Things about parking services you previously didn’t know

Parking Service’s major goal is to reduce the number of cars coming to campus. As has been made clear, they’re too busy doing their job to specifically target people as a sort of Parking Nazi.

Reducing the number of cars means offering alternative means of transportation or more efficient means of vehicle storage.

Parking Services has a biennial contract with People Mover that allows students, staff, and faculty with an active Wolfcard to ride the bus for free. The 2009/2010 contract that just expired was 16,000 dollars for both years. Glenna Muncy, Director of Parking Services, said that this was a great deal for the university.  Annual bus passes for adults are about 500, Muncy said. With some 15,000 students, the literal expense would be 7,500,000 dollars a year.

The 10 dollar transportation fee students pay goes to fund the People Mover contract and the shuttle program, but the total still does not cover the fees for both these programs, Muncy said.

Other than bus depots, UAA has some the highest number of bus stops in the city. And those affiliated with UAA are making use of the pass. According to the office of Lance Wilber, the director of public transportation for Anchorage, during the spring semester, the daily average of people using their Wolfcard was 1,400.

Parking Service’s most visible contribution to reducing campus congestion is the latest parking garage. When ConocoPhilips pledged 15 million for science and engineering programs at UAA, the money only covered construction costs, and not the federally mandated pre-requisite—parking space. In 2010, Parking Service paid for the university’s second parking garage behind the CPISB building.

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Parking Service continues to encourage students to ride their bikes. They are spreading word about The 7th Annual Bike to Work Day. The event includes many upsides, such as free bacon from Spenard Roadhouse and free showers at the Alaska Club (showing your helmet gets you into the locker rooms)

Parking Services also works with the Cycling Seawolves, a group connected with the Office of Sustainability. Last year, they had 331 riders participate in Bike to Work Day. Registration for the team is still available.

And with bikers in mind, the upcoming Health Science Building designed two showers on its second floor where commuters can clean up before work or class.

Parking Services is also a big fan of carpooling. They will be the first organization in the state to use HertzConnect. For around 8 dollars an hour, students 18 and over can rent a car or small SUV. This price includes gas and insurance. The program will begin with two cars, and adjust depending on its success. The department may or may not include a hybrid.

ZimRide, the national ridesharing program, is increasingly popular at UAA. In its first month, 40 users joined. Those affiliated with UAA can join through Facebook.

+++Other Services, other facts

For 15 years, Parking Services’ call team members have offered safety escorts, jump-starts, and vehicle unlock services. Parking services has 5 full time staff and 15 call team members, who are divided into dispatch and enforcement units.

In 1991, the university decided that it was fair if staff and students pay the same rate. Parking is not enforced on Friday and the weekend to encourage community events. And during the week, events opened to the public can apply for a lot that will not be enforced. The most recent example was the Chancellor’s farewell party on April 14.

The first parking garage was constructed in 2002.