By Mary Jo Frank
In a pilot program that begins today (Jan. 10), Medical Campus faculty and staff can ride to and from work free, boarding buses at any Ann Arbor Transportation Authority (AATA) bus stop.
The expanded Park & Ride program, funded by University Parking Services, fits in with the Transportation Update Plan developed by the U-M, the city of Ann Arbor and AATA to pool transportation resources and reduce Ann Arbor traffic congestion, according to Diane M. DeLaTorre, administrative associate, University Parking Services.
The Medical Campus was selected for the pilot because of increasing parking congestion. In November and December approximately 400 parking spaces that had been reserved for staff-paid parking at the Taubman parking structure were converted to patient parking to remedy a shortage of patient parking.
The Medical Campus Park & Ride program is an extension of the Universitys Park & Ride, which is available to all students, faculty and staff. With a U-M ID, students and employees ride free to the U-M on AATA buses from lots at Pioneer High School and Maple Village shopping center, DeLaTorre explains.
Under the pilot program, faculty and staff who register with Parking Services and who work at any Medical Campus building can board AATA buses by showing their U-M ID and a special Parking Services pass.
The Medical Campus Park & Ride program is open to regular faculty and staff with an appointment of 50 percent (20 hours) or more and medical staff (faculty, house officers, nurses and clinical staff) with appointments greater than 1 percent. The pilot program is not open to temporary staff, students or employees who work less than 20 hours per week.
The pilot program, which ends Aug. 31, will be reviewed over the summer, to see if it should be renewed or expanded to other parts of the Ann Arbor campus, according to DeLaTorre.
Information booths, staffed by AATA and Parking Services, will be set up today (Jan. 10) in the 300 North Ingalls Building lobby (third floor) and Tuesday (Jan. 11) in the fourth floor lobby of the Medical Science Building I to accept applications and provide additional information, including personalized route services.
During the pilot period, Medical Campus Park & Ride participants may obtain or keep any parking permit or turn in a parking permit for a pro-rated refund. Park & Ride participants also may purchase daily parking permits for staff paid ($5.75) or reduced rate ($3) areas or obtain free commuter permits.
If the program is renewed or expanded after Aug. 31, Parking Services will consider selling books containing a small number of staff-paid daily permits to Park & Ride participants in case they need to occasionally bring their vehicle to campus.