By SUSAN JONES
As staff begin returning to campus, the Office of Parking, Transportation & Services is continuing to adapt.
“As we see shifts in how and when people commute to campus, COVID-19 has caused us to accelerate the transformation of parking and mobility on campus,” Kevin Sheehy, assistant vice chancellor for Auxiliary Operations and Finance, said in an email.
The $5 daily parking rate will remain in place at current locations through ParkMobile, based on space availability. The free ParkMobile app offers contactless payments for daily parking at designated locations. It is available through the app store, through the parkmobile.io website or by calling 1-877-727-5281.
“We are continuously monitoring parking vacancies across campus, with OC and SO (Soldiers & Sailors) facilities being the primary parking locations,” Sheehy said.
The RA lot at Ruskin Hall also is available at a $10 daily rate. As people gradually return to campus, these rates are subject to change based on lot demand and location.
O’Hara Garage closed on May 3 and demolition of the building has begun. Permit holders were relocated to other lots. The planned new recreation and wellness center will be located where the parking garage and LRDC Building are now.
Those with monthly parking permits who aren’t returning to campus at this time can continue to keep their permit on hold and won’t be charged if they have completed the Faculty/Staff Permit Payroll Deduction Request Form. By completing this, permit holders will not lose their permit or parking location. This step allows the parking office to accommodate daily parkers in lots that were previously permit only.
“Looking ahead, we are currently evaluating options to provide parking permit flexibility. With this in mind, if you intend to come to campus one to two days per week, we encourage you to close out your permit and reserve daily parking through ParkMobile,” Sheehy said.
The parking office also continues to encourage commuters to use sustainable methods, such as carpools and vanpools and the Healthy Ride bikes, to get to Oakland. Additionally, campus shuttles are fully operational.
New mobility initiatives including Commute with Enterprise carpool alternatives (accommodating five to eight people) and remote park and ride locations are being pursued, with the goal to provide expanded, flexible transportation options for Pitt community members by the end of the year.
“One of the things we're trying to do through the mobility team is to provide customized solutions, so we encourage faculty and staff to reach out directly to determine the best commuting solution,” Sheehy said.
Susan Jones is editor of the University Times. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-244-4042.
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