Parking fines resulted in over half a million dollars in 2019

WSU Transportation Services issued over 17,000 citations in 2019



Parking permits accounted for 51.5 percent of WSU Transportation Services’s revenue in the 2019 fiscal year, according to the WSUTS financial report. Parking citations fines made up 10.5 percent of the year’s revenue

CAMERON SHEPPARD, Evergreen reporter

WSU Transportation Services generated more than half a million dollars in revenue from parking citation fines alone in the fiscal year of 2019, according to its financial report.

Over 17,000 parking citations were written in fiscal 2019, according to the WSUTS report. They totaled to $555,613.

Parking fines made up 10.5 percent of WSUTS’s 2019 revenue, but the largest portion of its revenue is generated from sales of parking permits, which make up 51.5 percent.

WSUTS Associate Director Chris Boyan said parking violation fees are not used as a major revenue source for the department, but they are necessary for protecting permit holders.

“In a perfect world, if everyone was honest, they would not be necessary,” Boyan said.

WSUTS has roughly 22 parking enforcement officers currently employed, most of which are part-time, Boyan said.

Within the last year, WSUTS has also adopted license plate recognition technology to help make writing citations a more efficient process for parking enforcement, he said.

Despite not having used the license plate recognition technology for a full year, WSUTS issued 1,342 more citations in fiscal 2019 than the year before it, according to the WSUTS report.

Cameras on parking enforcement vehicles can quickly scan license plates as they drive through a university parking lot. Boyan said the scanners recognize which license plates are not registered to parking permits that authorize vehicles to park at the location.

Boyan said parking enforcement officers are alerted to which vehicles are recognized to not be permitted in the lot and are prompted to investigate the vehicle further before writing a citation.

“This way, more vehicles are actually looked at,” Boyan said. “It is a lot quicker.”

Boyan said those who wish to contest the citations can do so through a process of appeals.

“Appeals are really important to us and our patrons,” Boyan said.

He said the appeals process gives people a chance to voice complaints, argue their case and receive proper due process.

Boyan said the appeals committee is made up of eight to 12 members who first individually review appeal cases, but if an unsatisfactory decision is made, a person can choose to appeal again.

During the re-appeal, the entire committee reviews that single case. If a person is dissatisfied with the decision of their appeal, they can choose to take it to district court to be reviewed by a judge.

Boyan said on average 80 to 90 appeal cases are reviewed a week and about five re-appeal cases occur within the same time span. He said only two to three appeal cases a year are taken to district court.