The newly implemented pay-by-app option in the Gutterson Parking Garage aims to assist commuter needs, said Jim Barr, director of transportation, parking, fleet management and sustainable transportation.
Those ineligible for parking passes and those who did not receive them are frustrated at the lack of parking on campus. Still, this option opens up 41 spots for use on a day-to-day basis, Barr said. Additional demand for parking led to the opening of these spots.
“We’ve got over 13,000 [eligible UVM affiliates], but less than 5,000 spaces available to us,” Barr said.
Students could purchase parking passes beginning Aug. 10, and some interested students could not buy a pass due to limited spaces. Sophomore Ethan Brass said he tried to buy a parking pass on Aug. 26, but there were none available at that point.
Brass said he wanted to bring his car to campus for the year, but could not buy a pass before they sold out.
“I do think they oversold parking passes,” Brass said. “[My car] is in a Burlington parking garage because I have been second on the waitlist for a parking pass since the beginning of the year.”
Barr said he is willing to help students obtain parking passes, but articulating a specific need is necessary in order to obtain any parking pass at this point in the year.
Barr said UVM implemented this pay-by-app option due to the University prohibiting students who live within a five mile radius of campus from buying a pass. These pay-by-app spots targeted students living in the five mile radius who can’t take public transportation.
UVM has agreements with the City of Burlington that aim to find ways to reduce automobile traffic to and from campus due to residential communities surrounding campus wanting to keep excess traffic out of their neighborhoods, Barr said.
Sophomore Liam Bieulieu, a Sophomore, said the main problem among students who received parking passes this year is the convenience of the spaces.
“There were nights where I had to park all the way over near Redstone Lofts, and I live in Living and Learning,” Bielieu said. “That’s pretty far.”
The convenience issue arose from the necessity to combine parking on Athletic and Redstone campus parking, Barr said. However, somebody unable to find a space right next to their building should be able to find one elsewhere.
This year there are 500 more students on UVM’s campus than normal, and that also contributed to the scarcity of space, Barr said.
There are also construction projects going on around campus that can inhibit parking.
“The athletic complex started construction on the multi-purpose arena, which is currently in a stagnant timeframe, but it took away around 150 spots,” Barr said.
The new pay-by-app parking spaces are now available to UVM community members with a fifteen minute minimum and a two hour maximum timeframe for use, according to the TPS website. Payment is required Monday through Friday 7 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.