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.
It comes as no surprise that parking is especially tight this year with the loss of Lots 18 and 19.
Student parking at a glance
Student parking by the numbers
Here are the numbers for Fall 2017, Monday - Thursday.*
Italicized entries are areas most likely to be filled between 9:30AM-11AM.
Boldentrieshave the most parking to spare throughout the day.
Student Parking Space Count, Fall 2017
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)
Lot 25 (across from Witherspoon)
CRI Deck 1
CRI Lot 2
Lot 23 (CRI by stadium)
Lot 14 (by Tennis complex)
Lot 7A (Memorial Hall)
Lot 7 (behind Cone Deck)
Lot 101 Foundation Bldg.
South Village Deck
Lot 8 (by So.Village Deck)
Lot 16 (Oak, Pine, Maple, Elm)
Lot 20 (behind Witherspoon)
Lot 21 (beside Witherspoon)
Lot 12 (NE corner Mary Alex & Cameron)
Lot 13 (Hawthorn)
Lot 6 (off Martin Village Rd.)
Lot 5 (Van Landingham Rd.)
Lot 5A (Van Landingham)
Lot 4A (Van Landingham at John Kirk)
East Deck 3
East Deck 2
*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 13,414 (down 517 spaces from last year's total of 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.)
Main points for Commuters:
Everyone wants to park as close as they can to their class and most classes are scheduled from about 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Therefore, more students are trying to park in the same places at the same time. Competition is stiff. When the Union Deck expansion is finished and light rail service to campus begins, there should be some easing of demand. Until then:
Take a look at the Commuter parking areas in bold. They are generally the least crowded and every one of them has a Niner Transit bus stop nearby.
It feels counterintuitive to park farther away from where you're going but just try it ONCE. You will likely find it doesn't take much longer and that it's less stressful to easily find parking in a lower-demand area and take the shuttle or walk to class. Once you've tried an alternative parking area, it won't feel as annoying to park there on days when your preferred parking is full.
Download the UNCCNextRide app or access the NextRide mobile web site you view where the shuttle is and when it will get to your stop.
It's pointless to circle a full deck or lot. Students do not generally come-and-go in steady streams but in hour-and-a-half bursts based on when classes begin and end. A full deck or lot at 9:30 a.m. will likely remain so until around 1 p.m. or so.
Now is the time to recharge your Optional Dining Account because from now until November 10, deposits of $100 or more get bonus dollars!
Deposit $100 - $249, receive $5 extra
Deposit $250 - $399, receive $25 extra
Deposit $400 or more, receive $50 extra
That's free money to enjoy your at any campus dining venue, any time you like. For those on meal plans who find the Declining Balance (DB) portion of the plan is running low, supplement those funds by recharging your ODA and maximize it with the bonus. Like ODA funds, bonus dollars do not expire and roll over semester to semester, year after year, as long as you're enrolled.
Bonus dollars are automatically added to ODA deposits* and reflected on your account. This offer is open to all students, faculty and staff.
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.
Bigger – Niner Transit buses are 40 feet long and hold a lot more passengers than previous 29 ft. CATS commuter buses.
Better – PaTS has directed Academy to provide continuous service; driver breaks are covered with little-to-no interruption and breakdowns are promptly replaced.
Later – seven day a week service until 2:30 AM!
Often-er – more buses on each route means shorter wait times. Two buses run on Green line, three on Gold line and four on Silver Line.
Important things to know
Niner Transit buses have two doors. The front door is for entering passengers; the back door is for those exiting. Loading and unloading is more efficient and safer this way.
Do not attempt to enter the rear door. Drivers cannot see you there.
Never chase a bus! If a driver passes by your stop it’s because the bus is at capacity. Wait for the next bus; it usually only takes a few more minutes.
Class schedule influences ridership demand; buses may fill to capacity especially around 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Buses are not like trains; they are subject to congestion, traffic, and crosswalk stops. Service may slow around 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m. 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.
The current Niner Transit buses are temporary, assembled from Academy’s existing fleet. Brand new Xcelsior buses are being built for UNC Charlotte, with delivery expected late spring.
There is no service on holidays when the University is closed. See website for modified schedules during class breaks.
