In the fall semester of 2015, Texas A&M enrolled 52,372 students, and enrollment will increase this coming fall. As a result, Transportation Services has had to make many adjustments to parking lots and bus routes in order to accommodate the increased population. They have also added alternative means of transport including ride-share and bike-leasing.
Peter Lange, executive of transportation services, said the demand for parking passes has increased.
“We feel the growth like any growing city like College Station or Austin grows. We see more traffic,” Lange said. We see more demand for parking permits. We see more demand for ridership on off campus transit services as well.We operate like a city often times in that we tend to chase the growth a little bit. The growth happens and then you gotta do a little catch up in order to support it.”
In order to increase the amount of parking, more parking lots will be added in the Fall 2016 semester. The most prominent of which is the new $39 million Cain Parking Garage, which is located next to the MSC across from Kyle Field. In total 2,490 new parking spaces will be available next semester. Parking permit costs will be increasing gradually through the 2020-2021 school year in order to construct new parking spaces, and to maintain existing parking spaces, roads and sidewalks.
Because of increased demand for parking spaces, students will no longer be guaranteed a requested parking spot. In the past students have been guaranteed a parking spot from their list of requested lots, but this will no longer occur. However, students will be able to find a parking spot on campus somewhere, even if it is not on one of their requested lots.
In order to increase the efficiency of the bus system two new routes have been added and many more have been amended. On campus, two route changes will be made. Route 3: Yell Practice will be adjusted slightly. A new route, Route 9, will be added to provide transport to the College of Veterinary Medicine on Raymond Stotzer parkway.
Off campus routes including Route 12: Reveille, Route 26: Rudder, Route 27: Ring Dance, Route 34: Fish Camp, Route 35: Hullaballoo and Route 36: Cotton Bowl have also been changed. In addition a new route, Route 40, will be added to increase transit services for those living on Holleman drive S. All route changes will become effective on Aug. 15. Go to transport.tamu.edu for specifics on bus route adjustments.
Transportation Services also provides alternative means of transportation to students. BCS Bicycles has teamed up with Transportation Services to offer students the opportunity to lease a bicycle for $50 to use for the entire semester. Also, students can use a bike for free through the Borrow a Bike program at Koldus room 108.
In association with the Environmental Issues Committee, Transportation Services has partnered with a ridesharing service called Zimride. Through this service students with cars can offer rides to other students for a price. Also, students without cars can use this service to locate rides.
Through a service called Zipcar, students without cars can book a car to use around the College Station area or even to use on road trips. For students wishing to return home, Kerrville Bus Company will have weekend service to Houston, Dallas, and Grand Prarie, with connectivity through Megabus to other destinations.
Each of the changes made to Transportation Services have been part of the Campus Master Plan, which was implemented in 2004 and updated in 2016 to develop the infrastructure of the school. As part of this plan, the Texas Transportation Institute will conduct a study in the Fall to further increase the efficiency of Texas A&M’s Transportation Services. For more information on the Campus Master Plan visit campusplan.tamu.edu