Carpooling on the Rise at Fairfax Campus

Posted: May 24, 2010 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: May 21, 2010 at 2:43 pm

By Dave Andrews

During the spring semester, the Office of Parking and Transportation implemented the Preferred Parking Program. Faculty and staff members who drive fuel-efficient vehicles or who carpool were given access to premium parking spaces throughout the Fairfax Campus.

The program was two years in the making and created close to 50 fuel-efficient vehicle and carpool spaces.

“So far the program has gone great,” says Josh Cantor, director of parking and transportation. “Even though we’re still collecting exact occupancy counts for last semester, we know it was a success and that it will continue to grow in popularity.”

As expected, the fuel-efficient vehicle permits were a hot item. Though not as popular, the carpool permits have been steadily increasing in appeal. Cantor prefers to have open spaces still available, giving drivers more incentive to carpool.

Once the space occupancy counts from last semester are tallied, Cantor expects he will be urged to create additional fuel-efficient and carpool spaces in other lots, especially when parking permit renewals are due and more people have heard about the program.

“It’s difficult to roll out a new program like this at midyear, when most people have already purchased their permits and don’t want to go in and apply for a different one,” Cantor says. “But we continue to get new groups signing up for carpool permits every week.”

Parking Services anticipates a much bigger kickoff to the program later this summer and into the fall that will notify more people of the parking benefits.

Faculty and staff members won’t be the only ones benefitting.

Cantor is working through the logistics of creating student carpool spaces for the fall. However, Parking Services is aware that such spaces would require additional parking officers monitoring the lots to ensure those vehicles do indeed have multiple passengers.

For vehicles considered to be fuel efficient, parking permits can be obtained in the Parking Services Office. There is no extra charge for these permits. To see if your vehicle qualifies as fuel efficient, see this spread sheet. 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 (at least one participant in the group must own a valid faculty/staff permit) 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.

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