Frequently Asked Questions

Got questions? We have answers.

 

 

The following is a list of commonly received questions regarding parking.

Revised: November 2019.

 

  • Why do I have to pay to park?

    Parking Services is self-funded--it does not receive funding from the state or tuition. Revenue generated from permit sales and citations funds parking lot improvements and construction, campus safety, security, police services, lighting and surveillance cameras in the parking areas, circulator transit routes, and operations.

  • Why can’t my parking permit be included as part of tuition?

    By law (see Texas Education Code, Sec. 54.503(b)), parking fees cannot be included as part of tuition.

  • Why do parking permit rates increase?

    Additional revenue is necessary to fund future parking improvements. This allows for investment in parking expansion, technology such as parking lot counters that will make finding parking easier for students, and security enhancements such as installation of LED lighting in parking lots.

    We are cognizant of price sensitivities regarding fees and compare UTRGV permit rates to other institutions before recommending permit rate changes. In FY 2017, the average cost for surface lot parking among 9 Texas public institutions was $182 and UTRGV had the lowest parking permit rate at $80 for Zone 2. This ranking has remained relatively stable as most institutions increase permit rates annually.

    UTRGV’s Zone 1 permit rate of $60 has not increased since UTRGV’s inception.

  • What is the approval process for parking permit rate increases?

    Recommendations to increase parking permit rates are voted upon by the Parking and Traffic Advisory Committee (“PTAC”). PTAC membership consists of representation from Student Government Association, Faculty Senate, Staff Senate, Facilities Management, Police Services and Parking Services. The purpose of this Committee is to a) review parking and traffic regulations, b) develop recommendations for regulation revisions, as necessary, and c) to develop an efficient parking and traffic system as it relates to differential parking zones, parking fees, penalties for violations of regulations, arrangements for bicycles, motorcycles, and pedestrian traffic.

    On January 19, 2017, PTAC voted in favor of increasing Zone 2 rate by $20 each of the next three years. Zone 2 rate increases from $60 in FY 2016, $80 in FY 2018, $100 in FY 2019 and $120 in FY 2020. However, FY 2020 rates will not change from their FY2019 levels. 

    Additional rate increases have also been made for Zone 5 Administrator permits (increased from $356 in FY 2016 to $495 in FY 2018) and Zone 3 Employee permits (increased from $156 in FY 2017 to $200 in FY 2019).

    There will be opportunities for community engagement before future permit rate increases, if any, are implemented.

  • What is the difference between Zone 1 and Zone 2 parking permits?

    All students have the option to purchase Zone 1 or Zone 2 parking permits. This allows students to make their buying decision based on proximity and price. Semester permits are also available for students to purchase. Please see the Parking Rate Card  for applicable rates.

    At $60 for a 12-month period (averages to $5 per month), a Zone 1 parking permit is the most affordable option and allows students to park in remote parking lots.The VOLT vehicles make trips from and to the remote parking lots providing students with FREE rides to designated drop-off locations on the Brownsville and Edinburg campuses. Students can download the Ride Systems mobile application to see when the next bus will arrive. View the Ride Systems app for more information. If you don’t mind walking, Zone 1 parking is about a 10-minute walk to the campus core on the Edinburg campus.

    At $100 for a 12-month period (averages to about $8 per month), Zone 2 allows students to park in parking lots that are closer in proximity to academic buildings. Zone 2 permit holders can also park in Zone 1 areas at any time.

    After 5 pm, students with a Zone 1, Zone 2 parking permit can park in Zones 1, 2 or 3 (employee parking).

  • Are there enough parking spaces for those who purchase a parking permit?

    We continuously analyze supply and demand for parking spaces, redistribute spaces across zones depending on use, and recommend additions.

    The current parking industry standard ratio for permits to spaces is approximately 3:1. UTRGV’s parking ratio is approximately 2:1.

  • Are there plans to add more parking?

    We are working to identify possible expansion opportunities for Fall 2019 - Spring 2020.

    Highlights from previous semesters include:

    • Fall of 2018: 224 Zone 2 parking spaces were added in Edinburg located between Van Week and Schunior, on the north side of the College of Education.
    • Fall 2017: Parking lot B4 added 295 Zone 1 parking spaces in Brownsville. This parking lot is located across from Casa Bella student housing, on the corner of FJRM Avenue and Tyler Street.

     

     

  • Why hasn’t UTRGV built parking garages?

    UTRGV assesses supply and demand for parking on a continual basis. While it may become a necessity in the future, there are currently plenty of underutilized parking spaces (Zone 1 specifically). Cost for construction of a parking garage, at minimum, would cost in the neighborhood of $20,000 per space. (For purpose of comparison, a surface lot costs an estimated $3,500 per space.) Funding such a structure would cause permit prices to increase substantially (remember, we would not receive state or tuition funding to pay for the garage) and would not result in the same quantity of spaces that could be achieved with surface parking. Many Texas public universities with parking garages sell parking permits in the range of $400-$600.

  • How will the extra funds from parking rate increases benefit students?

    Parking Services is one of the university's self-funded auxiliary departments.  We receive no tax dollars or tuition fees to support our parking operations.  As revenue is generated, we make investments in such items as lighting, technology (parking lot counters, surveillance cameras, LPR), mobile applications, and pay stations. This is in addition to any plans to expand parking and to fund ongoing operations.

  • During peak times, where can I find open parking spaces?

    Zone 1 often has the most open parking spaces, particularly during peak periods of the day. Peak periods are generally between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Thursday. The VOLT vehicles make trips from and to the remote parking lots providing students with FREE rides to designated drop-off locations on the Brownsville and Edinburg campuses. Students can download the Ride Systems mobile application to see when the next bus will arrive. View the Ride Systems app for more information.

