Dude, Where's My Car?

    While Pedal Club requires a commuter’s commitment to bike to school and register a bicycle for $6, cyclists in the club receive an Occasional Use parking permit good for any 10 days of one quarter. Also, Pedal Club members may receive up to three rides home in times of emergency through the Guaranteed Ride Home program.
    Carpool and vanpool users receive many of the same benefits as Pedal Club members including Occasional Use parking permits and access to GRH services. As an added incentive, carpoolers can park in a number of prime designated spots throughout campus. T’amp;PS facilitates the search for same-routed commuters through an online ride-matching service.

    For alternative commuters who find themselves without a car on campus when they need one, Zip Car rentals are available through T’amp;PS. Zip Cars are rentable for $9 per hour or $66 per day; these fees include gas and insurance. A $35 annual membership fee is also required of students, staff and faculty.

    Each of these options attempts to combat three major hurdles facing both commuters and the university, which include commute costs, sustainability and parking capacity according to Curt Lutz, Commute Solutions and Marketing Manager.

    ‘Commute costs are the first place many people must look to reduce their monthly expenditures,’ Lutz said in an e-mail. ‘The costs of purchasing, insuring, maintaining, fueling and parking a private vehicle can be a large part of anyone’s monthly budget.’

    Because these alternative solutions take many single-occupancy commuters off the road, a sense of environmental accountability is also championed by those involved in alternative transportation on campus.

    ‘The other major portion of what we’re trying to do here is we’re trying to put less pollution into the air,’ d’Autremont said. ‘In the last three years, we put around 2,000 people into buses and other [types of] public transportation that used to be in single-occupancy cars. That saves around 500 tons of pollution.’

    Along with cost and sustainability, alternative transportation stands to alleviate long-term parking capacity issues. According to a report published by Sam Corbett, assistant director of T’amp;PS, between 2001 and 2008 campus population increased by nearly 26 percent while parking occupancy only increased from 11,893 to 12,304 occupied parking spaces on average over the same period ‘mdash; an increase of 4.1 percent.

    ‘As the campus grows over time, ground lot parking areas are often the site for new campus structures, as those less expensive surface lots disappear, the decision to build multilevel parking structures is a huge financial commitment with costs running at many thousands of dollars per space,’ Lutz said. ‘Ultimately the cost for this parking capacity falls on the end user.’

    The All Campus Commuter Board, a student-run organization aimed at voicing the concerns of student commuters, also advocates the use of alternative transportation despite being largely left out of the policy-making process.

    The board has participated in transportation issues in the past, opposing the construction of a new parking structure that would raise student parking fees during last year’s Transportation Policy Committee’s annual meeting. However, they were not asked to participate in the most recent Transit Subsidy Survey concerning the allocation of transportation funds. According to d’Autremont, the survey still included student input.

    ACCB Director of Programming and Earl Warren College senior Kari McNickle said the board is looking forward to the survey results so it can begin working on future programs.

    ACCB members also attempt to address the concerns of driving commuters by discussing possible solutions to the 80 percent occupancy rate of the campus’ approximately 16,000 total parking spaces. These suggestions include the reallocation of parking spaces to create more ‘S’ spaces out of unused ‘A’ spaces or the possibility of restricting freshman parking on campus. The ACCB recognizes that despite the monetary or environmental advantages of alternative transportation, some students continue to favor the convenience involved in driving to campus.

    Earl Warren senior Lindsay Sheridan, a resident of the UTC area, opted to purchase a parking permit this Fall Quarter and drove to school for early morning and evening excursions to campus rather than taking a school shuttle or public bus.

    ‘I only drove when I had 8 a.m. classes,’ Sheridan said in an e-mail. ‘The other time it is beneficial is if I have classes after 4:30 p.m. In that case, I really enjoy having a permit since I can park in A and B spots, because I really don’t like taking the shuttle home at night.’
    Lutz implores commuters to re-examine their notions of convenience and weigh their commuting options carefully.

    ‘There is a choice involved to change the way one commutes and there are benefits to each choice, including how you look at flexibility,’ he said.

    The success of T’amp;PS’s alternative transportation programs in helping to change the habits of over 50 percent of campus commuters is not limited to UCSD. Many universities look to T’amp;PS’s example to ease parking congestion and reduce their own carbon footprint.’

    ‘UCSD is pretty much a benchmark for other universities,’ d’Autremont said. ‘I get calls almost every week about how we’re doing things. [Universities] from all over the nation like Virginia, Penn, the University of Miami, University of Texas, Austin. There are a lot of people trying to learn.’

    Readers can contact Joanna Cardenas at [email protected].

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    During peak hours, students sometimes begin hunting for a parking spot as much as a full hour before scheduled classes ‘mdash; spiraling up and down the Gilman or Pangea Parking Structures, driving from lot to lot around campus loop and shamelessly stalking students who give the slightest indication that they may be leaving for the day. While many UCSD commuters accept this fate, slumped behind their wheels until they find a coveted on-campus parking space, more than half of campus commuters are now looking to alternative forms of transportation as their primary means of getting to UCSD.

