GPSA discusses transportation issues

Students must vote to increase transportation funding; RSO registration deadline moved to Friday



Chris Boyan, Transportation Services interim director, discusses parking options and fees.

ALEX MCCOLLUM, Multimedia editor

The Graduate and Professional Student Association voted during a Monday night meeting to appoint Priyanka Upadhyaya as the senator-at large for the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences. 

The university has intentions to listen to students’ concerns but there are still many unheard voices, Upadhyaya wrote in a statement.

“I want to bridge that gap and help students voice their concerns and hopefully work with the university for coming up with solutions,” she wrote.

Chris Boyan, Transportation Services interim director, and Gabby Rodriguez, Transportation Services demand management supervisor, both spoke at the meeting about how the department functions.

Funding for maintenance, capital projects and operations comes entirely from parking fees and tickets, Boyan said. The department does not receive state or federal funding, grants, nor any funding through tuition.

Transportation Services applies for a 5 percent increase in the transportation fee students pay to GPSA and ASWSU every year. This is supposed to help the department keep up with inflation, Boyan said.

GPSA and ASWSU must both approve the increased fees, and then take the issue to the student body in a referendum. This makes it difficult to increase the fees, especially when students already feel inundated with other fees, Boyan said. As of March 2021, students pay about $36.08 per semester, according to a Daily Evergreen article.

Transportation Services also offers the AMP parking app where users can set how long they would like to stay at a paid parking spot. They can add time to their parking if they need to. This option is good for students who may not come to campus as frequently, Boyan said.

Transportation Services tries to help drivers on campus by allowing some exceptions to parking violations. If a driver has a difficult time operating the AMP app and receives a ticket as a result, they can appeal to the Parking Appeals Committee, Boyan said.

Many graduate students have had issues with the bus tracking app recently adopted by Pullman Transit, said Senator Sam Fleischer. The app has lagged for users in showing updated bus locations and schedule times. 

While Transportation Services has not received many complaints about this issue, Pullman Transit has, Rodriguez said. He plans on bringing the issue up with the Pullman Transit managers.

Chair of Grants Arian Karimitar said she has heard complaints about lack of shelters at bus stops on the new routes. Transportation Services will also be looking into temporary bus stop shelters for the spring semester, Boyan said.

The deadline to apply for spring semester funding for Registered Student Organizations was moved from Monday to this Friday, said Vice President Marwa Aly.

The GPSA programming committee is hosting trivia night 6-8 p.m. Friday on Zoom, said programming chair Ajay Barman. Trivia questions will be oriented toward international topics to be more inclusive. 

The Nov. 29 GPSA meeting will be in person, Aly said. President Kirk Schulz will speak at the meeting.