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Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Parking Operations

Effective until the end of Summer Session II 2021 (Sunday, September 5, 2021. All operations will return to normal business beginning Tuesday, September 7, 2021).

Visitor Parking

Weekday and Weekend Parking

  • 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays
  • 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekends

We are providing discounted rates and more flexibility for our customers through the end of Summer Session II (Sunday, September 5, 2021). Visitor parking rates will follow the weekend parking rate schedule. This means that at campus locations (excluding medical centers):

  • Individuals coming to campus for one hour or less can park for free using the Parkmobile app (select zone 4752 valid in V spaces only) or by using a pay station.
  • After the first free hour, campus visitors may park for $1.50/hour with a daily maximum charge of $6.

Permit Guidelines

A Permits

An A permit is needed to park in an A space except during permit upgrade hours. (Select your permit type to view upgrade hours).

B, S and D Permits

  • These permit types are interchangeable and may be used for parking in B, S or D spaces where no special access is required.
  • Faculty, staff and students can park in any B, S or D permit space for $4 using the Parkmobile app and parking zone number 4762. B, S and D permits may also be used in A and designated V spaces during permit upgrade hours. (Select your permit type to view upgrade hours).

Restrictions and Special Access Parking

  • Restrictions on permit spaces remain where posted, e.g., "Two Hour Limit.”
  • Restrictions on special purpose spaces, e.g., “UC Vehicles” and “Reserved,” remain in place.
  • Areas that require special access supplements, like Scripps Institution of Oceanography, continue to require those supplements.

Payroll Deductions

We encourage our colleagues to transition to daily parking and reduce their overall commute costs. To cancel your payroll deduction permit:

  • Cut your permit in half and send a photo of it to parking@ucsd.edu with the subject "Cancel My Deduction" or "Refund My Permit."
  • Prorated refunds will be issued based on the cancellation date.

Customer Service

Virtual Office Hours

On-site Office Hours

Our physical offices are closed until further notice. For items that cannot be fulfilled virtually, we will either ship or provide pickup via .

 

Why are you charging for parking?

At the beginning of the pandemic, Transportation Services briefly paused paid parking on campus while we assessed the parking and transportation needs of those students who would remain on campus during UC San Diego’s first virtual academic quarter. We also evaluated the needs of faculty and staff in essential services positions who would remain on campus or return intermittently.

Like all auxiliaries, we examined every reasonable opportunity to reduce operating expenses for spring quarter; however, we still have significant fixed costs associated with debt on parking facilities. Even with our efforts to conserve resources, we anticipate a severe deficit that will exhaust our reserves before operations return to normal.

We sent an overview of our spring quarter operations to the university community on Thursday, March 26, 2020, which prioritizes support for patients, individuals with limited mobility and the faculty, staff and students who are ensuring continuity of education and patient care. It includes a temporary reduction in parking cost for all faculty, staff and student parking to our D (discount) permit rate for spring quarter and provides improved proximity for essential staff. The $65/month discount permit and $4/day parking rate are less than the MTS current $72/month and $6/day rates. We are extending these discounts through summer quarter, 2020.

We appreciate the understanding of our colleagues who continue to come to campus and pay for parking. We’re grateful for your efforts to fight COVID-19 and support the university community and region through this crisis. We’re in this together and Transportation Services will continue to support you and our fellow Tritons to the very best of our ability.

Triton Transit Operations

Service Overview

See Triton Transit routes and schedules.

Limiting Service

Triton Transit has limited service to essential trips only and now requires university ID when boarding on all routes.

During COVID-19, boarding is restricted to UC San Diego students, faculty and staff. Passengers must show the driver their “green thumb” result from the daily symptom screener when boarding. If a printout is used, instead of a handheld device, a UC San Diego identification card is also required.

Face Masks Required

Triton Transit & Mobility requires that drivers and passengers wear face masks when onboard busses, carts and vans.

Update 5/16/21: Masks Still Required on Campus and Local Transit

The Transportation Security Administration mandated the use of masks (facial coverings) on all forms of public transit, including our local rail, bus, and trolley operations. Recent updates from the CDC do not change this requirement.

Universal masking helped keep public transit remarkably safe during COVID-19. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive campus, want transit to remain a safe option for all Tritons, including those who are unable to be vaccinated or are immunocompromised. Triton Transit will continue to keep a mask requirement in place for boarding all services (busses, vans, and carts), until TSA, CDC, state, county, and campus guidance all indicate that it is reasonable to transition the requirement to a recommendation.

