Commuters who park for free at the Crisler Arena lot and ride to Central Campus or Medical Campus this year may find themselves hunting for a parking spot if they arrive after 8 a.m. Even the early birds who arrive for the 7:30 a.m. shuttle service will park much farther away and walk farther (and faster) to catch a bus.
Approximately 235 spaces in the Crisler lot (SC5) that last year were tagged as free commuter parking now are designated reduced-rate parking. The $86 annual fee for the newly designated reduced-rate section applies to the north section of the Crisler lot (now called SC5N) and lots NC35 (North Campus), NC53 (Fuller-Mitchell), and SC9 (at Hill and Division and not on the University bus route).
The North Campus and Crisler commuter lots now have just over 1,200 free parking spaces and serve nearly 2,000 faculty, staff and students.
Although reduced-rate lots will hold 1,459 vehicles, Diane M. DeLaTorre, office manager at University Parking Services, says that only about 400 permits have been purchased for those lots.
Additional commuter parking is available at Pioneer High School, on State Street across from the Howard Cooper automobile dealership and at Maple Village. Free transportation to campus is provided by the Ann Arbor Tranpsortation Authority to those showing a valid University faculty, staff or student ID card.
Beginning in about two weeks, DeLaTorre says, Parking Services personnel will regularly check the commuter and reduced-rate lots to see how well they are being used. In the meantime, she notes, there have been few complaints and very little reaction to the reduction in free commuter parking spaces.