Premium Parking Spots Available to Carpoolers, Fuel-Efficient Cars

Posted: January 26, 2010 at 1:02 am, Last Updated: January 25, 2010 at 4:36 pm

By Dave Andrews

Many Mason commuters are fed up with high gas prices. Some have trouble finding convenient parking spaces. Others just want to shrink the size of their carbon footprint. For all, there is a solution.

Beginning this week, the Office of Parking and Transportation is initiating the new Preferred Parking Program. Faculty and staff members who drive fuel-efficient vehicles or who carpool will have access to premium parking spaces throughout the Fairfax Campus.

“We’ve been working to put this program in place for over two years now,” says Josh Cantor, director of parking and transportation.

“I’m positive that we’ll see significant participation in the program. We’re starting off conservatively with a few dozen spaces, but they are located in areas where we have room to expand as demand increases.”

Cantor admits he was reluctant at first to introduce the fuel-efficient vehicle aspect to the program, but recent surveys suggest a large number of vehicles on campus will qualify as low emission. As for the number of carpoolers, Cantor is confident it will continue to grow as more drivers see the benefits of ride sharing.

“I’ve met with many other universities who are trying to reduce traffic in and around their campuses, but Mason is leading the way with the quantity of alternative transportation options it offers,” says Lenna Storm, university sustainability coordinator.

Storm says that Mason has experienced a leveling off of emissions between 2006 and 2009. That’s promising news, considering the number of people and vehicles on campus has increased during that time. Storm suggests the reduced levels of emissions correspond with the myriad transportation alternatives. The Preferred Parking Program brings Mason that much closer to reducing overall emissions.

For vehicles considered to be fuel efficient, parking permits can be obtained for free in the Parking Services Office. To see if your vehicle qualifies as fuel efficient, go to If you qualify, you can bring your vehicle registration to Parking Services and receive a permit that will allow you to park in any of the designated spaces.

Carpool permits are also free and can be obtained by filling out an application form at the Transportation Office in Student Union Building II, Room 1014A. The form is also online at All members of the carpool must sign the application and agreement.

Eligible carpools consist of two or more individuals sharing one faculty/staff parking permit and one carpool permit. At least one participant in the group must own a valid faculty/staff permit.

As an added incentive to join the carpool program, permits already paid in full can be turned in by Feb. 28, 2010, and be reimbursed for the cost of a full semester. Those permits paid through payroll deduction can be turned in; and deductions will cease immediately.

Locations of Fuel-Efficient Vehicle Parking:

Mason Pond Drive: 2 spaces
Lot A: 4 spaces
Mason Pond Garage (3rd level): 4 spaces
Sandy Creek Garage (3rd level): 4 spaces
Rappahannock River Garage (southeast corner on Level 1): 4 spaces
Lot H (northeast corner of lot closest to University Drive): 3 spaces

Location of Faculty/Staff Carpool Spaces:

Mason Pond Drive: 7 spaces
Lot A: 4 spaces
Mason Pond Deck (3rd level): 4 spaces
Sandy Creek Deck (3rd level): 4 spaces
Rappahannock River Deck (southeast corner of Level 1): 6 spaces

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