Happy fall, y'all!
Happy fall, y'all!
After a thorough RFP and selection process, Academy Bus was chosen to operate UNC Charlotte’s campus bus system. Academy is the largest privately owned and operated transportation company in country, serving the East Coast for more than 40 years. Getting around campus is now bigger, better, later and often-er than ever before.
Important things to know
For Niner Transit and specific comments/questions about campus transportation, contact Helena Connors, firstname.lastname@example.org. For immediate questions/concerns, call the PaTS Communication Center, 704-687-0161. Niner Transit information and monitoring is also on Twitter @unccnextride and @unccparking.
Lost and found: Items turned in from buses are sent to the Campus Police department.
Having a bike share program at UNC Charlotte has been in the works for YEARS. The wait is finally over; Charlotte Wheels is live! Ten rack corrals were installed and 50 Gotcha Bikes arrived last week. Students discovered them and began riding almost immediately.
About the bikes
The first thing riders notice is the quality of the bicycles. They are sturdy without being too heavy, beautifully balanced, and have both coaster and hand brakes. Instead of a chain, the bikes are belt driven and have Shirmano three-speed internal gears for taking on campus hills with surprising ease. A basket with bungee cords secures books and packages and safety lights illuminate both front and rear. And no one who was ever a kid can resist the thumb-ringable bell.
How it works
Accessing Charlotte Wheels is easy. Bikes can be reserved directly from the computer on the back of the bike or through the Social Bicycles app.
Anyone can create an account to use the program. Two pricing plans* are available:
Here's an example of point-to-point use. A student, we'll call him Norm, reserves a bike that's parked at the corral between Smith and Prospector via app or bike keypad. He enters his PIN to unlock the bike. Norm's intent is to ride up to CRI for a class that starts in an hour. As he glides down Craver Road, he decides there's time for a coffee at the Student Union Starbucks. Norm activates the "hold" feature on the bike to stop the clock for up to 30 minutes and locks up the bike. One latte and a little while later, he has ended his ride and locked the bike at the Grigg/EPIC corral. His time with the bike was 55 minutes. The cost to Norm was $0.
Convenient, eco-friendly and fun
Bike share will be a boon to resident students, commuters, staff, and visitors alike. PaTs Transportation Manager, Helena Connors, is excited to see the program finally in motion. "Not only will Charlotte Wheels offer a new mode of transportation to get around campus, it will open up new places to explore — like the Greenway."
Jerry Mann, avid cyclist and former director of the Popp Martin Student Union, interrupted his retirement to help PaTS launch the program. "Students, faculty and staff now have the freedom to pick up a bike at a convenient location," he said, "and immediately travel around campus at a low cost, while also burning calories and utilizing non-fossil fuel transportation."
Several groups and departments helped bring the dream of bike sharing to UNC Charlotte. They include PaTS and Business Services, Facilities Management Planning and Grounds units and the Office of Sustainability. Special thanks go to students from the Charlotte Green Initiative, who provided grant funds and more importantly, the inspiration and impetus to bring Charlotte Wheels to campus.
*See website for details and restrictions
Map of Charlotte Wheels bike corral locations here
Important safety note: Helmet use is strongly advised. For those who do not own a helmet, Bikeline of Charlotte, 8528 University City Blvd., (in shopping center across from main entrance of campus) offers quality helmets and will provide proper fitting.
We loved seing this on Twitter! Thanks for sharing @UNCC_MAS
Soon, you will need your 49er ID card to access gated parking decks and lots. Parking permissions are now linked to the 49er ID cards.
Gated decks and lots are getting new license plate recognition technology (LPR) equipment. Until installation and calibration is complete, your new 49er ID card will be the only way you can enter and exit the gated decks and lots where your permit allows you to park*. Tapping your card at a contactless reader will raise the gates for entry and exit. Look for signs at deck and lot entrances that indicate when the ID card requirement will begin. After the new system is fully operational, you should still keep your 49er ID card with you to prompt gates if LPR ever fails to read your plate.
Unclear on how license plate recognition and virtual permits will function? Watch this short video:
Questions? Call the PaTS Communication Center (open weekdays, 24 hours): 704-687-0161 or email email@example.com
*If you have not yet picked up your new 49er ID card, please do so right away. Visit the 49er ID Card Office, located in the Auxiliary Services Building.
