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September 22, 2003

Bus riders urged to ‘do the Loop'

Vanpool openings, parking changes announced

Shuttle bus riders wanting to get from one side of campus to the other quickly will have a new option soon: the “Loop.”

UCSC provides the vans, vehicle maintenance, and fuel for the vanpool program. Photo: Louise Donahue

Beginning with the start of classes on Thursday, Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS) will launch a Perimeter Loop shuttle service. The shuttle will bypass the Bay Tree Bookstore layover and run in part outside the campus proper, along Empire Grade and High Street.

“These shuttles will keep moving so that our riders may do the same,” said Wes Scott, TAPS director. “We are asking campus affiliates to ‘Do the Loop’ and then let us know what they think of the service. We welcome your feedback at taps@cats.ucsc.edu.”

Remaining shuttle service will stay essentially the same as last year, with frequent pick-ups in both directions. Schedules are posted at all campus bus stops and are available on shuttles and at transportation information holders on campus.

Extensive Metro bus service, including Metro Night Owl service, also will be about the same as last year.

Vanpool numbers increasing

Another effort to ease traffic and parking congestion, the vanpool program, is being expanded this year beyond the 14 vehicles now in operation.

UCSC provides the vans, vehicle maintenance, and fuel for this program. A graveyard, swing, and an additional daytime shift vanpool have recently formed in Watsonville, and a number of routes have room for new passengers.

“It’s a great way to cut down on parking costs as well as commute costs,” said TAPS vanpool coordinator Cathy Crowe. “There are currently over 170 participants who find that vanpooling to UCSC is their best commute option. I encourage staff and faculty to contact me to see if vanpooling will work for them."

Vanpools offer the cheapest way, other than bicycles and transit, of commuting to campus. With eight vanpools in operation, Watsonville is the most popular vanpool destination. Vanpool drivers ride for free in exchange for driving and handling some administrative details. Passengers pay $19.50 to $25.75 a month to participate, and faculty, staff and graduate student passengers receive 50 scratch-off parking permits per year for days on which they must use their own vehicle. Taxi service home is available to vanpool riders in case of emergency.

Efforts to expand the vanpool program to include additional routes from San Lorenzo Valley and Watsonville have begun. Those interested in joining a vanpool or finding out more about the program should call 459-2607 or email cacrowe@ucsc.edu

Parking enforcement hours extended

Beginning this fall, parking enforcement hours for Performing Arts Lot 126 have been extended to 8:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Permits will also be required to park in this lot on Saturday and Sunday between the hours of 7 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. Campus affiliates holding a valid “A” or “B” permit may park in this lot at any time.

Guests and visitors to the Performing Arts area who wish to park in Lot 126 during the hours of 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. will need to purchase a $2 permit from one of the two “Pay and Display” machines now located in the lot. These machines accept coins, bills and credit cards, with change dispensed as $1 coins.

The change is being made so that those attending arts events—who sometimes had to use remote lots or shuttles--will have a place to park. “We’re just trying to provide better access for event patrons,” said Scott.

Free parking remains available in the Core West Parking Structure and in Hahn Lot 101 after 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and all day on weekends. Also, North Perimeter Lot 150 will once again be available to those with remote permits.

Traffic signal planned for Hagar/Coolidge intersection

The traffic signal near the main entrance to campus, operating since May, will be joined by another, at the Hagar/Coolidge intersection. TAPS has received a second grant to fund the new signal, scheduled for placement this winter.

“This traffic signal will make the Hagar/Coolidge intersection safer for everyone involved,” said Scott, who noted that the response to the traffic signal finished in May has been “overwhelmingly positive.”

Coolidge Drive is a county road until it becomes McLaughlin Drive. The traffic signals are funded through federal safety grants administered by Caltrans.

TAPS also handles bicycle licensing and disability van service.

Bike licenses. UCSC traffic regulations require that bicycles operated on campus be licensed. TAPS provides current California bike licenses or renewal stickers for $3. Bike licensing fees support UCSC bike programs. Bike licenses may be obtained at the main entrance kiosk or at the OPERS bike Maintenance Drop-In Clinic. Cyclists must bring their bikes with them to obtain licenses. For more information, call 831-459-2607.

Disability van service. This service provides on-campus wheelchair lift equipped transportation for students with temporary and permanent mobility impairments. Current medical documentation is required. The service operates from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday and Wednesday, 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, and 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday. To schedule rides after normal service hours, reservations must be made by calling (831) 459-2829 at least one day in advance. Reservations must be made between one and seven days prior to the scheduled ride, and must be received by 5 p.m. of the day prior to the ride. Reservations for rides on Friday night between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m. must be made before 5 p.m. on Thursday evening. Saturday night rides between 6 p.m. and 1 a.m., and Sunday night rides between 6 p.m. and 12 a.m. will be available if reserved before 5 p.m. on Friday. After-hour rides will not be available if a reservation has not been made.

Additional information on TAPS projects is available online

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