COC implements new solutions to ease parking concerns

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

As College of the Canyons begins construction work on both of its campuses, the college is implementing new solutions to fulfill its students’ parking demands.

This spring, COC is expected to begin work on its 1,000-space parking garage on its Valencia campus.  During this time, the college is expected to lose 700 spaces in Lot 7 during the construction of the parking garage.

The college is also expected to break ground on its 55,000-square-foot Science Center located on the center of its Canyon Country campus.

Both Measure E projects are expected to be completed by winter 2019.

To help ease the effects on student parking, COC has pursued various solutions like spreading the load of class sections offered, reducing the amount of classes offered at peak times, expanding the carpool parking lot and converting the athletic practice field to a temporary staff parking lot.

Another solution is offering students free parking after 2 p.m. in all student lots on both college campuses.  The afternoon free parking will be available to students throughout the semester, which runs from Feb. 5 to June 1.

“This spring semester will provide our students with a large selection of classes to fit their needs,” COC Assistant/Superintendent and Vice President of Academic Affairs Jerry Buckley said.  “We are especially excited to offer students free parking after 2 p.m. to help them save money as they work toward their educational goals.”

The college also leased an off-site lot on Magic Mountain Parkway, 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, according to a Dec. 6 meeting agenda of the Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees.

In addition, COC chose to partner with ridesharing apps Uber and Lyft to provide discounted rides to and from the Valencia campus or from the off-campus lot on Magic Mountain Parkway.

The college is partnering with both companies to avoid surge pricing, or increased pricing on one platform during peak hours.

COC is expected to cover the first $5 of any ride to or from the Valencia campus, according to the rideshare contracts.

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.

The COC Board of Trustees approved the contract with Lyft during its Dec. 6 meeting and is expected to approve of the contract with Uber during its meeting Wednesday.

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On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_

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