A new task force aims to advocate for improved parking and commuting options for students.
The Undergraduate Students Association Council approved creating the Parking Advocacy Task Force, proposed by the Financial Supports Commission last week to shed light on commuter issues on campus. The task force will consist of five appointed members, including two co-chairs and three appointees, who will act as liaisons to campus offices such as the Bruin Resource Center.
Financial Supports Commissioner Aaron Boudaie said the task force will highlight different commuter concerns and build connections with administrators in UCLA Transportation, among other offices.
Boudaie, who ran on a platform of advocating for commuter students, said he created the task force because he thinks commuter issues are not addressed on campus.
“Commuter students are really underserved and underrepresented,” Boudaie said. “The commuter experience needs improvement.”
Boudaie said the task force will help bring commuters’ concerns to the USAC table, and will be responsible for providing monthly updates on its progress and future plans.
“After the task force is created, it should be able to tell USAC ‘Here’s how you’re failing and here’s what you should be doing differently,’” Boudaie said.
He said he thinks one of the biggest issues commuting students face is limited parking space availability. He added he thinks parking spaces are also unaffordable, with current daily passes for students costing $12, and permits costing $243 per quarter.
“A lot of times students won’t get a permit because undergraduate students are not given priority to receiving permits,” Boudaie said. “But when they do, there are days where there is no space and they still have to find parking elsewhere.”
Boudaie also said commuters who use alternative forms of transportation, such as public transit, may find the hours or stops inconvenient. Boudaie said he thinks this inaccessibility leads to less commuter involvement on campus.
“Commuter students are less involved in spaces of leadership on campus,” said Boudaie. “A lot that commuters have to deal with isn’t talked about.”
Some students said they think the university should provide more resources to commuter students.
Jessica Harouni, a third-year psychology student, said she thinks it is often difficult to find parking during the day.
“If you get here in the middle of the day, you can’t find parking,” she said. “And it’s expensive – I paid over $200 this quarter.”
Yazmin Olivera Martinez, a fourth-year psychology student who commutes around two hours every day, said she thinks the university should make it easier for students to get permits.
“It’s really hard in the fall to get a permit,” Martinez said. “We don’t have enough space – the school should invest in more parking.”