The University of Maryland, College Park, will begin offering students parking permit discounts for "green" cars.
Starting in the 2008-09 academic year, students who own a car that can get 37 or more miles to the gallon will be able to purchase a "green" parking permit.
The permit will cost two-thirds of the regular permit price for both commuter and resident students.
While the overall price of parking will increase by 4 percent, students qualifying for the green permit will still be paying considerably less. The increase in prices is not related to the discount.
Commuter students will pay $213 for a regular permit and $142 for a green permit; a resident student will pay $412 regularly or $275 for a green permit.
David Allen, director of Transportation Services, predicts that the department will lose up to $20,000 due to the discount awarded to green permits.
He hopes that the green permit opportunity will allow students to reduce their carbon footprint. The budget strain will be able to be absorbed.
The University will not put a limit on the number of drivers who can apply for a green permit, but if demand is too high, the administration may have to reevaluate the program's qualifications.