Download the UNCCNextRide app. You’ll see where the buses are and when the next bus is expected at your stop. You can also get arrival estimates by text message. More
During peak ridership times, please slide toward the window so someone can sit on the aisle-side seat without having to ask.
Place backpacks on your lap or on the floor, taking care not create tripping hazards near the aisle.
When capacity reaches standing room, move all the way to the back of the bus so there’s room for others to get on. Buses will accommodate two rows of standing passengers.
Simple courtesies and an occasional “excuse me,” and “thank you,” go a long way to making the ride more pleasant for everyone.
For Niner Transit and specific comments/questions about campus transportation, contact Helena Connors, email@example.com. 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:
Point-to-point, which allows for 60 minutes ride time per day with no membership fee, and
Lifestyle, a $30/year membership that gives two hours of ride time per day.
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.
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
Norm may have been first to ride, but #UTOP17 has done plenty of test rides since!!!
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:
Relaxed enforcement in effect Wednesday, May 3 through Friday, May 12
What the means specifically is that:
Permits are still required to park
Meters are enforced
Visitor deck fees must be paid
Any semester or year-long permit is valid 24/7
Two-Day permits are valid 7 days per week
Night permits are valid at any time
Any valid permit may park in any non-reserved student space
Commuter permits may park in Resident and Greek spaces
Resident permits may park in Commuter and Greek spaces
Greek permits may park in Commuter and Resident spaces
Faculty/Staff permits may park in any student space including Lot 16
Lot 6A and Lot 27 permits may park in any 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.
Moving out? Reminder about loading and unloading
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.
If you bought a full-time permit in the fall or spring (Commuter, Resident, Greek Village, Faculty/Staff) your permit is good throughout summer (expiration is August 15).
Summer permits cost $110 per session (Summer 1 or 2) or $185 for both sessions.
Don't buy someone else's permit (or sell yours)
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.
Call the PaTS Call Center, 704-687-0161
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We're also on Twitter, @unccparking.
Summer bus service
Here’s some welcome news for those taking classes or working on campus this summer: PaTS will be running 15-passenger shuttleson 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.
Lot 18 is closing to expand the Union Deck, ultimately making up for the spaces that will be lost in Lot 19. The Union Deck will remain open, though there may be certain areas that are temporarily unavailable during construction.
Lot 19 is closing to make room for the new Health and Wellness Center – anticipated to open in fall 2019. This brand-new facility will feature multipurpose recreation courts, an indoor pool, fitness studios, an elevated running/walking track, plenty of cardio and strength training equipment, and more. Visit Recreational Services for Five Things You Need to Know about this new project.
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.
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.”
For students, the pain of standing in line to buy or pick up your parking permit is OVER. No more having to get your permit before classes start or pay visitor parking fees on the first day of class until you got that permit in your hand. Now you’ll be able to go online, set up a UNCCMyPark account, register your vehicle information and instantly have parking permissions linked to your license plate and to your 49er ID Card.
Waiting for a financial aid refund before you can purchase a permit? The new parking system’s mobile interface allows you to buy temporary daily permits through an app or web portal. No permit line; no having to pay the hourly rate in a visitor deck.
For YEARS students have requested that permits be available for purchase by the semester. With LPR, you will now be able to buy your student permit for the year or for each semester or summer term. Those who know they will need to commute all year can save a little time and money by purchasing a full-time annual permit at the beginning of the academic year. At the same time, a student who is graduating in December doesn’t have to pay the full $450 for an annual permit, return it to the PaTS office after Commencement, and then wait for that prorated refund. Beginning this fall, they’ll be able to purchase a semester permit, which will get them to graduation.
Changing vehicles or driving a rental car for a few days will no longer require a trip to the PaTS office. Updating your information can be done through an app, web portal or with a phone call.
The new system is flexible and expandable. Look for customer-friendly features in the future, like real-time space counts so you’ll know exactly what decks and lots have availability when you arrive on campus.
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:
Your tags are from a state that issues both front and rear plates (and both plates are properly displayed)
You purchase an optional LPR-readable UNC Charlotte plate for the front of your vehicle. PaTS has sourced a product that works well with the LPR cameras. They are expected to sell for $20. This plate is potentially just a one-time expense; it is valid for as long as it's legible and your state-issued license plate number remains the same.
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.