What can we do about the cost of accessible parking permits for students?

Date: June 2021



You may or may not be aware of this, but staff are able to obtain an accessible parking (AP) permit for significantly less cost than students for the exact same AP permit (staff: $359.85 vs. students: $752.86 per year). It seems completely unreasonable that students are charged hundreds of dollars more (literally more than double the price) for the same parking pass. I am a graduate student with a severe and permanent physical disability, and the current price for students is unreasonable for any type of disability accommodation, especially since staff are charged significantly less for the same accommodation. 

Here is a previous Ask a Dean question and response regarding a similar topic. It is stated in the answer that: “Short-term accessible parking permits are available to graduate and professional students at the same level of support as for faculty and staff.” Does this not include long-term accessible parking? Obviously, it felt important to include that information in the response, but it is extremely misleading. The rates of accessible parking are not even close to equal for the annual accessible permit.

I pay thousands of dollars per year on medical bills and other health-supporting services and products because of my disability. Allowing transportation services to charge even more for an accommodation is discriminatory. And putting most of the burden on disabled students is reprehensible, in my opinion.

I would like the student passes to be the same, lower price as employees. I understand why we pay for parking, and I appreciate the work that goes into maintenance of parking lots. But if it was decided that $359.85 covers that cost, then that is what everyone should be charged.

Please let me know what we can do about this issue.

Thank you,
Concerned Student


Dear Concerned Student,

I forwarded your inquiry about student ADA parking to Bridgette Brady, sr. director, Cornell University Transportation and Delivery Services. She reported to me that a committee is working on the university’s ADA program to evaluate, among other things, equity. Below, please find her response to your question:

“During a recent evaluation of the ADA parking program, the Transportation team concluded that AP permit prices must be modified to be consistent for all Cornell students, faculty, and staff and to be equivalent to the cost of a perimeter permit. This change will take effect on July 1, 2021. The entire ADA permit issuance process is still under evaluation to determine additional areas for improvement of service and efficiencies.”

Thank you for asking your question. I hope this response is helpful to you.


Kathryn Boor

Kathryn J. Boor
Dean of the Graduate School and Vice Provost for Graduate Education