Making game day painless has a price
There’s a parking headache at Florida Gulf Coast University, and the aspirin would cost $11,880.
That is how much it would cost to have three shuttles transport men’s basketball fans to Alico Arena from campus before and after games. Shuttles would remain available for transport during the games and be on-duty for a total of six hours.
This cost would cover 11 home games and allow students to leave their cars in dorm parking lots. Currently, students in the seven dorm buildings closest to Alico Arena are required to move their cars onto main campus three hours prior to men’s basketball home games.
Chief Steven Moore of the University Police Department does not see this as a feasible expense.
“If students left their cars in the lots, we would be transporting about 1,000 people,” Moore said. “It’s not too big of an issue when they’re arriving, but the shuttles would get stuck in the traffic on the way to Alico.”
Respondents to an Eagle News Facebook post think the cost is worth it.
“The student residents who pay through the nose to live on campus vs. living in a more affordable space off of campus should take priority,” said Matthew Stoner, an FGCU alumnus.
An email sent to students from J. Michael Rollo, vice president of student affairs, in November 2014 outlined the game-day parking policy. “All lots east of the road leading to the Waterfront and the Auxiliary lot will need to be empty three hours prior to game time.”
That includes seven dorm buildings in North Lake Village: Sandpiper, Pelican, Egret, Falcon, Cypress, Mangrove and Oak.
“Vehicles not removed from the closed lots will be subject to ticketing,” the letter said.
FGCU Chief of Staff Susan Evans said the budget for the academic year 2014- 15’s campus shuttle program is $684,000. Shuttles are scheduled to run 160 days this academic year from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., and transport students to and from housing in West Lake Village, North Lake Village and South Village. It costs approximately $60 an hour to run a shuttle.
Moore said that last year there was a plan to start shuttling disabled fans to Alico Arena from campus, because of the long walk involved. With the new boardwalk connecting the main campus to North Lake Village, that walk is less of an issue.
“As of right now, game-day parking is what it is,” Moore said. “We are open to options.”