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UA News
Carpool program gaining popularity

By James Kelley
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday October 8, 2002

With construction projects continuing to devour parking lots, more members of the UA community have turned to alternate ways of getting to campus.

There are 45 more groups of people carpooling in the Parking and Transportation Services program this year than last.

"Actually, (the program) exploded," said Mike Wallace, PTS customer relations office specialist in charge of the program. "Last year, there were 24 carpools, now there are 69 spaces."

The sudden rise in carpools was unexpected.

Last spring, there were only about 30 carpools to use 30 spaces allotted.

"We really only expected the same amount as last year," Wallace said. "The carpools are helping alleviate all the extra cars on campus."

A carpool is made up of at least three people who chip in to buy a parking permit at the regular cost and get a reserved space in a lot or garage. Additionally, each member is issued 12 daily scratch-off Zone 1 parking permits per year, to be used when carpooling is not possible.

To promote the program, PTS used flyers and ads in the Wildcat, but this year it is more word of mouth, Wallace said.

There are 10,730 parking spaces on and around campus, as compared to 10,946 last year.

However, some of the parking lots that have given way to construction projects are no longer counted as parking spaces.

This week, the Employee Travel Reduction Survey is being mailed out. The yearly survey is required by Pima County and chronicles how UA employees get to campus.

Last year, 36 percent of employees that responded said who they got to campus using alternative transportation, like bicycling, riding the bus or carpooling.

About the same result is expected this year, with a goal of 35 percent, said Irene Babcock, PTS travel reduction coordinator.

About 72 percent to 78 percent of UA employees are expected to respond, while the other workplaces surveyed get about a 90 percent to 100 percent response.

Most of the other surveys are handed out to businesses that have about 90 to 100 employees, as opposed to the 10,000 plus employees of the UA, Babcock said.

"The survey is for the benefit of clean air," Babcock said. "Our goal is less cars on campus."

A survey of 649 employees who left the UA between July 2000 and June 2001 cited parking as one of problems with working at the UA.

For PTS and purposes of the survey, an employee is classified either as administration, faculty, classified staff or academic professional. Non-employees include any kind of students.

Of the UA carpools, eight are strictly employees, five are a combination of employees and students and the rest are all students, Wallace said.

The results are expected to become available by the end of the year or early next year.


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