Sep 23, 2008

Priority Parking sits empty, 92 spaces available

by Danielle Jacobs

Out of the 100 spaces dedicated to the new carpool program on campus, only eight have been claimed, leaving 92 spots for students who are looking for a solution to parking frustrations and rising gas prices.

Commuter students are eligible for the carpool program if they are enrolled in a resident program and commute to campus at least two times a week. A carpool must consist of two students, including the driver, who share a ride on a regular basis and have two vehicles that would normally be registered.

Students enrolled in the program not only save money on gas and transportation fees by carpooling, but also secure convenient, reserved parking spots Monday through Friday, from midnight until 4:30 p.m. on North Campus and Main Campus. Currently there are 100 spots, marked with teal and white signs, reserved for carpool students. Unregistered vehicles are towed from these spots to ensure carpooling students will have available spots.

According to Richard Martin, who works with financial research and analysis at Liberty, most major universities have 10 to 60 percent of their students and employees participating in carpools. The purpose is to give enrolled students the benefit of guaranteed parking spaces.

“One of our challenges was to make sure that when we said we would have reserved spaces for carpool participants, that we could keep the spaces clear,” Martin said. “The new parking system (towing vehicles) has allowed us to reach that objective.”

To sign up for the carpool program, complete the carpool application form found on the Liberty University transit page and turn it in to the Liberty University Police Department (LUPD) located on North Campus. Each member of the carpool must show a Liberty OneCard ID, driver’s license, registration of their vehicle and proof of insurance. They also must turn in any previous commuter parking permits to completely register for the program.Once students are registered, they receive one carpool hangtag that can be used on any vehicle that is registered in the program. A night and weekend permit is placed on each registered vehicle allowing them to park on campus after 4:30 p.m. For successful carpooling, students are encouraged to apply the guidelines found on the carpool program page, which is linked to the Liberty University transit page.

Liberty University will also offer a rideshare matching program in early November to encourage commuter students to carpool when driving to campus. Through this new program, which will be a part of the current carpool program, eligible students can offer and request a ride online to set up carpools for the spring semester with people who have similar class schedules and live in the same area.


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