OXFORD – Students and employees of the University of Mississippi can fight traffic and parking congestion while saving money and riding into the heart of campus.
Oxford-University Transit (OUT) has scheduled buses on its Green Route, which primarily serves student residences along Old Taylor Road, to run every 10 minutes on weekdays. (Most routes have service every 30 minutes.)
To encourage commuters to “park and ride,” University Parking Services is offering them permits valid for only the former MDOT lot next to Highway 6 for one-sixth the price of regular decals. From there, the OUT bus – free to faculty, staff and students – will take them to any of several stops on campus or to transfer to other routes.
“We’re selling a decal to that lot for $10,” said Linda Christian, director of University Parking Services. “We’ve sold 190, and a lot of folks haven’t bought their decals yet.” Because decal sales are not expected to match the location’s 942 spaces, students and employees with other designations will probably be permitted there, she added.
“The tradeoff for the discount and a free ride to the heart of campus is they would not be able to park in other areas of campus,” Christian said.
OUT board members voted Wednesday to request permission from Oxford’s Board of Aldermen to purchase a camera surveillance system and the first part of an electronic information system to track buses and project arrival times.
The surveillance cameras are a federal requirement and would come into play if one of the buses were involved in a wreck or if a passenger caused an incident, said Tim Lett, senior vice president of McDonald Transit Associates Inc., which operates the system.
As funds become available, transit officials hope to add telephone, computer and smart-phone connections to give real-time information for each stop about the next bus, its projected arrival time and other route information.
Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal