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Gas Prices Got You Rethinking How You Get to Work? Try Carpooling

By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
April 27, 2011

If the ever-rising gas prices���up nearly a dollar since this time last year���are giving you pause, it may be time to consider carpooling.

The UNH carpool program allows people to park in C-Lot where spaces are monitored to make sure they are being used only by carpoolers. That means there is almost always ample parking available.

Here is more information on carpooling, from UNH���s Transportation Web site  (http://www.unh.edu/transportation/ ). While you���re there, check out the bus schedule to see if that might be a commuting alternative for you. There are routes to Dover, Newmarket and Portsmouth.

Who is eligible to take advantage of the program?
A carpool may consist of two or more holders of valid UNH Commuter or Faculty/Staff parking permits.

How does it work?
It���s easy. First, find someone to carpool with. Qualified carpoolers pair up on their own. There is no ride-matching program available through the parking office. Then, there are two simple rules for using the carpool parking area. The first rule is that vehicles must be carrying two or more occupants. The second rule is that the vehicle must be properly permitted.

What does it mean to be "properly permitted"?
At least two of the occupants must hold a traditional faculty/staff or commuter parking permit. For faculty/staff, you simply need to display your two permits in plain view in the front windshield (both on dash).

For commuters, who have sticker permits, there is an extra step. You and your carpooling partner(s) need to come to the parking office (at the Visitor Information Center), present your IDs, and request a special one-semester carpooling permit. The staff at the parking office will verify that at least two in your carpool are eligible, and have purchased and hold a valid commuter permit.

If everything checks out, you will be issued a carpool pass to hang from your rearview mirror. A faculty/staff permit holder carpooling in a commuter permit holder's car would display his/her hang-tag in the car bearing the commuter sticker.  A commuter permit holder carpooling in a faculty/staff permit holder's car would need to get obtain the carpool pass and display that in the car also displaying the faculty/staff permit.

Who will be checking on us?
Transportation Services personnel will be monitoring the lot to make sure that vehicles are arriving with at least two people, and the proper permits are displayed.

May I carpool with a non-permit holder?
The idea is to reduce the number of cars that would otherwise park on campus. There must be at least two people in a carpool who are eligible for and have purchased a traditional parking permit. A third or fourth person in a carpool need not purchase a permit.

Doesn't this mean we are paying more for parking?
Individually, you are paying the same as you would have if two of you had each bought a permit. Unlike with standard permits, you have a dedicated reserved section in the heart of campus, close to Campus Connector stops saved for you as a reward for carpooling. (Having separate permits also allows carpool participants to travel separately when needed.)

Where do I go for information?
Call or visit the parking office, 295 Mast Road (at the Visitor Information Center, adjacent to Lot A), 2-1010.

What else can I do?
There are several programs and initiatives designed to relieve congestion and be more environmentally friendly. To learn more about ���Transportation Demand Management���, and related topics, check out the Office of Sustainability's web page at http://www.sustainableunh.unh.edu.

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