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Parking solution alternatives at FGCU

EN Photo / Lauren Kummer

FGCU offers many alternatives to parking on campus for the 2016-17 school year.
As enrollment grows at FGCU, more demands come into play and the students believe one of those demands are more parking spaces.
FGCU is an eco-friendly environment, that does not want to spend more money on building other garages. The biggest issue through a student and staff perspective is that turning the dirt lot into another parking garage to alleviate traffic is going to take from the campus’ beauty and rule out any possibility of a future academic building, which benefits the students in their education.
“The hardest part is getting students to change their behaviors and live the university mission,” Katie Leone, FGCU sustainability manager said.
This campus provides safe alternatives to match whichever method is easier and convenient for the student.
Not all students may have a similar situation when it comes to finding transportation to campus but the next time your car breaks down and you might not be able to fix it right away, these alternatives might be just right for you.
Parking Permit prioritizing: Freshman on campus are not allowed to park in the garages because of the convenience of the bus shuttles at FGCU. The bus shuttle system constantly runs from South Village and to the main campus bus loop.
Freshman that live on campus do get the best parking available: a drop off right in front of the school. The shuttle system even has a downloadable app called Double Map, which shows the routes in real time even for off campus housing.
If you’re a commuter student, the Lee Tran bus services could be your only option. With your FGCU student ID, you could get a discounted bus fare, which is just a dollar to get. Most students don’t have an option.
“I think we could work with Lee Tran to improve the effectiveness of route 60, which is the only bus route that serves FGCU,” Nora Demers, an environmentalist expert at FGCU said.
She believes if pooled together $200,000, Lee Tran could get the route working more effectively to serve more commuter students to minimize the wait time to get to campus by 30 minutes.
Coastal Village, The Reef and even Gulf Coast  Town Center shuttles provide services to the campus, usually running every 30 minutes.
Car-pooling is one of the greatest inventions ever to minimize cars on campus and also provides a greener method to our campus carbon footprint.
There are great apps available to get in touch with car poolers, such as, Zipcar where students and staff can rent a car on campus for hours or even the day for a membership price, this gives you the luxury of carpooling without all the gas and insurance fee that one usually has to pay. Some students are unaware but the average cost for a person’s vehicle is about $9000 a year to maintain, have them up and running including gas and insurance.
Wheeli is a newer app which is another great car pooling app FGCU transportation services offers, which calculates split gas and toll cost for every passenger in the car,  it is great if you and your roommate want to split the cost for coming to campus.
The common question is why cant the dirt lot be turned into a garage is commonly herd on school grounds, but there is a method to the madness.
“The future demanded growth of FGCU is going to require the dirt lot to be turned into an academic building, so we couldn’t use it for parking space that wouldn’t make sense for our long term needs,” Leone said.
The first change does begin with students and their cultural behaviors towards transportation.
Leone explains, we live in a very individualistic culture society where people like being independent.
“One of the big things about biking and walking that are globally important to think about is connections,” Dr. Margret Banyan, lead planner for public transportation, land use planning and community planning at FGCU said.
A big encouragement is walking and biking for people in close range, the school even offers a bike renting service called Pedal Power where you could rent a bike for a up to a week.
“One of the big fixes to encouraging people to walk or bike, is to make sure there is safe interconnections between all of those facilities,” Banyan said.
What Leone was explaining on shifting student culture of thinking the car is the only option, Banyan states with any form of transit you make the desired option the easiest option.
Car pool, bike, take public transit, take a free shuttle service that is already included in your school fees which ever option is easiest just remember there are many to pick from before you stress while turning your car on.

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    MikeDec 13, 2016 at 11:54 am

    so a school that make millions is declining to make more parking and wants it students to pay more just to come to campus when they could just drive there own cars…. buses are for students that only have school to think about which generally is an on campus freshman while commuter students tend to be ones with jobs– so how would a bus better the commuter experience…. it wouldnt… this is the same university that lowered professor pay and took away over 10 majors to fund a 5 million dollar entrance ….