Current TSA guidance is in place until September 13, 2021. We do not anticipate any change to the mask requirement for Triton Transit or MTS prior to that date.

Reducing Density

Triton Transit has reduced the maximum occupancy of busses to 50% of seated capacity. In carts and light-duty vehicles, only members of the same household are permitted to ride in the same passenger cabin.

Protective Barriers

We’ve added Plexiglas protective barriers between the driver and passengers in our busses, carts, and vans to provide physical separation where physical distancing is not possible (e.g., during boarding).

Fresh Air

We operate with windows open to maximize the air exchange in our vehicles.

Enhanced Sanitation

Our staff spray bus, cart and van interiors with sanitizing solution each night. Drivers treat cart and van interiors with sanitizing solution between trips and clean high-touch surfaces on busses throughout the day.

We have also added hand sanitizer dispensers at all entrances and exits to reduce surface contamination and transfer.

Archived Guidelines from Past Quarters

Winter 2021 Parking Operations

Effective January 4

  • Weekday parking: Parking payment is required 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays and 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekends; however, we are providing discounted rates and more flexibility for our customers during winter quarter.
    • A permits are required to park in A spaces, except during permit upgrade hours. Select your permit type to view upgrade hours.
    • B, S and D permits are interchangeable and may be used for parking in all regular B, S or D spaces.
    • Faculty, staff and students can park in any B, S or D permit space for $4 using the Parkmobile app and parking zone number 4762.
    • Restrictions on permit spaces remain where posted, e.g., "Two Hour Limit.”
    • Restrictions on special purpose spaces, e.g., “UC Vehicles” and “Reserved,” remain in place.
    • Areas that require special supplements, like Scripps Institution of Oceanography, continue to require those supplements.
  • Weekend parking: Visitor parking rates will follow the weekend parking schedule. This means that at campus locations (excluding medical centers):
    • Individuals coming to campus for one hour or less can park for free using the Parkmobile app and the parking zone number for the V space where they park.
    • After the first free hour, campus visitors may park for $1.50/hour with a daily maximum charge of $6.
    • Faculty, staff and students can park in any V space or regular A, B, S or D permit space for $4 using the Parkmobile app and parking zone number 4762.
  • You may cancel your payroll deduction permit.
    • Cut your permit in half and send a photo of it to parking@ucsd.edu with the subject "Cancel My Deduction" or "Refund My Permit."
    • Prorated refunds will be issued based on the cancellation date.
  • Commuter and Visitor Information Centers remain closed. Our virtual office provides most services online, by telephone, or by email from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. weekdays, excluding university holidays. Limited office appointments are available for services that can only be provided in person.
  • Campus valet operations remain suspended. Health System patient valet operations continue.

Fall 2020 Parking Operations

Effective September 28

  • Weekday parking: Parking payment is required 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays and 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekends; however, we are providing discounted rates and more flexibility for our customers during fall quarter.
    • A permits are required to park in A spaces, except during permit upgrade hours. Select your permit type to view upgrade hours.
    • B, S and D permits are interchangeable and may be used for parking in all regular B, S or D spaces.
    • Faculty, staff and students can park in any B, S or D permit space for $4 using the Parkmobile app and parking zone number 4762.
    • Restrictions on permit spaces remain where posted, e.g., "Two Hour Limit.”
    • Restrictions on special purpose spaces, e.g., “UC Vehicles” and “Reserved,” remain in place.
    • Areas that require special supplements, like Scripps Institution of Oceanography, continue to require those supplements.
  • Weekend parking: Visitor parking rates will follow the weekend parking schedule. This means that at campus locations (excluding medical centers):
    • Individuals coming to campus for one hour or less can park for free using the Parkmobile app and the parking zone number for the V space where they park.
    • After the first free hour, campus visitors may park for $1.50/hour with a daily maximum charge of $6.
    • Faculty, staff and students can park in any V space or regular A, B, S or D permit space for $4 using the Parkmobile app and parking zone number 4762.
  • You may cancel your payroll deduction permit.
    • Cut your permit in half and send a photo of it to parking@ucsd.edu with the subject "Cancel My Deduction" or "Refund My Permit."
    • Prorated refunds will be issued based on the cancellation date.
  • Commuter and Visitor Information Centers remain closed. Our virtual office provides most services online, by telephone, or by email from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. weekdays, excluding university holidays. Limited office appointments are available for services that can only be provided in person.
  • Campus valet operations remain suspended. Health System patient valet operations continue.

