Q Card solution to some students’ parking problems

Metro’s efforts to bring light rail to UH continue as parking lots are still congested, causing a campuswide movement toward an alternative parking solution to emerge.

“I used to drive to school every day, but it took me over 30 minutes or maybe more to find parking. The amount of time spent looking for a spot and then walking to class caused me to miss most of my lecture,” business junior Rodrigo Recendez said. “Now that I carpool, I finally get to class on time.”

With the rising cost of tuition and gas, more students are using the Metro Q Card, which lets them ride the bus or train and take advantage of the 50 percent discount offered to all students.

“You have to pay $50 for a parking spot. I can’t afford that plus gas,” computer science sophomore Shawn Cunningham said. “I have a (student) discount with the Metro card, so it’s like $5 a week.”

This issue has pressed students to find more efficient modes of transportation, including carpooling, public transportation and the use of smaller vehicles, such as bicycles or motorcycles.

“Motorcycles can find parking easily and almost everywhere,” communication junior Zuber Allibhoy said. “Plus, you don’t need a huge spot for a small bike, so if everyone had a motorcycle, there wouldn’t be a problem finding parking.”

Parking and Transportation Services hope this developing trend will lead to UH becoming a green institution.

“Our goal is to have 10 percent of the campus population to use some sort of alternative transportation,” Director of Parking and Transportation Robert Browand said.

In addition to the alternative modes of transportation, UH is in the midst of negotiating a car-share program with Hertz, set to take effect before the upcoming fall semester, allowing students to rent a car if they need to.

“If students want to take mass transit, but are afraid of being stuck here and not being able to meet a doctor’s appointment or something else, they have that option to take Metro here or rent a car for the rest of that day or even for the hour,” Browand said.

Alternative modes of transportation are setting a precedent for many students, even those that don’t own their own means of transportation.

“I don’t have a car, so the bus has been my mode of transportation for three years,” anthropology junior Tiffany Randolph said. “But I would ride the bus even if I had car.”

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