What the means specifically is that:
Any semester or year-long permit is valid 24/7
Any valid permit may park in any non-reserved student space
Temporary (daily) permits are valid ONLY for the days purchased.
Permits are not enforced on weekends after 10:00 PM Friday until 5:00 AM Monday and when the PaTS Call Center is closed.
For short term parking by a building to carry something in or out, call the PaTS Communication Center at 704-687-0161. Give your vehicle information and location. You'll be given some direction and 15 minutes to park.
PaTS' Communication Center line has someone available to help you 24/5 (weekdays from 5:00 AM continuously through 10:00 PM Friday). When in doubt, ASK, please!
Summer parking permits are available for online purchase may be picked-up from the PaTS Office May 15.
Unexpired full-time permits have a way of showing up on Twitter and Craigslist this time of year but UNC Charlotte parking permits may only be bought through PaTS. Permits are registered to a specific person and vehicle. Buying and then using a permit registered to someone else may subject you to fines and other penalties.
Here’s some welcome news for those taking classes or working on campus this summer: PaTS will be running 15-passenger shuttles on Red and Green Lines throughout the summer, May 15 - August 1 (except holidays when the University is closed) from 7 AM until 11:30 PM weekdays, 3:30 PM - 11:30 PM weekends.
Expect some temporary parking disruption/displacement this summer as capital construction projects begin and new license plate recognition and gate systems are installed. Follow @unccparking on Twitter for the latest information.
Which lots are closing and why
Lots 18 and 19 are closing permanently this summer.
Where to park instead
The closest alternatives are East Decks 2 and 3 and West Deck, areas which should easily accommodate demand during the summer months.
However, during fall and spring semester, East Decks 2 and 3 and West Deck are typically at capacity from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Those decks, and the lots closest to them, will likely fill even earlier in the 2017-18 academic year. Then, North Deck and CRI Deck will both be good parking alternatives even though they are the farthest from the center of campus. When classes begin in August, these decks will be served by greatly enhanced bus service – with expected wait times of eight minutes or less.
The pain is real - but temporary
There’s no way around it: These closures are going to be inconvenient for those who normally park in these lots.
Parking demand should ease somewhat when campus gets used to the advantages of a more vigorous bus system and light rail service to campus begins.
By summer of 2018, the Union Deck expansion is expected to be completed. This will yield 570 parking spaces, approximately 200 more than were available when Lots 18 and 19 were in use.
About the construction project: Facilities Management Customer Service Line, from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm., Monday through Friday, 704-687-0562
About parking: PaTS Communication Center, open 24 hours weekdays (5:00 am Monday – 10:00 pm Friday), 704-687-0161 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Shortly after the “all-campus” email went out with the subject line, “License plate recognition coming to parking permits,” call volume into the PaTS Communication Center spiked, as anyone would expect. This is a big change that will affect everyone who drives to class or work here. Here’s some background on why the system needed to change and how License Plate Recognition (LPR) was the system that PaTS and Business Services, after more than a year of research, decided to implement.
Timing is Everything
The need for change was chosen for PaTS when the manufacturer of the current radio frequency identification-based system pulled out of the industry and was no longer going to support the equipment. Gabe Gerber, systems analyst for Business Services, explains, “The company that made the hardware and software UNC Charlotte used was bought by a large conglomerate that ultimately decided not to reinvest in the product.”
Maintaining a defunct product without vendor support, parts, etc., is neither practical nor cost-effective. This presented PaTS with an opportunity to find something better that could keep up with campus growth and offer features that students, faculty and staff had been requesting.
“License plate recognition for enforcement is becoming popular for institutional use all across the country as the technology becomes more and more reliable and more cost-effective, “ says Doug Lape, PaTS director. “Using LPR for access control is somewhat new, but still used in a number of instances throughout the world, with a handful of locations in Uptown Charlotte. The linking of the two [enforcement with access control] is, well, on the leading edge of technology.”
Gerber believes it makes good sense to leverage LPR technology to do both. “Why pay to make, distribute and manage a parking credential [permit] when you bring one with you on your vehicle every day? Your license plate is identifying documentation. And we also have the 49er ID Card, so there’s the benefit of having your ID as secondary credential if there’s ever a problem with the LPR.”
