UC San Diego Transportation Services is partnering with Lyft this fall quarter to incentivize students to use Lyft to commute instead of parking on campus.
In an effort to reduce parking congestion, students can now participate in the Lyft FLEX program, which allows students to commute to school using Lyft credit purchased on the UCSD Transportation website and provides them with ten days of free parking. Due to ongoing construction and an increase in accepted students, student parking spot availability is limited, with many commuter students struggling to find designated “S” parking spots during the day because most lots fill up early. In an attempt to alleviate the problem, UCSD banned first year students from purchasing parking permits in fall of 2016.
Who’s in charge of ucsd parking ? I’m not mad I just wanna talk
— lana (@lana_ras) October 26, 2017
At ucsd a majority of my gas is wasted circling the parking lots
— nope (@imnotjaynee) October 2, 2017
A parking pass legit is worth nothing here at ucsd.
— Jason Ly-Lee (@JasonLy_Lee) October 19, 2017
Lyft FLEX credit can only be bought online at the UCSD Transportation website and the deal is only available to UCSD undergraduate or graduate students with no current parking restrictions. The first plan offered, Lyft FLEX 195, costs $180 and gives students $195 of Lyft credit plus five days of free parking. The second plan, Lyft FLEX 360, costs $330 and gives students $360 of Lyft credits plus ten days of free parking on campus.
Students who purchase Lyft credit will be non-eligible to buy quarterly or annual parking permits for the quarter they use Lyft FLEX. Daily permits can be redeemed online at the parking website on the days they are used.
This program is not to be confused with AS Safe Rides, a program where Associated Students (AS) will give students three free rides through Lyft, with some restrictions. AS Safe Rides through Lyft can only be used between 6:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m. within a boundary around UCSD. In order to qualify, students create a business account by linking their UCSD email address to their Lyft account.
“We’re moving to a more holistic approach to solving the parking issue to make sure everyone can get to campus through different transportation modes,” AS President Lesly Figueroa told The Triton earlier this month. Figueroa said that she is working with Vice Chancellor for Resource Management and Planning, Gary C. Matthews, in order to develop solutions for the lack of on-campus parking. Due to the construction of the new North Torrey Pines Living & Learning Neighborhood, the Muir parking lots are expected to close summer of 2018, compounding the lack of available parking.
Laura Margoni, Interim Director of Strategic Affairs at the University Communications and Public Affairs Department, said that the program was created after departments at UCSD contacted rideshare services, such as Lyft, to discuss possible opportunities to work together. Margoni said that this is a pilot run of the program and transportation officials will decide whether it will be offered during other quarters based on its success in fall quarter. All Lyft credits obtained through the program, as well as parking passes, will expire on December 31, 2017.
Ethan Coston is a staff writer for The Triton.