Q&A with Josh Kavanagh, Executive Director of Transportation Services, on getting to and around campus

UC San Diego is making plans for a safe and gradual return to full campus operations this fall. To ensure the ongoing safety and well-being of everyone in our campus community, decisions will continue to be guided by the science, data and modeling that made the Return to Learn program a success.

This phased return also provides an opportunity to think differently about how we work going forward. In the spirit of continuous improvement, vice chancellors are thoughtfully considering how to best support the university’s mission, building upon what was learned over the past year and with valuable input from staff, faculty and students. In particular, each area of the university will look at new ways to deliver services while exploring opportunities to create a more flexible and equitable environment.

In this Q&A, part of an ongoing series, Executive Director of Transportation Services Josh Kavanagh highlights new ways to get to and around campus this fall.

How did your team navigate the early days of the pandemic?

The pandemic hit right before spring break, so for spring break we just shut down. We huddled up to think about how to redeploy all of our tools to respond to a campus that was going to have very different needs. That’s where the idea to provide interchangeable parking permits across all zones came from, and also the idea to leverage the pay-by-day technology we had been using in some of the student lots along Regents Road. Once we identified a different way to deliver parking to people, we wanted to really commit to it and make sure the transition was seamless.

Given that many faculty, staff and students weren’t coming to campus, our team prioritized removing all the red tape associated with permit cancellations, and made it as easy as sending an email.  Our philosophy was to operate from a place of trust and a place of service, and the rest would work itself out. We were navigating unprecedented times and wanted to make it as easy as possible for our colleagues.

Can you think of any specific lessons learned during the pandemic? 

Flexibility is the central takeaway. We were already on a trajectory to offer more flexible products and services to meet the campus community where they were, but the pandemic meant that faculty, staff and students needed far more flexibility, much faster than we would’ve anticipated. We may not have ended up in a different place, but we got there a lot faster.

Another thing that’s very different is that the retail footprint that we will have going forward will be very modest. Transportation Services operated five offices. We are looking at a future where we may have none, or we may have a fraction of a shared service center. We are examining whether we can stay with a fully virtual customer service function to better serve our customers in the hours they are available and where they are available, but also to provide more flexibility to our employees. That’s a vision we’re  excited about from an efficiency standpoint, but also from a customer service standpoint. The pandemic served as a catalyst for change that has improved service on both of those dimensions.

Do you have any parking tips for people returning to campus?

The parking program changed a lot over the past 17 months. First, we opened the parking structure at North Torrey Pines Living and Learning Neighborhood, which brings 1,200 parking spaces to the parking system, a net increase of more than 300 spaces. Second, as trolley construction winds down, hundreds of spaces on the east campus are coming back into the parking inventory this fall, returning parking that we haven’t had access to in years. This includes spaces in lots P707, P702 and P705, which was a student favorite. This will help ensure we have sufficient parking as the campus returns to full operations.

The pandemic also drove a major shift in parking passes. The majority of our campus customers cancelled their annual parking permits over the pandemic. When those customers return to campus in the fall, we don’t expect them to return to that model, because there are significant savings to be found over a year through daily parking—even if working on campus full-time.

The university also moved away from using plastic hang tags and is using license plates for permits instead. This improves campus sustainability, and also provides many benefits from a customer service standpoint—no need to print a permit or remember a separate pass.

Lastly, the campus took advantage of reduced campus occupancy to accelerate improvements to parking facilities. The interior of the Gilman Parking Structure was repainted with bright white paint and light fixtures were replaced with high-quality LED lights, improving the interior lighting while reducing energy use. The university also added important parking information to the Gilman Parking Structure—now, faculty, staff and students will find real-time parking availability information and guidance to available spaces. We’re in the process of adding that improvement to the Hopkins Parking Structure, too. The Osler Parking Structure and the new parking structure at North Torrey Pines Living Learning Neighborhood re-set the bar for what the parking experience should look like on campus. We are excited to update our legacy facilities to offer that same experience in terms of safety, comfort and real-time parking information. As we look forward to the coming fiscal year, we hope to update the Campus Point West Parking Structure and the Athena Parking Structure with the same state-of-the-art parking guidance systems and ensure they have the same high-quality lighting and paint treatments.