But there’s this one thing…
LPR does require a clear license plate view from the drive lane adjacent to the parking space; backing into a parking space hides the plate so that will draw a citation unless:
Will the change to LPR make permit prices go up?
Permit prices for full-time permits will be the same for 2017-18, which makes the fourth year in a row without an increase.
The primary factor that determines permit price is the cost of new deck construction and replacing flat lots with decks. As existing surface lots make way for new buildings and those spaces are replaced with decks (as per campus Master Plan), permit cost go up accordingly because parking is self-supporting.* A rate increase may be necessary by 2018-19 to support the University’s continued growth, but we won’t know that for sure until sometime in 2018.
Change is never easy
“We all need to be aware that the introduction of any new system will have some bumps,” says Lape. “But I’m confident that once campus gets used to it, the benefits will be evident.”
For specifc questions about virtual permits or parking at UNC Charlotte, the PaTS Communications Center is available 24-hours on weekdays (5 a.m. Monday – 10 p.m. Friday), or you can write email@example.com. We’re also on Twitter, @unccparking.
* State funds are not used to pay for parking facilities; collected citation fines cannot supplement construction or maintenance of parking facilities.
Santa Fe NM: Jaime Clinton, Executive Sous Chef for Catering, represented UNC Charlotte well at the Southern Regional Conference of the National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS) Culinary Challenge event, held last week at the University of New Mexico. She took second place in her first time competing.
The NACUFS Culinary Challenge is the conference’s headliner event, designed to showcase outstanding food preparation and presentation skills in collegiate dining services. Chefs are chosen to compete based on their original recipe for a main protein chosen by conference leadership, which this year, was pork. As contestants, they are given one hour to prepare and plate their dish before a panel of American Culinary Federation-approved judges and an audience of observers. They must display requisite techniques and cuts in the process.
Six universities were represented: UNC Charlotte, Georgia Southern, UNC Greensboro, Suwanee, Tulane, and Vanderbilt. Chef Jaime made “Apple Cider Brined Bone-in Pork with Brown Butter and Sage Apples, accompanied by Sweet and Yukon Potato Strings, Fried Kale, Cabbage and Turnip Kraut and Creamy Apple Dijon sauce.”
Although you wouldn’t know it from looking at the recipe, Chef Jaime characterizes her culinary style as simple. “Being from the South, I know what flavors go with pork,” she said with a chuckle. "The biggest challenge was working under the pressure of time. I didn’t want to overcook the pork; that destroys the flavor. You have to treat the pig well!”
Apparently she did so. Judges’ remarks state that her dish was colorful, had great flavor, and that the pork was cooked perfectly.
Reflecting on the experience, Chef Jaime said, “I’m not normally that competitive of a person, but there’s something about showing your skills and sharing your flavors that’s pretty cool. I can’t wait to do it again!”
“Jaime is an anchor for our campus culinary team,” said Jason Shillinglaw, Campus Executive Chef. “She brings creativity, excitement and an unparalleled work ethic every day. It was awesome to watch her work during the culinary competition. She managed her time well, worked extremely clean and put together a fantastic meal!”
Jaime Clinton has been serving UNC Charlotte for four years; two at Center Center and two at main campus. Her victory marks the third year in a row that a UNC Charlotte chef has brought a silver medal back to Charlotte.
Of interest to foodies and aspiring chefs, here are some of the culinary techniques and cuts Chef Jaime displayed in preparation of her competition recipe :
Brining: Soaking meat in a strong solution of water, salt, herbs, spices and sweetener to tenderize, flavor and reduce cooking time.
Frenching: To cut the meat away from the end of a rib or chop so that part of the bone is exposed)
Chiffonade: To cut into thin strips or shreds
Julienne: Cut into thin, matchstick shapes
Brunoise: A mixture of vegetables that have been finely diced or shredded, then cooked slowly in butter
(source: Barron's Food Lovers Companion, Herbst and Herbst)
UNC Charlotte Parking and Transportation Services has entered into an agreement with Gotcha Bike to bring bike sharing to campus. The program will launch later this Spring with 100 Gotcha™ bikes and 10 rack corrals located in strategic points around campus.
