COC considers off-site lot, rideshare apps to ease parking concerns

An aerial photo of the College of the Canyons Valencia Campus in March 2015. Courtesy of COC

Beginning in spring 2018, students at College of Canyons will be able to park in an off-campus lot and use apps like Uber and Lyft to get to the college’s Valencia campus.

The Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees is expected to discuss the new parking options during its Wednesday meeting at the college.

Parking concerns at the college’s Valencia campus are expected to be increase in spring 2018 when COC begins work on its 1,000-space parking lot supported by Measure E.

During this time, the college is expected to lose 700 spaces in Lot 7 during the construction of the new parking garage. Officials expect the parking structure to be built by Winter 2019.

To help ease the effects of the reduced parking spaces, the college pursued various solutions like spreading the load of class sections offered, reducing the amount of classes offered at peak times, creating incentives for students parking in non-peak times, expanding the carpool parking lot and converting the athletic practice field to a temporary staff parking lot.

In addition, the college is considering leasing an off-site lot on Magic Mountain Parkway currently owned by the Newhall Land and Farming Company to meet the college’s short term parking needs.

At this location, the college plans to install a temporary surface parking lot to accommodate more than 300 cars.

The property access and use agreement is expected to cost a total of $36,000 annually.

In addition, College of the Canyons plans to contract with both Uber and Lyft to provide discounted rides to and from the Valencia campus.

The college is choosing to contract with both rideshare apps to prevent surge pricing on one platform.

As stated in the contracts with the rideshare companies, College of the Canyons is expected to cover the first $5 of any ride to and from the Valencia campus, including from the off-campus lot on Magic Mountain Parkway.

With these terms, each contract is expected to cost the college about $224,000 per semester, with an estimate of 700 rides per day from Monday to Thursday.

However, the Board of Trustees is expected to only approve of its terms of agreement with Lyft during its Wednesday meeting, as its terms of agreement with Uber is still being negotiated.

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On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_

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