PTS programs provide campus transportation
Valentina Martinelli / Arizona Daily Wildcat
Ryan Jones, Junior Retail and Consumer Science takes the orange line home.
University departments and clubs are working to keep the campus community moving, with more than a dozen programs currently in place or under development.
In order to accommodate a variety of transportation, Parking and Transportation Services has implemented 17 programs, services and studies in order to help students, faculty and staff get across campus every day.
As a university with heavy bicycle traffic, the UA sees roughly 11,000 to 12,000 bikes on campus on any given day during the regular school year, according to PTS Marketing Specialist Bill Davidson.
Six of the 17 programs implemented by PTS cater to the cycling community. In addition to bike racks situated throughout campus, a number of different service stations, a sharing program and a valet service are also offered.
Since November 2009, the Cat Wheels bike share program has allowed university students and employees to check out a bike for a 24-hour period from any of the seven parking garages throughout campus free of charge. The service has seen a 243 percent user increase from July 2011 to March 2012, according to PTS.
At the west end of the UA Mall, a bike valet service has been running since September 2010, serving as a secure location to park bikes on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The valet has a 150-bike capacity and is also free. A station on the Mall near the Science-Engineering Library offers free minor repairs and bicycle registration on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Additionally, the UA Bicycle Area and Pedestrian Study, ending in June, intends to minimize the risk of collisions, as well as improve the university’s current bicycle-pedestrian system by collecting feedback from community members at various forums held throughout campus.
Students and employees who use cars as their source of transportation are being accommodated with about 18,000 parking spaces throughout the seven garages and numerous parking lots.
Paying for parking can also be done via a smartphone application in certain lots by connecting to several newly installed solar-powered stations. Davidson added that 17,000 permits are currently being used, so there are plans to construct another garage in the coming years. He also advised students looking for places to park to arrive on campus between 7 and 10 a.m., to better the chances of getting a spot.
Much like the Cat Wheels bike share program, a car-sharing service through Hertz On Demand also allows any UA affiliate 18 years or older to rent a car for $8 per hour. The program gives users a choice of several vehicles and the fee also covers fuel. Any UA affiliates who are interested in using the Sun Tran and meet a credit requirement can purchase a U-Pass from PTS at a subsidized price, allowing them to use any of the system’s routes. The university’s CatTran bus system is free to users, and stops at 58 locations during weekdays.
Several projects are also in the works to improve mobility on campus. The Tucson Modern Streetcar, which will run through the Warren underpass, then across campus on Second Street, Park Avenue and University Boulevard, is currently under construction and scheduled for completion by the end of 2013. The streetcar will connect the campus with Tucson’s downtown area.
During the summer, PTS will begin a soft-launch of Zimride, a program that will allow campus-goers to arrange carpools with one another through social networks like Twitter and Facebook. Zimride is a nationwide service that has over 300,000 registered users.
For anyone staying late on campus, the Associated Students of the University of Arizona offers Safe Ride, a student-run service that gives free rides across campus and to surrounding communities. Safe Ride operates as late as 1 a.m., five nights a week, and sees about 500 passengers on an average night, according to Adam Klever, a philosophy junior and Safe Ride’s administrative director.
For more information on transportation services throughout campus, visit http://parking.arizona.edu.