Many CatTran riders may have to find alternative transportation to campus next year when Parking and Transportation Services dissolves its partnership with the Catalina United Methodist Church.
Parking and Transportation Services, 1117 E. Sixth St., will be discontinuing service from the Catalina United Methodist Church parking lot, 2700 E. Speedway Blvd., next year to expand a park-and-ride service from a lot located at Plumber Avenue and 13th Street, said Glenn Grafton, PTS transit program coordinator.
Many students and faculty have a "courtesy pass" that allows them to park in the church parking lot and get a ride on the CatTran to campus, Grafton said.
"The courtesy pass is for people who live within a certain corridor of a designated area, and instead of parking on campus they can park at a lot and take the CatTran to school," Grafton said.
Because of the expansion at the other location, many riders who ride the shuttle from the church, which is also called Lot 9002, will have to find alternate transportation to school or park on campus, Grafton said.
Grafton said PTS is expanding the Plumber Avenue and 13th Street lot, which is Lot 9008, because consolidating the routes will provide better service to riders.
With the elimination of Lot 9002, Grafton said riders will have more shuttles and can be picked up more frequently.
"Expanding the existing lot will allow us to get students to school faster because we will have an additional shuttle on the route that will run every six minutes," Grafton said.
Meranda Flickinger, an elementary education junior and single mother, uses Lot 9002 because it is conveniently located at the same place as her son's preschool. Come next year, when the courtesy pass is no longer offered for church parking, Flickinger will have to find a new way to campus and a new school for her son.
"When the lot gets cancelled I will have to get on a new waiting list for a parking spot and find new transportation to school," Flickinger said.
The courtesy pass is $115, compared with parking permits that cost between $235 and $450, according to the PTS Web site.
Flickinger said the price difference will force her to re-budget her funds and may even force her to move.
"Since I won't be living in the courtesy pass area anymore I will have to start paying $500 plus just for parking," Flickinger said. "I would even consider moving because I can't afford to pay for a spot at school instead of taking the shuttle."
For Ernie Barnett, a secondary education junior, losing Lot 9002 means he will have to find another way to park on campus or get to school if he is unable to get a pass.
"I have to put myself on the Zone 1 waiting list or park at a friend's house and walk or ride my bike to school," Barnett said. "It's too bad they are taking the lot away; I use it because of convenience and the low cost."
At this time PTS will not provide any form of compensation for riders within the Lot 9002 corridor and Grafton said he is unsure whether they will by next year's change.