In many schools, students, faculty, and staff know how dreadful parking on campus can be. To realize the full extent of the parking issue, read this Los Angeles Times article, for example.

Overall, students report that it can take them up to an hour to find a spot sometimes. At the same time, effective time management is one of the most important priorities for college students.

In this blog post, we offer several strategies to alleviate the stress of looking for a parking spot.


1. Plan Your Arrival Time

Not surprisingly, the most common arrival time on campus is 30 to 40 minutes before class. Yet, it is the time when everyone else arrives! Of course, there will be no parking spots –  someone else just took it. Let’s think about it creatively – in a sense of CREATING parking spots. Imagine a student who is done for the day, and his or her classes just ended. When will that student arrive at the parking lot? The answer is, probably, 10 to 15 minutes after the end of their last class. This is the time when you need to be there.

In addition, being aware of parking rush hours while enrolling into classes can help alleviate that hurdle. Plus, you can add game days on campus into your calendar, and adjust your schedule on those days accordingly. Across all schools, 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. is considered the busiest time on Mondays and Wednesdays. Similarly, the busiest time on Tuesdays and Thursdays is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

2. Make Friends

Be an investigator and an opportunist. This strategy will work for those, whose day starts from the “third class”. In various schools, that could be  between11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. In the beginning of the semester, post a note at any 8 a.m. class looking for students who are leaving school afterwards. Arrange to pick them up every time after class with a purpose to take them to their parking space. The receiving party would appreciate the ride. And you will always have a parking spot, as well as a new friend.

3. Use Public Transportation

Public transportation works on a timely schedule, and there is no need to search for a parking spot if you opt for it. [clickToTweet tweet=”Did you know that local transit companies offer student discounts of up to 50% off?” quote=”Did you know that local transit companies offer student discounts of up to 50% off?” theme=”style3″]

You might need to stop by their main office, or in a specific location, but it is definitely something to consider if you want to avoid parking on campus. For example, in Houston students can buy a Metro day pass at 50% discount for $1.50. Reloadable day pass offers unlimited local bus and train rides during the day. In addition, review this post for ideas on how to make your bus or train ride more productive.

4. Carpool

[clickToTweet tweet=”Sharing rides with friends has the double benefit of saving on gas and enhancing your relationship.” quote=”Sharing rides with friends has the double benefit of saving on gas and enhancing your relationship.” theme=”style3″]

Indeed, both of you save money on gas. There are several convenient money-sharing apps that will make sure that you keep track of the expenses. Not surprisingly, carpooling is becoming increasingly more popular. In response to growing demand, Waze app started offering a carpool search option. If you don’t have it on your phone yet, read our review of Waze and learn how you can beat traffic and optimize your commute with this helpful app.

5. Develop an App

Some schools already have applications in Google Play Store and App Store that help students, faculty, and staff find parking on campus. Search for your school and review the app’s functionality. For example, Chapman University in California has an app that shows the exact number of parking spots available anytime. Clemson University has an app showing the percentage of the parking lot fullness.

If your school doesn’t have a similar app, why not create one? If you have the necessary skill set or desire to learn, then go for it, and everyone will be able to benefit from your initiative. Students at Virginia Tech started a parking mobile app club in 2016 with an attempt to create such an app. It is very easy to organize a club at your school. Start by searching for an advisor in computer science or application development areas.

We hope that these suggestions will help you remove unnecessary parking-related stress from your day. With no parking stress, you will be able to better focus on your school work and, as a result, be happier with your student life.

If you have any other thoughts on how to deal with the parking issue at your school, please share them in the comments below.

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