PARTA to begin selling passes for downtown garage


PARTA Parking Garage

Kristen Kobe

PARTA’s campus bus service will begin selling student permits on July 1 for the parking garage located in downtown Kent for the 2014-2015 school year. 

“We have some open time during the day [and] we want to fill the deck up, so we decided to go ahead and allow students to use the deck,” said Frank Hairston, director of marketing and public service for PARTA.  “It’s a great chance for them to park their car, ride the bus and get to campus.”

The PARTA parking garage opened to the public during summer 2013 and is located on North Depeyster Street in downtown Kent, a central location for anyone interested in visiting downtown Kent or campus.  

Selling parking passes to students has been in the works for quite some time, said Parking Services Manager Larry Emling.  Parking Services is the campus liaison with PARTA, and both work close together and have done so for years, Emling said. 

“We didn’t see it as a threat to our services at all,” he said.  “If their classes are located on that side of campus, it’s probably closer parking than we can provide.”

The student permit will allow students to use the deck that is just a quick bus ride or walk to campus, Hairston said. 

“In the winter and in the rain your car is protected,” he said.  “It’s under the deck and we hope that some folks will take advantage of this.”

There is a limited number of passes available for students who are interested in buying a parking permit.

Junior fashion merchandising major Taylor Anderson said that she would buy a permit if it were a better price.  Anderson currently lives at University Edge and said she would rather catch the bus from there to her classes in Rockwell Hall. 

Emling said that despite the possibility the PARTA parking passes would take sales away from Parking Services, the benefits to the students outweigh the loss to the campus.

“It’s serving the Kent State student population and we see it as a win-win situation,” Emling said.  “If students can park there and get good convenient parking at a reasonable cost, then we have no objections to that.”

Parking is available Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.  Permits go on sale July 1 for $150 for the fall and spring semesters.

Contact Kristen Kobe at [email protected].