    According to a survey conducte
    d last Winter Quarter by the Department of Transportation and Parking Services, UCSD reached a record high in public transportation with over 50 percent of student, staff and faculty commuters using alternative programs offered by T’amp;PS. According to T’amp;PS Director Brian d’Autremont, the university has gone from 66 percent single-occupancy commuting in 2001 to 49 percent in 2008. He attributes this shift to the cost-effective array of alternative transportation now available.

    ‘The university, for a very long time, has tried to get people here and try to save them money if they can, and the way we do that is having a huge menu of different programs so that people can pick what works for them,’ d’Autremont said.

    These alternative methods now extend beyond the widely used campus shuttles and the free MTS routes. Pedal Club, carpools, vanpools and daily rental Zip Cars contribute to the growing number of commuter solutions at UCSD.

    While Pedal Club requires a commuter’s commitment to bike to school and register a bicycle for $6, cyclists in the club receive an Occasional Use parking permit good for any 10 days of one quarter. Also, Pedal Club members may receive up to three rides home in times of emergency through the Guaranteed Ride Home program.
    Carpool and vanpool users receive many of the same benefits as Pedal Club members including Occasional Use parking permits and access to GRH services. As an added incentive, carpoolers can park in a number of prime designated spots throughout campus. T’amp;PS facilitates the search for same-routed commuters through an online ride-matching service.

    For alternative commuters who find themselves without a car on campus when they need one, Zip Car rentals are available through T’amp;PS. Zip Cars are rentable for $9 per hour or $66 per day; these fees include gas and insurance. A $35 annual membership fee is also required of students, staff and faculty.

    Each of these options attempts to combat three major hurdles facing both commuters and the university, which include commute costs, sustainability and parking capacity according to Curt Lutz, Commute Solutions and Marketing Manager.

    ‘Commute costs are the first place many people must look to reduce their monthly expenditures,’ Lutz said in an e-mail. ‘The costs of purchasing, insuring, maintaining, fueling and parking a private vehicle can be a large part of anyone’s monthly budget.’

    Because these alternative solutions take many single-occupancy commuters off the road, a sense of environmental accountability is also championed by those involved in alternative transportation on campus.

    ‘The other major portion of what we’re trying to do here is we’re trying to put less pollution into the air,’ d’Autremont said. ‘In the last three years, we put around 2,000 people into buses and other [types of] public transportation that used to be in single-occupancy cars. That saves around 500 tons of pollution.’

    Along with cost and sustainability, alternative transportation stands to alleviate long-term parking capacity issues. According to a report published by Sam Corbett, assistant director of T’amp;PS, between 2001 and 2008 campus population increased by nearly 26 percent while parking occupancy only increased from 11,893 to 12,304 occupied parking spaces on average over the same period ‘mdash; an increase of 4.1 percent.

    ‘As the campus grows over time, ground lot parking areas are often the site for new campus structures, as those less expensive surface lots disappear, the decision to build multilevel parking structures is a huge financial commitment with costs running at many thousands of dollars per space,’ Lutz said. ‘Ultimately the cost for this parking capacity falls on the end user.’

    The All Campus Commuter Board, a student-run organization aimed at voicing the concerns of student commuters, also advocates the use of alternative transportation despite being largely left out of the policy-making process.

    The board has participated in transportation issues in the past, opposing the construction of a new parking structure that would raise student parking fees during last year’s Transportation Policy Committee’s annual meeting. However, they were not asked to participate in the most recent Transit Subsidy Survey concerning the allocation of transportation funds. According to d’Autremont, the survey still included student input.

    ACCB Director of Programming and Earl Warren College senior Kari McNickle said the board is looking forward to the survey results so it can begin working on future programs.

    ACCB members also attempt to address the concerns of driving commuters by discussing possible solutions to the 80 percent occupancy rate of the campus’ approximately 16,000 total parking spaces. These suggestions include the reallocation of parking spaces to create more ‘S’ spaces out of unused ‘A’ spaces or the possibility of restricting freshman parking on campus. The ACCB recognizes that despite the monetary or environmental advantages of alternative transportation, some students continue to favor the convenience involved in driving to campus.

    Earl Warren senior Lindsay Sheridan, a resident of the UTC area, opted to purchase a parking permit this Fall Quarter and drove to school for early morning and evening excursions to campus rather than taking a school shuttle or public bus.

    ‘I only drove when I had 8 a.m. classes,’ Sheridan said in an e-mail. ‘The other time it is beneficial is if I have classes after 4:30 p.m. In that case, I really enjoy having a permit since I can park in A and B spots, because I really don’t like taking the shuttle home at night.’
    Lutz implores commuters to re-examine their notions of convenience and weigh their commuting options carefully.

    ‘There is a choice involved to change the way one commutes and there are benefits to each choice, including how you look at flexibility,’ he said.

    The success of T’amp;PS’s alternative transportation programs in helping to change the habits of over 50 percent of campus commuters is not limited to UCSD. Many universities look to T’amp;PS’s example to ease parking congestion and reduce their own carbon footprint.’

    ‘UCSD is pretty much a benchmark for other universities,’ d’Autremont said. ‘I get calls almost every week about how we’re doing things. [Universities] from all over the nation like Virginia, Penn, the University of Miami, University of Texas, Austin. There are a lot of people trying to learn.’

    Readers can contact Joanna Cardenas at [email protected].

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