By Jessica Gruenling
Published: March 25, 2021
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - On Thursday, Texas A&M confirmed a letter had gone out to disabled veterans saying they would have to start paying for parking on campus.
The university says it will now cover that cost.
The letter was sent out by Texas A&M Transportation Services. The department is facing a $16 million budget shortfall because of COVID-19. The department doesn’t receive funds from tuition or other fees, instead they’re funded by people paying to park on campus. With fewer events this year they face a deficit.
Disabled veterans weren’t the only ones facing new payments, transportation services plans to also now charge retirees and the media as well. Faculty and students may also see increases depending on what parking permit they have. The department said 16 percent of customers will see a higher than average increase then in normal years, but there are other options for them.
They also made cuts internally. The department is in a hiring freeze and eliminated 28 positions, it’s also postponing or canceling capital projects for at least the next two years.
Debbie Hoffmann, director of transportation services, says they’re grateful the university will cover the cost for disabled veterans.
“We honor and are so thankful for their service. It was a very hard difficult thing to come to a decision that we may have to charge them even half the usual rate. It’s such a relief, and such a joy really that the university will be able to cover that centrally,” said Hoffmann.
The university will also cover the cost of those who are retired or retire before Aug. 31 of this year.
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