Scooter sales in Gainesville continue to rise, despite the price increase for scooter and motorcycle decals at UF last semester.
Since August, students have paid $144 a year and $72 a semester for the decals, the same amount they pay for car decals. In the 2010-11 school year, the decals cost $96 a year and $48 a semester.
However, the store owners at New Scooters 4 Less and SwampCycles both said scooter sales are going up.
At Solano Cycle, Manager A.J. Wallace said more students are buying scooters because they are cheaper, they use gas more efficiently and they are easier to park on campus than cars.
Ben Stein, a 20-year-old political science sophomore, said he enjoys being able to park his scooter next to Library West and walk to class.
"For the money you pay for it," he said, "it's way worth it."
Scooter and motorcycle decal sales at UF were also unaffected by the price increase.
Ron Fuller, assistant director of UF Transportation and Parking Services, said the number of students who bought yearlong scooter or motorcycle decals between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31 increased from 1,969 in 2010 to 1,990 in 2011.
Fuller said he thinks the decal sales keep rising because students still want the conveniently located spots reserved for smaller vehicles.
Bernard Johnson, a 22-year-old Spanish senior, said last semester's price increase was a financial struggle for him.
"If you're going to change [the price] for one vehicle then you should change it for the others as well," he said.
Fuller said scooter and motorcycle decals originally cost less than car decals because parking services wanted to encourage students to use the smaller, more sustainable vehicles.
However, a 2006 survey of students who bought the decals found that most students would walk, bike or ride buses if they didn't ride scooters. Students who ride scooters to campus tend to make eight to 10 trips a day, whereas car drivers park and then walk or ride buses around campus.
Driving a car to campus is actually more sustainable than riding a scooter from class to class, Fuller said, so the department decided to make the decal prices the same.
After compromising with Student Government, the price increase was phased in throughout the last three years.
Scooter decal prices increased from $96 a year and $48 a semester to $144 a year and $72 a semester in August.