    Students with a UTRGV parking permit can also park in any Texas Southmost College (TSC) student parking space on the Brownsville campus.

  • Where can I purchase my parking permit?

    The UTRGV Parking Portal is available for students to purchase their permits or pay for citations online. To access the UTRGV Parking Portal, click here.

    Parking permits can also be purchased in person at the following Parking & Transportation Office locations:

    Brownsville Campus: BVAQP: Building A

    Edinburg Campus: EASFC 135

    Effective Fall 2018, student parking permit purchases will be posted to your student account (along with tuition and fees). This allows for students to buy now and pay later. They can either offset the cost with financial aid or pay online in ASSIST.

  • I heard that employees can purchase their permit as a pre-tax benefit. What does this mean?

    This pre-tax benefit is available only through payroll deduction for qualified parking permits, as defined by the IRS and established by UTRGV. Appropriate deductions will be made before federal, state, Social Security, and Medicare taxes are calculated. As a result, your taxable income is reduced, as well as the taxable income reflected on your annual W-2 statement. An employee’s gross pay will not change, but the amount of pay subject to tax withholdings will be reduced. The effect is that employees will have an increase in their net pay because less tax will be withheld from their pay.

  • Where can I Find the Rules and Regulations?

    Parking Rules and Regulations can be found on our website, under Parking Policies. 

  • Do I have to buy a permit if I’m parking after 5:00 pm or on the weekends?

    Any vehicle parked on university property must display a permit at all times, except on weekends and university approved holidays that require campus closure. 

  • At what time can I park in Zone 3/Reserved spaces?

    “Reserved” spaces, also known as “Zone 3”, can be used by Zone 1, Zone 2, and resident permit holders on Monday through Friday after 5 PM, on Saturdays and Sundays, and on holidays unless otherwise marked. Note that a parking permit is required at all times when parked on campus.

  • Can I park in a visitor space if I’m a student?

    No, these spaces are solely for visitors and neither a Zone 1 or Zone 2 permit will allow you to park in visitor spaces. Visitor spaces are for the use of official guests to the university, those who are not affiliated as a student or employee.  A visitor permit is required at all times. 

  • Is there an evening parking permit?

    Yes, the evening permit is available to students taking classes only after 4PM.  Evening permit holders may park in Zones 1 & 2 after 4PM and in Zone 3 after 5PM.
  • Where are the zones?

    A map of zones and their locations can be found on our website

  • I drive a convertible. What do I do?

    As a general rule, you shouldn't’t leave your convertible with the top down in any parking lot. However, if this is what you want to do, we can assign you a nonrenewable sticker.

  • If I forget to transfer my permit from one car to another, can I still park on campus?

    A valid permit is required to park on campus at all times. For those times when you forget your permit you must obtain a temporary permit at the Parking and Transportation office.  Current permit holders may obtain up to 5 free days per semester, thereafter, a dollar per day will apply. Refer to the Parking Rules and Regulations for more information about limitations.

  • What happens if my permit is lost/stolen?

    You should immediately report the permit as lost/stolen and call the Parking and Transportation office. In some cases you may be asked to visit our office.

  • Can I loan or sell my permit to someone else?

    No – the permit is assigned to the individual who purchased it. If a fellow student or staff member requires a permit, encourage them to purchase their own.

  • If I live on campus, in a residence hall, Casa Bella, or The Village, do I need to purchase a parking permit?

    Yes, you do. A resident parking permit is required to park in all residence spaces. 

  • How do I upgrade/downgrade my permit?

    Eligible permit changes (for example, going from a Zone 1 to a Zone 2) can be handled at our offices. You must bring the current permit and pay any difference in the fee.

  • What should I do if I haven’t received my permit yet?

    When you ordered your permit you should have received a confirmation email. Check that email to see if the permit was erroneously sent to a different location that you intended. Thereafter, you must report the permit as lost/stolen and come to our office for issuance of another permit.

  • What should I do if I am having problems with ordering a permit online?

    If you are having problems ordering your permit online, you can always come by our office or contact our staff for assistance at parking@utrgv.edu or 956-665-2738 in Edinburg or 956-882-7051 in Brownsville.

  • Can I get a refund for my permit?

    You can obtain a refund on a pro-rated basis depending on how long you’ve had the permit. More details can be found in the Parking Rules and Regulations at www.utrgv.edu/parking. Refunds are not issued for student permits after the 12th class day in which the permit was purchased. Employee permit refunds are determined by the number of weeks/months it was used at the time that it is returned.

  • When is the deadline for refunds?

    Student permit refunds are issued only up to the census date (12th class day) of the semester that the permit was purchased. Employee permit refunds are issued upon exiting the University. No refunds are issued after the Spring semester.

  • How can I qualify for a accessible permit?

    You don’t need a specific permit to park in an accessible space. Simply use your government-issued placard or plate; you must also have a UTRGV parking permit displayed.

  • What will happen if I do not pay my campus parking citations?

    Those with outstanding citations are subject to having a hold placed on their records and transcripts and their vehicles wheel-locked or towed. In addition, they will be ineligible to purchase a new permit.

  • Who may appeal a ticket and how many days do I have to appeal it?

    Anyone may appeal a ticket they feel was wrongly issued on our UTRGV Parking Portal. Appeals should be submitted within 10 calendar days, starting with the issued date of the citation.  It may take several weeks to receive a judgment depending on the volume. During the time your appeal is being considered you will not be charged any late fees.