Parking problems on the rise
17,854 spaces on campus, more coming soon
Published: Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 17:09
It can be difficult to find parking on campus with approximately 60,000 students enrolled, especially with less than a third of that number of parking spaces available to date. Certainly not all students are on campus at the same time and not all students even park on campus. However, it can still be a battle to find a parking spot at UCF.
This is why a new parking garage will soon be added to the menagerie of the 10 already existing garages and 32 parking lots. The garage is to be built on Libra Drive, and construction should start in about a month. It will provide an additional 1,080 parking spots, said Kris Singh, director of UCF Parking and Transportation Services.
Right now there are 17,854 parking spaces. Of them, 15,726 spaces are for cars, 236 are for motorcycles, seven are hybrid spaces and the remainder comprises drop-off/pick-up, metered spaces, service spaces, ROTC, biomedical, etc. With students still having trouble finding spots, the extra 1,080 spots the new garage brings are definitely needed.
“I always park on campus, but I sometimes have trouble finding a spot in the morning starting around 9,” said Catherine Juliano a junior studying criminal justice. “I live an hour away, so I have no choice but to park on campus.”
Peak times for parking madness are generally between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Parking and Transportation Services asks students who are able, to try to find alternative transportation instead of using their personal vehicles.
“We did not have any parking issues this semester but more of a traffic and roadway backup. We encourage students to utilize shuttle buses to and from campus to help with that,” Singh said.
For students who live closer to UCF, the other options for travel to and from campus include the 36 shuttles that serve 18 apartment complexes, the Rosen School of Hospitality Management and the Health Sciences campus. There is also Zimride, a complimentary social networking program that offers student, staff and faculty the flexibility to share rides to various destinations, Singh said. Also, students are allowed to park in the faculty and staff lots after 5:30 p.m.
“I normally park on campus. I transferred from Valencia, and parking at UCF is much more difficult than Valencia. I purchased a parking decal for the semester, but if I ever needed to, I would ride a bike to campus over taking a shuttle,” said Greg Voda, a junior studying advertising/public relations. “The decal wasn’t cheap, so I plan to use it.”
Yes, the price of decals has gone up again this year. The cost of a student parking pass is $95.88 — a $1.88 increase from last year. However, the increase is arranged each year because the revenue from decals supports many facets of the parking and transportation services at UCF. So far, a total of 32,511 parking decals have been sold this school year.
“The cost of permits is scheduled to increase up to 5 percent yearly. Parking is an auxiliary department; we are self-supporting and not funded by the state. Revenues from parking passes pay debt on eight parking structures, employee salaries [not raises], maintenance, equipment, etc. Revenues from parking permits pay for Parking and Transportation Services’ everyday operations,” Singh said.
Whether students have purchased a decal or not, there are many options to help speed up the parking process on campus. In order to learn more about Parking and Transportation Services’ alternatives to parking at UCF, such as the shuttles and Zimride, go to its website at www.parking.ucf.edu.