We’re moving toward the middle of the fall semester, which means that almost every college student has dealt with a crucial issue at least once. No, we’re not talking about midterms or a paper that just doesn’t want to get done. We’re talking about parking options on college campuses, which tends to be frustrating at best, and expensive at worst.
But do you know what options you really have when it comes to your monthly parking options? Or are you limiting yourself by following official university protocol? Here are some options, along with recommendations on how you can make the most of them.
1) Park on Campus
It seems like the most obvious solution, but it also tends to be the most frustrating. Parking on college campus, particularly in and around Chicago, can be difficult. Often, you have to get a permit, which can cost you hundreds of dollars. But even if it’s free, you’re limited to a select few lots that are often tediously far away from your dorm or classrooms.
Of course, especially as the weather turns, that can become a significant problem. Parking on campus is almost never easy, and there is not much you can do about it to improve it. Some campus do offer premium parking spaces in more convenient spots such as a garage, but you will have to pay for those.
2) Take Your Chances Without a Permit
Given the above challenges, students increasingly park on college campus without a permit. That tends to lead to two options: use limited visitor spots, or simply forego the permit to hope that campus security doesn’t catch up to you.
The first, naturally, comes with the exact challenges as parking with a campus. In fact, these challenges may be even worse: your selection will be even more limited, which can lead to increased frustration. But taking your chances while parking illegally is even more problematic. Naturally, we advise against it, not only because it’s illegal but also because campus security doesn’t tend to treat repeat parking offenders kindly.
3) Park Around the City
Especially in large metropoles like Chicago, parking options around the city can actually be more convenient and beneficial than on-campus options. Of course, you have to make sure that any spot you reserve (or meter you frequent) is close enough to campus to ensure a reasonable from classes to your car and back.
At the same time, this option also presents a number of challenges. For starters, you now compete not just with other college students, but working professionals in the city for the same spots. In addition, the most convenient options tend to either go quickly or be expensive.
4) Consider Peer to Peer Parking
Most college students consider the above three to be their only choices for parking around campus. But what if we told you that you actually have another option that can beat all of them? We’re talking about peer to peer parking, the process of contacting someone who owns a parking spot in your neighborhood directly to secure a convenient parking spot.
Consider it the AirBNB of parking: anyone who owns a parking spot can make it available on a free parking app, while you can find spots near a location convenient for you. Cutting out the commercial entity means increased flexibility, and significantly lower prices.
Are you interested in a parking option for your college campus that does not require significant expenses or inconvenient locations? If so, you should seriously look into peer to peer parking. An app like ours, for example, simplifies the process for both parking spot owners and drivers to allow you to easily find a spot that fits your needs. Contact us to learn more.