Dear Campus Community,
I am writing to update you with important Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS) information, including updates on construction projects, parking permit rates and renewals. Parking continues to be a precious campus resource, and my hope is to offer this information now to afford you time to prepare your transportation and parking plans for Spring 2019 and beyond. For your convenience, our parking maps are online to help you better understand the changes mentioned below.
More Parking Becomes Available
In August, the Scholars Lot, which replaces Lake Lot 2 adjacent to Lake Road, opened with 500 spaces for faculty, staff and visitors. In November, we expect another 400 spaces to open within the Bellevue Lot (Zone 3) for commuters, which includes accessible parking and electric vehicle charging stations. The next phase of Merced 2020 Project construction will create a pedestrian path connecting a 2,000-space parking lot to the main campus. Updates on this project will be shared as the project nears completion.
This past spring, construction began on the installation of carport solar panels over North Bowl lots and the Facilities Corporation Yard, which will deliver 4.2 megawatts of power, which we expect to meet 36 percent of the current campus energy needs. As of today, North Bowl 1 and 2 are shaded with solar panels. There will be intermittent impacts to parking availability through the end of 2018 to complete wiring connections on the various arrays, and the project is on schedule to finish by Spring 2019.
Permit Rates Increase
Permit rates, which have remained unchanged for some time, will increase in Spring 2019 and Fall 2020. These increases have been shared with Student Affairs, Staff Assembly, Academic Senate and ASUCM. For your convenience, I’m including the increase schedule here as well. Rates shown below reflect the monthly cost (students purchase permits by semester) for each lot between now and Fall 2020:
Permit Renewal Goes Virtual
TAPS is transitioning to License Plate Recognition (LPR) and virtual permitting on campus. Instead of having permit stickers or placards, your license plate can now validate your permit status. Commuter students are using LPR virtual permits already, and the transition for faculty and staff has begun. In the upcoming weeks, TAPS will share the timeline for a NEW permit distribution process and any other changes related to allocation and permitting to align with the Spring 2019 permit rate increases. Staff and faculty who wish to change their permit type must inform TAPS by Feb. 1, 2019, for the change in payroll deduction to become effective March 1, 2019.
Thank you for your continued support.
Chief Financial Officer and Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration