A Pitt study of commuters finds that nearly half travel in single-seat vehicles | University Times


Pitt parking administrators used a March 6 Staff Council spotlight session to reveal the results of a survey of 6,200 members of the Pitt community – 43 percent of them staff members – and talk about several expected improvements to everyone’s commute.

Kevin Sheehy, assistant vice chancellor for auxiliary operations and finance, said Pitt has plans to replace the 390 parking spaces now unavailable due to the removal of the O’Hara Parking Garage and the blocking of some spaces on University Drive for construction – but such plans are still being finalized.

Jonathan Pearson, director of mobility, assured that the university has no plans to eliminate the free bus and light rail services now offered through Pittsburgh Regional Transit.

He also said that Pitt hopes to introduce transient parking on campus and is working on a system where members of the Pitt community can reserve select spots for a day and even mid-day.

“We thought shared and fixed-day permits would be more popular when they were introduced on campus,” he added, because the former allow two to three drivers to split a week of parking, each choosing specific days, and the latter allow one driver to pay for just a few days a week. He suggested that departments could receive presentations from his office on these options and work with his office to maximize their use.

The university plans to switch to license plate recognition technology to track those entering parking garages, instead of the current tag, in the future, he also announced.

Sheehy noted that the university still needs to find more and better ways to serve commuters outside of Allegheny County and that the university plans to “explore a pilot satellite shuttle route directly to campus” from an area “with challenging transit trips.”

Vanpools are one current option, Pearson said: The service now also offers a smaller five- to seven-passenger van (as opposed to the original eight- to 12-passenger van). Eight vanpools are currently seeking members: Belle Vernon/Rostraver; Monroeville; Robinson; Irwin; McMurray; New Kensington; Sewickley; Canonsburg/Washington.

Pearson also reported that 250 drivers have been offered parking permits from the still long waiting list for parking permits.

Commuter survey results

Day(s) of the week for your normal commute to campus:

4914 answers

Monday-Thursday: 69.5-75.4 percent

Friday: 60.7 percent

Saturday-Sunday: 0.7-9.6 percent

Round Trips to Campus on a Normal Day:

4923 answers

1: 87.6 percent

2: 9.6 percent

3+: 2.8 percent

Stops on your commute:

4800 responses

Orders: 36.9 percent

K-12 school: 9 percent

Childcare: 8 percent

Leaving someone: 7.8 percent

Picking someone up: 6.7 percent

Others: 3.7 percent

Top Campus Destination:

4950 responses

Cathedral of Learning: 6.8 percent

Salk Hall: 5.5 percent

Scaife Hall: 5.1 percent

Benedum Hall: 5.1 percent

Posvar Hall: 4.6 percent

Public health buildings: 3.6 percent

Biomedical Science Tower 1: 2.7 percent

Victoria Hall: 2.7 percent

Biomedical Science Tower 3: 2.6 percent

All other buildings: Less than 2 percent each

How to reach the campus:

3717 responses

Single-seat car: 48.9 percent

Public transport/shuttles: 18.2%.

Walking, bicycles, scooters: 7.9 percent

Car sharing: 6.1 percent

No commuting – telecommuting: 19.1 percent

Why choose to drive yourself:

3120 responses

The schedule calls for it: 54 percent

Commitments before/after coming to campus: 50.9 percent

Public transport takes too long: 49.8 percent

Live too far away: 33.9 percent

No public transport in my area: 21.3 percent

Where your vehicle is parked:

3339 answers

Pitt owned space: 57.2 percent

Street: 22.1%.

Public garage or lot: 19.3 percent

Varies: 12.6 percent

Others: 7.5 percent

Private parking agreement: 7.2 percent

Park and Ride: 4.3 percent

Pitt Parking Permit:

Yes: 57.8 percent

No: 42.2 percent

Flexible organization of work:

2623 answers

Yes: 67.6 percent

Of them (1766 answers):

Work remotely 2-3 days a week: 46.2 percent

Variable schedule: 19.4 percent

Always work remotely: 13.8 percent

Work remotely 1 day a week: 8.6 percent

Work remotely 4 days a week: 8.4 percent

Other parking statistics:

Pre-pandemic campus seats: 4,722

Current campus spaces: 4,332 (excluding O’Hara Garage and some parking on University Drive)

Parking permits, currently: staff and faculty, 2,611; students, 771

Number on waiting list: 3358

Park Mobile spaces on campus: 376

Marty Levin is a University Times contributor. Contact him at [email protected] or 412-758-4859.

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