Click on the link above to view an in-depth slideshow of photos compiling the University of Arkansas’ parking and transit history throughout the years, featuring the voice of Education and Instruction Specialist Andy Gilbride.
Over the past twenty years, the university has had quite a lot of changes made to the parking and transit systems. In 1993, the UA didn’t have any parking garages and now they have three: Stadium Drive, Harmon Avenue and Garland Avenue. All three host hundreds of parking spaces.
The garages provide guaranteed convenient parking options for the students who are fortunate enough to have a permit, said Andy Gilbride, Education and Instruction Specialist over Parking and Transit. Each garage has a waiting list with hundreds of people waiting to buy permits. Gilbride says incoming freshman aren’t even given an option of buying any of these permits because there just isn’t room.
When Gilbride first began working at the University in 1993, there were bout 9,000 parking space. Now there are 12,000 to 13,000 spaces. Although that’s a large difference in numbers, the problem has been the same; there’s a shortage of close parking spaces in the vicinity to campus.
Gilbride said to determine which parking lots are labeled for students or for staff, the parking and transit office takes complaints and suggestions from students and staff and then submits them to the Transit, Parking and Traffic Committee. The committee is comprised of students, staff and faculty across the campus. They vote and decide what to label the lots and for which times. Part of the formula they use considers the fact that no more seventy-five percent of the population of the school is ever on campus at one time. This means that the number of parking spaces doesn’t have to be equivalent to the number of students and staff. According to Gilbride, the university once only held morning classes, so most of the population would be on campus at the same time. Because of the many parking problems that arose, the registrar’s office now offers classes all day. Thus the 75 percent rule comes into play.
The transportation system has changed a lot over the years. With the additions of the half-million-priced buses to help take people all over campus and all over the city of Fayetteville. The transportation system is federally funded. Therefore, Fayetteville taxpayers help pay for Razorback Transit and are able to ride the buses as frequently as the university students and faculty. Last year alone, Razorback transit recorded serving over two million passengers.