On Sept. 21, a student shuttle made its first trip to the UTSA Park West Athletics Complex. The Runner, UTSA’s shuttle service, will provide temporary service to the remote parking lot, which boasts approximately 450 parking spaces, to remedy students’ struggle to find parking on campus.
Fernie Ferniza, a finance major who, like many, has had issues with parking on campus, has noted that because his first class is at a peak hour (10 a.m.) he is required to arrive on campus at least 30 minutes early in order to ensure he arrives to class on time.
“I personally think it could help some students avoid that traffic on UTSA Blvd by having a lot in a remote location,” said Ferniza in response to Campus Services’ Park West announcement. “I guess it just depends on how far this parking lot will be.”
Charlotte Stubblefield, a psychology major, pushed the conversation further by adding that, “UTSA is solving the issue, but their solutions are inconvenient and time-costly. I’ve used the remote lots to park, and the shuttles can take up to 10 minutes to arrive in-between pickups. I believe that UTSA should invest in closer, more reliable parking for their student body, especially as the school continues to grow.”
More time required to get to school equates to an earlier chime of one’s alarm. This inconvenience stirs discontent and frustration, but it is an inconvenience UTSA will have to swallow.
“We are confident that the availability of temporary parking at the Park West complex can help with current conditions at the Main Campus,” Lauren Beaver, Campus Services Senior Communication Coordinator, said. “Additionally, we are in the planning of a design phase for the construction of two new surface parking lots that will add approximately 500 spaces to the Main Campus.”
Parking at UTSA has its issues, but the resources are there. Problem solving efforts, like Sarah Brown’s parking petition, are invited to the discussion, but UTSA’s foresight isn’t as narrow as some believe.
Beaver asserts that, “Campus Services regularly monitors parking lots for availability to ensure students have a place to park.”
The Park West complex is located at the intersection of Kyle Seale Pkwy and Hausman Rd near the UTSA Track and Soccer field.
Steven Brown, UTSA’s Track and Field Assistant Coach, says he has only observed athletes using the parking location.
The Park West shuttle picks students up at the roundabout near the FAB building Monday-Thursday approximately every 20 minutes. Departure from Park West begins at 10am and the final departure from the Campus Oval to Park West is at 5pm. The ride to and from lasts approximately seven minutes.
Campus Services urges students who arrive on campus from 10am-2pm to utilize the service and says the Park West parking availability is dependant on the frequency of its use.
Alma Orozco, a Park West shuttle service driver, reported that the most students she has picked up during a shift were three.
“Students should use the Park West lot, instead of wasting time looking for a spot.” Orozco added.
The lack of parking available to students may be helped by an additional 450 parking spaces at the Park West Complex, but its availability is dependant on students’ willingness to use the service.