September 16, 2002
Parking lot closure prompts changes; bus service
By Louise Donahue
As the new school year begins, drivers may need to allot some extra
time for finding a parking space, but bus riders will benefit from more
| The Core West Parking Structure is getting more use now that
the parking lot behind Basking Engineering has closed. Photo:
The large parking lot behind Baskin Engineering has been closed to
make way for the new Engineering Building.
In order to accommodate faculty and staff parking, students are no
longer allowed to park on the top floor of the parking structure. Also,
the North Perimeter Lot is now limited to those with A, B, or RV permits.
The parking structure includes 19 pay-station spaces for guests and
Payment, with cash or credit card, must be made at the pay station
on the second level. Those with "A" permits also must pay.
Those who skip driving and take the bus will spend less time waiting,
with just nine minutesinstead of last year's 12-minute gap--between
shuttle buses, said Wes Scott, director of Transportation and Parking
"This is due in no small part to the students passing the transit
increase," Scott said of last year's referendum to increase the
Student Transit Fee to $69 per quarter. "For the past few years,
I've been decreasing services. Now, with the passage of the transit
fee, we'll be able to grow our services." Scott noted that Santa
Cruz Metro bus service will not be decreased on campus, despite a Transit
District financial crunch.
'Owl' bus service
A major expansion in transit options is the addition of late-night
"Owl Service" to campus starting September 20. TAPS has contracted
with Santa Cruz Metro to operate a special route from midnight to 3
a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights and until 2 a.m. on Sunday through
Thursday nights. Bus service ended at 12:15 a.m. on weeknights and midnight
on weekends previously.
On Friday and Saturday nights buses will operate the Laurel Street
and Lower Bay routes until 3 a.m., with a dial-a-ride option. On Sunday
through Thursday nights, buses will operate on the Laurel Street route
until 2 a.m., also with a dial-a-ride option. Dial-a-ride allows callers
in certain areas to schedule a late-night bus pickup at the nearest
For more information on the late-night service, call (831) 425-8600.
TAPS is also asking riders to email comments on the service.
Parking master plan
The cost of parking has increased by 5 percent. "It's not popular,
but it will help us ramp up for some of the construction projects we're
facing," Scott said.
"We are currently working with the campus architect's office and
an outside consultant to draft a parking master plan for the campus.
This plan is still being compiled but intuitively we anticipate the
construction of additional remote parking, which may include expanding
the East Remote parking lot as well as additional parking within the
campus core. We expect the results of this study within the month. "
The TAPS sales office will close at 3 p.m. through Friday, September
20. Regular sales office hours of 7 a.m to 5 p.m. will resume on Monday,
New traffic signals
Two new traffic lights are also planned, for Coolidge Drive near the
Physical Plant Barn G and at the intersection of Hagar and Coolidge.
Accidents have occurred at both locations. Construction is expected
to begin this fall on the signal near Barn G, and next summer at Hagar
Coolidge is a county road until it becomes McLaughlin Drive. The lights
are funded through federal safety grants administered by Caltrans.
More vanpools forming
Vanpool programs, in which UCSC provides both the vehicles and their
maintenance, are being expanded beyond the 12 now running. A swing-shift
vanpool is now forming in Watsonville, and a daytime vanpool in Scotts
Valley is also looking for riders. Several other vanpools have openings.
"That is the cheapest way, short of transit, for getting here,"
Scott noted. Watsonville is the most popular vanpool destination, with
six vanpools. Vanpool drivers ride for free in exchange for driving
and handling some administrative details. Other riders pay $222 to $294
a year to participate, and receive 50 scratch-off parking permits per
year for days they must use their own vehicles. Taxi service home is
available to vanpool riders in case of emergency.
Efforts to expand the vanpool program to include additional routes
from Watsonville and Monterey County will begin later this year. Those
interested in joining a vanpool or finding out more about the program
may email TAPS or call 459-2607.
Bicyclists wanting help getting up Bay Street may take advantage of
the free bike trailers running every 15 minutes on weekdays, from 7
a.m. to 10:15 a.m. The bike trailer has a new pickup location this year,
Olive Street next to the Mission Street Longs Drug Store. Dropoff locations
include the Physical Plant Metro stop and College Nine.
Additional information on the progress of campus construction projects
and their impacts is available online.
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