Faculty, staff and students returning to campus also will see many more electric vehicle charging stations powered by renewable energy—the university now has more than 300 across the campus.

For those who have been working remote, what’s new for faculty, staff and students who bicycle or use scooters and skateboards to get around campus?

The pandemic sparked a revolution in biking in the U.S., in fact, there were significant shortages in the bicycle industry because of the spike in demand, and those persist today. More people are on bikes and that’s a good thing. As a campus, we’re leaning into that. We were already in support of active transportation (biking and walking) but now we need to create more dedicated paths for all ages and abilities that aren’t stressful for riders.

Immediately before the pandemic, Campus Planning, Transportation Services, Urban Studies and Planning and the Young Planners Society collaborated to host a design-a-thon focused on calming traffic on campus and creating bike lanes that are low-stress and can be used by people of all ages and abilities. The student designers came up with amazing ideas. Unfortunately, because of the pandemic, we weren’t able to test them as we had planned to, but the ideas persisted and we are implementing a number of them. The protected bike lanes on Voigt Drive in the canyon near Geisel are an example of that effort, where we provided a low-stress bikeway and narrowed the travel lane to reduce motor vehicle speeds. It has been very effective, and is an example of the solutions that we are bringing to the rest of campus. Between now and the fall quarter, we will introduce an additional three miles of protected bike lanes to the campus, at minimum. This is a massive move considering that we didn’t have any protected bike lanes until recently.

At the same time, on Ridge Walk, we have opened our first mode-separated section. This means that pedestrians travel in one area while bikes, scooters and skateboards travel in another. People are taking to it like ducks to water. We plan to expand this on an ongoing basis as we complete the full Ridge Walk corridor.

During the pandemic we accelerated our plan to manage the number of micromobility providers on campus and reduce scooter clutter. We didn’t want to see scooters blocking paths, and didn’t want to see people riding on them at speeds that weren’t prudent. During the pandemic we paused rental micromobility altogether, then we brought SPIN back as an exclusive partner on the campus, using a model that required scooters and bikes to be parked in specific areas. That eliminated scooter clutter, but also allowed the vehicles to be better serviced and allowed us to provide hand sanitizing stations in the designated areas for scooters and bikes.

Are there any new ways to help people navigate the campus?

The university is introducing new kiosks to assist with digital wayfinding. These interactive digital kiosks will provide real time transit information, maps, points of interest around the campus and information on events, dining, artwork and performances. Prior to fall quarter, the first set of kiosks will appear at the Osler Parking Structure, the Che Café, the transit center at North Torrey Pines Living and Learning Neighborhood and Ridge Walk. Additional kiosks will be added to the campus prior to the opening of the UC San Diego Blue Line trolley stops later this year. This will ensure that as we welcome the community to the campus, we give them the tools to find their way to everything the university has to offer. Over the course of the coming year, we anticipate having 20 kiosks on campus, primarily in the areas where people transition from public transportation or Triton Transit to walking or biking to their final destination on campus.

We are also installing waypoint indicators before fall quarter on hundreds of light poles throughout the campus. To use, simply point the camera of a smartphone to the QR code on the indicator, and a campus map will open, providing information about services, amenities and points of interest in the area.

What’s new for those who take public transit?

Before the pandemic, approximately 60% of the university’s faculty, staff and students used alternative transportation for their daily commute. Post-pandemic, we anticipate increased use of alternative transportation, especially once the extension of the UC San Diego Blue Line is complete and the campus’s two trolley stops open in November. New transit riders can ride for free for three months when the university’s ECO Pass Trial program returns in fall quarter. Students automatically receive unlimited bus and trolley rides through the U-PASS program.

We’ve been working with San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) and North County Transit District (NCTD) to provide great connections between the campus and the broader transportation and transit network.  For example, MTS bus route 974 is a free service connecting the Sorrento Valley Coaster Station to the campus. That route has been successful and is returning to pre-pandemic levels of service. The university also worked with MTS and San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) to develop a seamless transfer environment between the UC San Diego Blue Line and Triton Transit, which includes extending Triton Transit to directly connect Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Mesa Apartments to campus trolley stops. This makes sure that everyone, regardless of where they work on the campus, has great access to the trolley when service begins in November.

I’ve had colleagues refer to the pandemic as a forced experiment, which it was. But, if we apply what we learned, and carry it forward across the university, we have the potential to have truly transformational impacts on traffic, carbon emissions and quality of life. This is an opportunity we should fully embrace.