Student Government seeks Boca Raton beach parking deal

SG’s proposal would have the university purchase up to 500 passes to provide students free parking at Boca Raton beaches.


Spanish River Beach. Take some time to unwind at one of the nearby beaches this winter break. Photo by Alexander Rodriguez

Sofia De La Espriella, Contributing Writer

Hundreds of FAU students could have free access to beach parking by Spring 2023 if Student Government representatives can come to an agreement with Boca Raton city officials.

The proposal, led by Chief Financial Officer Reilly Bridgers, includes the university purchasing up to 500 parking passes for students that will allow access to Spanish River Beach, Red Reef Beach, and South Beach Pavilion. Bridgers says SG hopes to present the finished proposal to the Boca Raton Council in September.

“The main reason why we are doing this is because students want it,” Bridgers said. “And mainly because, as the feedback we got within the survey, this would be great for our students’ mental health, especially during finals season.”

To calculate the number of students who would actually use the pass, SG conducted a survey during the Spring 2022 semester to determine interest in the possible partnership. 

Of the 463 students who took the survey, 74.5% of them said they would use the parking pass multiple times a week.

SG plans to pay the Boca Raton City Council the full rate per pass, which is $57 per year. This is the first time SG has fully funded the initiative, though it was discussed in past semesters.If approved by the city council, SG will pay the city an upfront cost of $28,500 for 500 individual passes.

“Our proposal aims to purchase passes from the city using SG funds already set aside, and then distribute those passes to students at no cost to the student. Thus, the city receives revenue and the student receives the pass for free,” said Bridgers. 

Because there will be a limited number of passes available, the beach parking program will prioritize students who take at least 50% of their coursework on the Boca Raton campus, who utilize the beach the most through extracurricular activities or from their major, and those who have a history of volunteering at the city of Boca Raton.

“Our main goal this year is to have a strong relationship with the city, mainly because FAU is a huge part of the Boca community,” said Kathaleen Kelly, SG’s director of governmental relations. “In addition, it is important because members of the city council and representatives are the ones who make decisions that will impact our lives and so having strong relationships with these members of the government will be extremely beneficial for our students’ interests and the FAU community.”

Sofia De La Espriella is a contributing writer for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or message her on Instagram @sofidelaespriella