By MARTY LEVINE
Pitt’s parking administrators used a Staff Council Spotlight Session on March 6 to unveil the results of a commuter survey of 6,200 Pitt community members — 43 percent of them staff members — and to speak about a few hoped-for improvements to everyone’s commute.
Kevin Sheehy, assistant vice chancellor for Auxiliary Operations and Finance, said Pitt has plans to replace the 390 parking spaces now unavailable due to the removal of the O’Hara Parking Garage and the blockage of some spaces on University Drive for construction — but such plans are still being finished.
Jonathan Pearson, director of mobility, assured that the University has no plans to eliminate the free bus and light rail rides now offered through Pittsburgh Regional Transit.
He also said that Pitt hopes to institute transient campus parking and is working on a system whereby Pitt community members can reserve selected spots for a single day and even at mid-day.
“We did think that shared and set-day permits would be more popular when they were rolled out on campus,” he added, since the former allow two to three drivers to split a week’s parking by each selecting specific days, and the latter allow a single driver to pay for only a few days per week. He suggested that departments can get presentations from his office on these options and can work with his office to maximize their use.
The University is planning to move to license plate recognition technology for tracking those entering garages, rather than the current hang-tag, in the future, he also announced.
Sheehy noted that the University still needs to find more and better ways to serve commuters from outside Allegheny County, and that the University plans to “explore a pilot satellite shuttle route direct to campus” from an area “with challenging transit commutes.”
Vanpools are one current option, Pearson said: the service also now offers a smaller van for five to seven passengers (as opposed to the original eight- to 12-passenger van). Eight vanpools are currently looking for members: Belle Vernon/Rostraver; Monroeville; Robinson; Irwin; McMurray; New Kensington; Sewickley; Canonsburg/Washington.
Pearson also reported that 250 drivers were offered parking permits from the still-lengthy parking permit waitlist.
Findings of the commuter survey
Day(s) of the week for your normal commute to campus:
Monday-Thursday: 69.5-75.4 percent
Friday: 60.7 percent
Saturday-Sunday: 0.7-9.6 percent
Round trips to campus on a normal day:
1: 87.6 percent
2: 9.6 percent
3+: 2.8 percent
Stops during your commute:
Errands: 36.9 percent
K-12 school: 9 percent
Childcare: 8 percent
Dropping off someone: 7.8 percent
Picking up someone: 6.7 percent
Other: 3.7 percent
Top destination on campus:
Cathedral of Learning: 6.8 percent
Salk Hall: 5.5 percent
Scaife Hall: 5.1 percent
Benedum Hall: 5.1 percent
Posvar Hall: 4.6 percent
Public Health buildings: 3.6 percent
Biomedical Science Tower 1: 2.7 percent
Victoria Hall: 2.7 percent
Biomedical Science Tower 3: 2.6 percent
All other buildings: Less than 2 percent each
Method of getting to campus:
Single-occupancy vehicle: 48.9 percent
Public transit/shuttles: 18.2 percent
Walking, bicycles, scooters: 7.9 percent
Shared-occupancy vehicle: 6.1 percent
No commute – remote work: 19.1 percent
Why choose to drive alone:
Schedule requires it: 54 percent
Commitments before/after coming to campus: 50.9 percent
Public transit takes too long: 49.8 percent
Live too far away: 33.9 percent
No public transit in my area: 21.3 percent
Where is your vehicle parked:
Pitt-owned space: 57.2 percent
Street: 22.1 percent
Public garage or lot: 19.3 percent
Varies: 12.6 percent
Other: 7.5 percent
Private parking agreement: 7.2 percent
Park and Ride: 4.3 percent
Pitt parking permit:
Yes: 57.8 percent
No: 42.2 percent
Flex work arrangement:
Yes: 67.6 percent
Of these (1,766 responses):
Work remotely 2-3 days per week: 46.2 percent
Variable schedule: 19.4 percent
Work remotely always: 13.8 percent
Work remotely 1 day per week: 8.6 percent
Work remotely 4 days per week: 8.4 percent
Other parking statistics:
Spaces on campus pre-pandemic: 4,722
Spaces on campus currently: 4,332 (with O’Hara Garage and some University Drive street parking removed)
Parking permits, currently: Staff and faculty, 2,611; students, 771
Number on waitlist: 3,358
ParkMobile spaces on campus: 376
Marty Levine is a staff writer for the University Times. Reach him at email@example.com or 412-758-4859.
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