying for our multi-million dollar parking garages, the campus safety escort program (previously known as Giddy-Up), and parking enforcements. Any leftover revenue, according to Rhodes, goes into a capital reserve account for long term construction and facilities projects.

“The idea is we’ll put ourselves out of business. The more we have compliance, the less we have enforcement revenue,” Rhodes said.

Rhodes considers half a million dollars in citation revenue to be the baseline to cover parking enforcement and the escort services.

Many students, when faced with a ticket, consider the appeals process. The appeals process was once an in-person committee, but it is now an electronic form. The Daily Campus recommends that the parking office be transparent with the student body. Online, it is not easy to navigate to information on what violations are and what fines result from it.

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Photo credit: TheDigitel Charleston