Transportation Services pilots new valet program, aims to ease parking pressures

Transportation Services pilots new valet program, aims to ease parking pressures

Transportation Services pilots new valet program, aims to ease parking pressures
January 18
14:23 2019

Transportation Services began piloting a valet service in front of the University Union last Monday, Jan. 7 that makes use of existing, non-permitted parking spots in the Union Circle garage. The service, facilitated through a contract with Parking Systems of America, operates from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and can be used by students, faculty, staff and visitors to the campus.

Prices for valet services are $6 for less than two hours, $9 for two to four hours, $17 for four to six hours and $20 for six to 12  hours, according to the Transportation Services website.

Trista Moxley, senior communication specialist for Transportation Services, said the idea for a valet service originated in one of several meetings between Transportation Services and Administration that took place in the past year to help alleviate some of the stress of parking.

“Parking near the center of campus is an option that many students, faculty and staff have told us they want,” Moxley said. “However, with limited space in this area, we had to think of the different types of ways to make it available. The valet service was the result of multiple people looking for options to allow users a chance to leave their vehicle at the Union and get where they need to go without taking away any permitted student parking.”

Moxley said that while the valet service is set up to be “funded by fares alone,” Transportation Services is allocating some funds for the service as it is in its pilot phase. However, because the department is self-funded, neither student tuition dollars nor additional funds from the university are being used for this service.

“In the pilot stage, the department is working with Parking Systems of America to ensure [the service] is funded,” Moxley said. “As we move forward, we expect to see the program pay for itself.”

As the semester continues, Moxley said Transportation Services will periodically review how the service is working and ultimately determine how the service can be utilized on campus, either as a part-time or full-time service.

Multiple students have expressed curiosity and dissatisfaction with the introduction of the valet service over social media.

Public relations junior Nohely Galindo said she commutes by car Monday through Friday from Highland Village, Texas, and does not see the valet service as useful for the majority of students on campus or a necessary appropriation of Transportation Service funding.

“I wouldn’t have much use of the valet unless I was in dire need of getting to campus for an emergency,” Galindo said. “I understand why [UNT] chose to implement a valet service to temporarily solve the lack of parking spots, but I just see it as a waste of money when [funding] could be used toward constructing more lots. I don’t believe many students will utilize it.”

Valet Micah Hartman, 20, predicts the number of students utilizing the service will increase with the increase of the student population.

Hartman noted that in the few days the service has been active, he has noticed an uptick of valet users on event days, such as the transfer orientations the university hosted on Jan. 8 and 10.

“It’s definitely been busier on event days so far,” Hartman said. “There’s only going to be more [students on campus], which hopefully means more business.”

Featured Image: Parking systems of America retrieves car keys from a student utilizing the valet service located in Union Circle. Photo by Yecenia Alvarado. 

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Francisco Fregoso

Francisco Fregoso

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