With the closure of about 1,200 spaces and the push for students to buy an $87 Ramona Lot parking permit by limiting how many regular parking permits are sold, next semester promises even more campus congestion. Check out our guide to the coming changes. (Story continues below the map)
Traffic and parking will be vastly different next semester due to campus construction — Sacramento State President Robert Nelsen described a traffic “nightmare,” with “big slabs” of precast concrete for building Parking Structure V, Science II and the Union expansion project. But UTAPS has proposed numerous ideas, including pushing for students to park in Ramona Lot and introducing ride-hailing app ZimRide to facilitate carpooling.
Limited On-Campus Parking Permits
University Transportation and Parking Services (UTAPS) plans to sell a limited number of on-campus parking permits due to the lower amount of available on-campus parking.
“It feels unfair to sell the same number of permits (for) fewer parking spots,” UTAPS Director Tony Lucas said.
However, Lucas said there may not be a need to limit the number of on-campus parking permits if enough Ramona Lot parking permits are purchased — about 1,000 to cover the approximately 1,200 student parking spaces lost on campus.
If not enough students buy Ramona Lot parking permits and the number of on-campus parking permits sold is limited, exceptions will be made for “compelling reasons,” such as students with children or jobs who can’t wait for a shuttle, Lucas said.
Parking permit purchases begin in August, but Ramona Lot parking permits will be on sale earlier.
Ramona Lot, located almost two miles south of Hornet Stadium, will reopen in the fall semester — with a new price, new shuttles and new hours.
The price for a Ramona Lot parking permit, which does not grant parking rights anywhere else but Ramona, will be $87 — half the cost of a regular student parking permit.
To handle the expected influx of new and returning students using Ramona Lot, Lucas said UTAPS plans to have four shuttles operational to take students between Ramona Lot and campus on day one of the fall semester.
Two of the shuttles will be provided by a private contractor. As of press time, a contractor has not been chosen, but two bids ranging from $75 per hour to $150 per hour have been sent in, according to Lucas. The shuttles will likely be the same size as the current Hornet Shuttles, which can hold 23 sitting people, or larger.
“I don’t want to open (Ramona Lot) and have two shuttles that may be just fine but may not be enough. What I’d rather do when we first open up is overkill it by having like four shuttles out there, then I can scale back on the shuttles based on the demand,” Lucas said. “I’m thinking forward trying to make sure students aren’t sitting around waiting for a shuttle — because that’s the thing that’s going to kill this.”
Initial hours for Ramona Lot will be 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. However, the times may be adjusted to be shorter or longer based on usage of the parking lot, according to Lucas. Students who find their car behind a locked Ramona Lot gate can phone campus police to unlock the gate for them.
Ramona Lot will be a mostly gravel lot with lighting powered by solar panels, similar to Parking Lot 9 by Napa Hall and Modoc Hall.
Ramona Lot currently has 258 parking spaces, but about 780 more will be added.
About $300,000 will be spent to clean up, install lighting and hire patrol for Ramona Lot during the semester.
There are no plans to keep Ramona Lot open once Parking Structure V opens. In the past, Ramona Lot has been opened during periods of less available parking due to construction or renovation on campus. University Enterprises Inc. originally bought Ramona Lot for staff and faculty housing.
The Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) of UTAPS approved the ride-hailing service ZimRide on April 5, and will be paying $9,000 per year for a license.
ZimRide, owned by Enterprise Rent-A-Car and founded by the same people who founded Lyft, is intended to offer Sac State students a medium to arrange carpools in a fashion similar to ride-hailing apps Uber and Lyft.
However, Sac State students can only match up with another students from Sac State, instead of the general pool of drivers that Uber and Lyft operate with.
Lucas said that he hopes students will use the service to connect with other students and carpool to school to ease traffic congestion, open more parking spots and reduce environmental impact.
Currently, ZimRide is used in 10 schools in the CSU and UC systems — CSU Long Beach is the only CSU to use ZimRide, but all UCs except UC Berkeley use ZimRide.
While not an app, ZimRide will be part of the Sac State app along with PayByPhone, which allows students to purchase parking permits online and DoubleMap, which allows students to monitor where Hornet Shuttles are.
Lucas expects the ride-hailing service to be available in time for the fall semester.
The final UTAPS information session will be held May 10 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Sequoia Room of the University Union.