By SUSAN JONES
As more faculty and staff begin to transition back to working in Oakland, some of the biggest questions on everyone’s minds revolve around parking.
Will parking permits still be valid? If I’m only coming in a couple days a week, should I give up my permit, or if I don’t have one, where and how can I park? What are commuting options?
With more people working flexible schedules and spending less time on campus, the emphasis now is on daily parking. But don’t worry, that parking permit you waited years to get will still be honored, if that’s what you choose.
Last year, Pitt Parking Services partnered with ParkMobile to provide contactless payments for daily parking. Now, faculty, staff and students can make same-day reservations, starting at 2 a.m., at the Posvar Garage, and the McKee Place and OC lots using the ParkMobile app. The same-day reservations help ensure customers use the parking they purchased for the day. When you go to the app, it will show what the rate and availability are at each lot. This week, Posvar and the OC lot were $6 per day and the McKee lot was $11.
Kevin Sheehy, assistant vice chancellor of Business and Auxiliary Services, said they hope to extend the advance reservation feature to more locations in the future. Find a video on how to use ParkMobile on YouTube and additional how-to videos in the ParkMobile Resource Center.
Pitt also started $5 daily parking at select locations last year. It remains available at the Panther Hollow and Veterans (near the VA Hospital) lots and the Posvar Garage. But, Sheehy said, rates are subject to change based on lot demand and location. Soldiers and Sailors Garage and the OC lot on Allequippa Street will return to standard pre-COVID rates on Aug. 1.
Find a map of parking available to faculty and staff on the Parking Services website.
For those parking permit holders who are returning to campus full time, nothing changes. Continue to use the pass like you have in the past.
If you’re not coming back to campus as all, at least for now, you can continue to keep your permit on hold and not be charged if you completed the Faculty/Staff Permit Payroll Deduction Request Form. You will not lose your permit or parking location, but it does allow the University to open up locations that were previously permit only to accommodate daily parkers.
Permit holders who intend to come to campus only one or two days per week are encouraged to close out their permit and reserve daily parking through ParkMobile.
Find details on permit rates on the Parking Services website.
Carpools and vanpools: Commute with Enterprise, working with CommuteInfo.org, continues to offer vans for shared commuting, and they’ve added smaller vehicles. In addition to the standard 12- to 15-seat extended vans, SUVs and minivans are now available. They also are working on ways for commuting groups to provide seats and rates for part-time riders. Sheehy said the Pitt Mobility team plans to provide a new vanpool option soon, which could include remote park and ride locations. The goal is to provide expanded, flexible transportation solutions for Pitt community members by the end of the year, he said.
Buses: The Port Authority continues to follow enhanced safety protocols and provides the True Time System to view bus locations and capacities in real time, free to Pitt community members. Masks are required on all buses.
Healthy Ride: The University intends to continue providing the Healthy Ride program, offering free 30-minute bike rides to Pitt community members. Specific plans for the upcoming academic year are being finalized now.
Campus shuttles also are fully operational at this time with real time GPS tracking.
To learn more about available commuting options, review On-Campus Parking and Mobility Updates. If you have any questions or would like to discuss customized commuting solutions, contact Pitt Commuting at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Susan Jones is editor of the University Times. Reach her at email@example.com or 724-244-4042.
Have a story idea or news to share? Share it with the University Times.