Parking on campus costs more at GW than other D.C. schools, study says

Parking at GW costs more than at most D.C.-area schools, according to data in a recent AAA study.

Though the survey said parking on campus costs $550 per semester on average, parking services officials said overnight parking at the University Parking Garage is $1,700 per year, including 12 percent D.C. parking tax.

Students pay $240 to park at Howard University for the school year, and it costs students at American University $964 per year, according to AAA. GW’s neighbor, Georgetown University, does not allow students who live on campus to park there, according to a Washington Post article.

The GW parking services Web site says all students are discouraged from bringing vehicles to the Foggy Bottom campus, and University policy states that freshmen and sophomores are prohibited from bringing vehicles and parking them in either Foggy Bottom or West End neighborhoods.

John Townsend II, AAA mid-Atlantic’s manager of Public and Government Affairs, said 72 percent of college students own or have access to a car for personal use.

“Students can pay a ‘pretty penny’ just to own and operate a car and to park it on campus and to cover all the other incidentals – the cost of insurance, car care, repairs, and other expenses – that invariably come with having a car,” Townsend said in a AAA press release.

Senior Jessica Sblendorio does not have a car at GW, partly because of the cost of parking on campus. “It’s way too expensive to do that,” she said.

Sblendorio makes use of Zipcar, a program that students can use to rent cars by the hour. She has been using the program since she was a sophomore, and Sblendorio said most of her friends use Zipcar too.

“With Zipcar, insurance and gas costs are included,” Sblendorio said. “I think it’s a lot easier than paying for parking.”

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