UNLV Students’ Parking Predicament in a Campus Enveloped by Construction

UNLV Cottage Grove parking lot.

UNLV students don’t want to pay for parking, and most can’t afford it. With the streets around UNLV in constant construction, students face a frustrating drive. However, many students’ frustration is continued when trying to park on campus. UNLV students and college students nationwide are expressing their dissatisfaction with the need to pay for parking. Their concerns range from the absence of shaded parking, receiving parking citations for backing into parking spaces, to the inconvenience of walking to and from their vehicles.

According to UNLV’s Parking and Transportation services, there are many ways for students to pay to park daily, weekly, monthly, for one semester, for both semesters, or annually. These prices, in order, are $6, $12, $23.50, $105.75, $211.50 and $282, but which option is the cheapest for students?

If a student is coming to campus 2-4 days a week, buying the fall semester pass will be cheaper. Compared to the daily, weekly and monthly passes, the pass costs significantly less for five months of on-campus parking. The same fact goes towards buying the pass for both semesters compared to buying it monthly, weekly or daily. 

However, is the pass still affordable for the student? The minimum wage in Las Vegas is $10.50 an hour, and an average fast-food worker makes $13 an hour. If a UNLV student is paid bi-weekly and working part-time, they make between $420-$520. Therefore, an annual parking pass is above their budget. Still, a semester pass may be doable if the student is financially able. If a student cannot buy a parking pass, UNLV offers free parking and other solutions.

“UNLV Parking and Transportation Services provides a free parking facility, Lot S, situated at the intersection of University Center Drive and Harmon Avenue. Additionally, in collaboration with the RTC of Southern Nevada, we extend a 50% discount on bus passes to students utilizing public transportation… Moreover, the university allocates a limited number of free RTC bus passes, prioritizing distribution based on demonstrated financial need,” according to an employee for Parking & Transportation at UNLV. The Parking & Transportation homepage also lists alternative transportation methods for students who do not drive or cannot afford a pass. Transportation alternatives include Rideshare, Flixbus, U-Pass and Club Ride Program. More information can be found at unlv.edu/parking.

Nonetheless, students who buy the parking pass face frustration at parking on campus. UNLV has 31 lots and three parking garages (all not open to student use). Tropicana, Cottage Grove and University Gateway Parking Garage make up the shaded parking on campus. These are the most popular spots to park, especially during the summer.

So where can students find non-crowded parking? According to a Parking & Transportation employee, “over 3,000 empty student spaces are available.” These spots are mostly parking lots south and west of Thomas and Mack Center (Gray Lot/Lot M) and the lot south of the Stan Fulton Building (Lot T). 

With over 3,000 open spots to park on campus, students may be more willing to pay for a parking pass. Still, with the minimum amount that many students in Nevada are making, paying for parking may be more of a strain. Students should not have to pay to park on a campus surrounded by never-ending construction projects and traffic. Students work hard for their money and use their spare time to work while continuing school. Students shouldn’t worry about a hidden fee from a university they attend and should be able to park stress-free.


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