"Bike sharing is part of PaTS' long-term transportation demand management plan to provide transportation alternatives for faculty, staff, students and visitors," said Helena Connors, PaTS Transportation Manager. "The Gotcha program is a natural, sustainable addition to current options such as campus shuttle service and car sharing by Zipcar™."
Information about how to join the program and use the bikes to come. Check for updates at pats.uncc.edu/bike.
About Gotcha Bike
Gotcha Bike provides bike share programs at 18 college, residential and corporate campuses across the U.S. Gotcha Bikes are the nation’s smartest, thanks to Gotcha Bike’s partner, Social Bicycles, and proprietary GPS technology that allows users to locate and access the bikes via a smartphone or computer. Durability features of the specially made bikes include lightweight and rustproof aluminum frames, waterproof Kevlar seats, belt drives and puncture-resistant tires, which offer a maintenance-free smart bike.
The bikes’ integrated technology and flashing safety lights are powered through a built-in solar panel and dynamo hub, giving riders real-time data, such as carbon dioxide emissions reduced, calories burned and money saved versus driving. Gotcha Bike has saved its users more than $46,400 on gas, maintenance and other transportation expenses across 18 markets since first launching in 2015.
Parking and Transportation Services does space counts a few weeks into every semester to check that parking supply is sufficient for demand. These counts also inform planning for future parking facilities. All parking designations are counted: resident and commuter students, facutly/staff, visitors, ADA parking, etc., but because students are the population for whom most of campus parking is designated, the following information focuses on decks and lots open to those with student permits.
|Location||Total Available||Unoccupied 10:00 AM||Unoccupied 12:00 PM||Unoccupied 2:00 PM||Unoccupied 4:00 PM||Unoccupied 6:00 PM|
|Lot 26 (at FM/Police)||86||0||7||2||32||65|
|Lot 25 (across from Witherspoon)||483||88||75||62||121||164|
|Lot 19 (by Union Deck)||261||1||2||1||26||38|
|Lot 18 (by Union Deck)||92||0||0||4||25||36|
|CRI Deck 1||1318||795||796||787||961||1176|
|CRI Lot 2||129||0||2||3||39||111|
|Lot 23 (CRI by stadium)||180||0||10||2||16||84|
|Lot 14 (by Tennis complex)||22||1||1||0||7||13|
|Lot 7A (Memorial Hall)||37||0||1||1||10||25|
|Lot 7 (behind Cone Deck)||112||0||2||4||2||11|
|Lot 101 Foundation Bldg.||61||31||28||27||35||50|
|South Village Deck||1100||196||152||184||268||321|
|Lot 8 (by So.Village Deck)||245||0||0||9||12||6|
|Lot 16 (Oak, Pine, Maple, Elm)||118||0||0||1||4||5|
|Lot 20 (behind Witherspoon)||105||0||0||1||0||0|
|Lot 21 (beside Witherspoon)||133||1||0||1||1||2|
|Lot 12 (NE corner Mary Alex & Cameron)||51||0||1||3||11||43|
|Lot 13 (Hawthorn)||138||1||2||1||4||4|
|Lot 6 (off Martin Village Rd.)||602||286||136||198||292||377|
|Lot 5 (Van Landingham Rd.)||580||26||33||87||211||313|
|Lot 5A (Van Landingham)||251||87||47||66||138||108|
|Lot 4A (Van Landingham at John Kirk)||127||14||18||27||66||108|
|East Deck 3||811||122||108||193||383||591|
|East Deck 2||518||8||20||45||126||164|
*Counts taken over a two week period of normal class schedule (no holiday/break). ** Student parking space total. Does not include Faculty/Staff gated access, reserved, ADA/van accessible/handicapped, motorcycle, metered, visitor or discount remote parking. Campus total 13,931. Note: CRI Deck I is a mixed use facility on every level (available equally to Commuters, Faculty/Staff and Visitors and, after 6 PM, to those with Resident permits.)
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet @unccparking or call 704-687-0161. The PaTS Call Center line is open 24/5 weekdays, 5 a.m. Monday through 10 p.m. Friday.