Brigham Young University announced today that beginning Fall Semester 2015 it will provide a shuttle service to campus at no cost to student riders consisting of five routes off campus. The shuttle is part of BYU’s efforts to promote a safe, pedestrian-friendly campus.
“We believe a shuttle will help provide a convenient and efficient transportation option for our students, which we hope will reduce the need for students to bring cars to campus and eventually to Utah Valley,” said Janet S. Scharman, BYU Vice President of Student Life. “We are working closely with Provo City and UTA to provide greater travel options for the members of our campus community and to reduce traffic congestion.”
In order to provide for the shuttle, BYU will begin charging students to park in the majority of student lots on campus—a common practice for most major universities, including those in Utah. Students will be charged $60 per semester for an on-campus parking permit. This will not begin until September of 2015.
“We believe this new initiative will be an incentive to our students to use alternative modes of transportation, whether it is the shuttle, UTA’s services, bikes, the university car-sharing program or walking,” said Scharman.
For those who must drive to campus but do not want to buy a parking permit, BYU will make available three free lots on the perimeter of campus. Valid parking permits must still be obtained to use these lots. Additionally, students will not have to pay to park during spring and summer terms when the shuttle will not be in operation.
The shuttle service will be operated by The Ryde, a private company BYU has been working with for the past three years. The Ryde, which uses natural gas for its busses, has been providing a paid service from select off-campus areas to campus.
The shuttles will run from early morning (in time for 8 a.m. classes) to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until 6 p.m. on Friday. “Shopping loops” will be available for all students with a valid BYU ID Saturday mornings from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Professor Jim Stice of the BYU Marriott School who, as a member of the Faculty Advisory Council, participated in helping bring about the shuttle service, expressed his desire that this service help students get to campus quickly and conveniently. “When I spoke with students, many of them told me about the amount of time they spend in parking and then walking to the center of campus. Many students told us that they would forgo bringing their cars to campus if they had another option to get here.”
The five shuttle routes to and from BYU and off-campus contracted housing will be free of charge to current BYU students. Each of the routes will run frequently throughout the day, with shuttles running on some routes every 15 to 20 minutes during high demand times: 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Three shuttle routes will cover the south-end of campus, another one will be to the west of campus and the fifth one to the north end by Wyview. “We will carefully analyze how the routes are being used and if adjustments need to be made,” said Scharman.
The free parking lots are Lot 18 (south of the Information Technology Building), Lot 45 (west-stadium lot) and Lot 44 (south of the Wyview complex).
“Our plan comes at a time when Provo City is undertaking a comprehensive parking study that will propose strategies and recommendations for parking in Provo’s most demanding areas, like downtown and the neighborhoods surrounding BYU Campus,” said Scharman.
For more information about Provo City’s parking plans and to provide feedback to the city, please go to http://visionprovo.mindmixer.com/