BYU announces paid parking passes, free shuttles

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Todd Wakefield
A Ryde shuttle bus transports students from Wyview to campus on Dec. 3, 2014. BYU will expand its current shuttle system to include five free routes for students living in off-campus housing. (Todd Wakefield/BYU)

BYU announced several changes to student parking to begin September 2015, including a free shuttle service for students living off campus and paid parking passes for existing Y-Lots.

“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 BYU vice president of student life Janet Scharman, according to a press release. “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.”

The free shuttle will include five routes running from around 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday–Friday, according to the press release, and a “shopping loop” on Saturday mornings from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. for students with a valid BYU ID.

Students who wish to park on campus will be charged $60 a semester for an on-campus parking permit in order to provide for the shuttle. All existing Y-Lots will require a permit, not including Lot 18 (south of the Information Technology Building), Lot 45 (west-stadium lot) and Lot 44 (south of the Wyview complex).

Sharman stated in the press release that she hopes the new plan will incentivize students to use alternative modes of transportation aside from driving their own cars.

“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,” professor and faculty advisory council member Jim Stice said, “Many students told us that they would forgo bringing their cars to campus if they had another option to get here.”

The shuttle will be operated by The Ryde, a private company that currently operates a limited paid service around BYU campus. The free routes will include three routes centered on the south end of campus, another to the west and another to the north. Scharman said adjustments will be made as needed.

The shuttle will not be in operation, and students will not have to pay for parking, during spring and summer terms.

“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,” Scharman said.

Provo residents can go to visionprovo.mindmixer.com to provide feedback and see more information about Provo’s parking plans.