December 22, 2008

Current issues university transit operations are facing

What issues are you currently struggling with?

Deciphering fluctuations in ridership

The most difficult issue in operating our shuttles is predicting and responding to spikes in ridership numbers and deciding if they are short-term anomalies or long-term trends, including changes in ridership for specific times of day.

Josh Cantor, Director

Parking and Transportation

George Mason University

Fairfax County, Va.

Balancing parking vs. transit needs

To provide an affordable transit system for students, faculty and staff, we heavily subsidize our operations by using revenues generated from other areas in our department. The main source of this revenue is our surface parking lots. Unfortunately, as the campus grows, our number of surface parking spaces declines. This puts us in a position of deciding whether money is better spent to build parking garages or to support our transit. We hope to be able to do both by increasing our permit prices.

However, should our increase in permit prices be too steep, people may be pushed into alternative modes of transportation and our revenues decrease at the same time as our expenditures are increasing. This, coupled with uncertainty about gas prices and the state’s economic situation, places us in a very difficult position.

David Heineking, Associate Director of Operations

Parking and Transportation

University of Arizona, Tucson

 

Finding more funds for transportation

We’re committed to continuing our focus toward transit and away from accomodating single-occupancy vehicles. Since we’re a self-supporting enterprise funded primarily by parking fees and fines, our challenge is to develop a new funding model that provides for needed transportation improvements but is not based primarily on parking revenue.

Casey Jones, Director

Parking and Transportation Services

University of Colorado, Boulder

 

Maintaining an aging bus fleet

Our main issue these days are bus maintenance problems. We have a very old fleet of buses and they have constant problems, mainly involving the brakes and transmissions. The good news is we have ordered seven new buses that should arrive next summer.

Jill Ferrell Rountree, Director

Parking and Transportation

Valdosta State University

Valdosta, Ga.

 

Satisfying heavy parking needs

Balancing 15,000 parking spaces with 50,000 students, 20,000 staff and faculty and 2,300 events, all the while making coming onto the University of Texas at Austin campus a pleasant experience.

 

Charles O. Smith, Manager

Parking and Transportation Services

University of Texas, Austin

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