The number of carpool permits issued to Texas State students has increased since last year due to a growing number of commuters, according to administrators.
Last year the university issued a total of 50 carpool permits to students. In fall 2013, 72 permits were issued, and 52 permits were issued this spring with eight permits pending. The university is expected to receive more requests in the next few months, said Linda Rea, administrative assistant for Transportation Services.
Nancy Nusbaum, interim director of Transportation Services, said the increase in carpool permits could be due to commuters from Austin and San Antonio purchasing them to after the Bobcat Tram Interurban bus service was canceled last spring. Students may also be trying to avoid paying price for a parking permit, she said.
The university recently added four additional carpool parking spots to the lot in front of the university president’s house in West Campus following requests from commuters, said Stephen Prentice, assistant director of Parking Services.
“If they want to park in our carpool lot and we have three areas on campus that are designated for carpool, then they have to get a permit,” Nusbaum said. “As long as they have a regular parking permit, we’ll give them a free carpool designation permit.”
The president’s lot has 17 carpool parking spots. There are 17 parking spots in the central carpool lot located on Elm Street and 19 parking spaces in the east lot on Sessom Drive, Prentice said.
“I think the president’s lot sees a lot more traffic,” said Cody DeSalvo, intern for Transportation Services.
Students are required to purchase a perimeter parking permit for their vehicle and complete the carpool request form online, DeSalvo said.
This spring 2014 semester, 30 permits were given out for the president’s lot, 10 were issued for the Elm Street lot and 12 were given for the Sessom lot. In fall 2013, 32 carpool parking permits were issued in the president’s lot, 13 were given in the Elm Street lot and 27 permits were issued for the Sessom lot, Prentice said.
Although each parking lot issues more permits than parking spots available, the carpool parking lots have not been filled to full capacity, Prentice said.
“There’s 17 spaces and there’s 32 people who requested it, but they are not there all the time so it turns over,” Prentice said.
Two or more students can request to be in a carpool group and each member must register themselves and their vehicles using the carpool parking request form, according to the Parking Services website.
Vehicles that have a carpool parking permit can park Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., according to the website.
“One thing we implemented this year for carpoolers is the people who are the riders. We’re giving them three scratch off permits,” Nusbaum said. “So if they have to come to campus and they need to leave before their carpool needs to leave, they can just scratch the date off on that permit and come to campus and not be ticketed.”
Riders are provided with only three temporary parking permits and are not able to receive any additional permits once all three are used. Once all temporary passes are used, students need to get a daily temporary parking pass, Nusbaum said.
“I served on the Transportation (Services) Advisory Council, and you just realized sitting there we have very little space. So if I can maybe not bring my car to school and carpool with my roommate then that’s one extra space that someone else can have,” DeSalvo said.