On Friday, Oct. 27, the short-lived shuttle service from UTSA’s Park West Athletics Complex abruptly came to an end. The shuttle, which was providing temporary service to alleviate the parking congestion at UTSA, began its route on Sep. 21 and ran for just 37 days.
The shuttle service was provided as a solution to student woes, but its longevity was dependent on its use. According to UTSA Senior Communications Coordinator Lauren Beaver, the Park West shuttle averaged fewer than 10 riders per day despite the lot’s 400 available parking spaces.
“Campus Services closely monitors parking availability and consistently reports more than 100 available spaces at peak enrollment times,” Beaver explained. She also pointed out the end of construction for the Recreation Center’s pool will return approximately 60 parking spaces to Brackenridge Lot 2.
Ana Araujo, senior mechanical engineering senior, parks in Lot 13 and takes a shuttle to the Arts building, but would prefer to avoid the shuttle if she could.
“If they added more parking, I would definitely use it,” Araujo said. “Shuttles take too long.”
Fortunately, the grievances of students haven’t fallen on deaf ears, and a more permanent solution to UTSA parking troubles is in the works. Campus Services and Business Affairs are currently in the planning and design stage of creating two new surface parking lots.
Like many students, junior psychology major Mackenzie Rosteet opts for garage parking over commuter surface parking despite the larger price tag.
“Garage parking is closer to the campus buildings and it’s much faster to find a spot there versus the campus lots,” Rosteet said. “Even if you use a lot, sometimes you park so far away you still have to use the shuttle.”
According to Beaver, the new lots are anticipated to open in Fall 2017 and will add approximately 400 new parking spaces to the main campus.
“Until then, we recommend students who arrive mid-day head to Brackenridge Lots 4 and 5, where we see the most available parking,” Beaver said.
These new lots could be a tremendous help to students; for now it is a waiting game.