June 26 , 2006
DeKalb Mall Park-n-Ride shuttle kicks off
Emory has taken a bold step forward to expand its alternative transit options for commuters who currently drive to campus. On Monday, June 19, the University opened the first of several future Park-n-Ride lots at North DeKalb Mall and began shuttle service directly from the mall to campus.
Both the Park-n-Ride lot and shuttle service are free and available to anyone who wants to use them.
“This first Park-n-Ride lot is located strategically for many Emory commuters and will be particularly useful for commuters who currently use Lawrenceville Highway and the Stone Mountain Freeway as they approach Emory,” said Laura Ray, associate vice president for transportation and parking.
Ray said she is encouraged by the early interest in the new Park-n-Ride shuttle service.
“Not only is this going to ease the hassle of commuting for a few hundred Emory employees, but it also is another step toward reducing traffic along the Clifton Corridor and improving the quality of life for Emory and the community at large. It begins a new era in the transportation Emory will provide,” she said.
Park-n-Ride shuttle buses will run approximately every 20 minutes from 6:30 a.m. until 7 p.m. (except midday between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., when they will run every 40 minutes). If an employee works late unexpectedly after 7 p.m., an escort service is available to bring commuters from Emory directly to their cars.
For a complete shuttle schedule, visit www.epcs.emory.edu/alttransp/route_PNR_NDeKalb.htm.
The 200 parking spaces reserved for commuters at North DeKalb Mall are identified with Emory Park-n-Ride signage and located in the northeast corner of the mall parking lot bordered by Lawrenceville Highway and North Druid Hills Road, near Macy’s. Commuters can also access these spaces from Stone Mountain Freeway/U.S. Highway 78 as they pass North DeKalb Mall.
This lot is monitored by mall security as well as Emory parking security services.
Shuttle service takes commuters nonstop from the Park-n-Ride lot to Woodruff Circle, in front of Emory Hospital. Woodruff Circle is envisioned as an expanding primary nexus or hub for shuttles on campus.
The new shuttle routes are expected to be particularly useful for commuters who can walk to their jobs from Woodruff Circle. Other existing shuttle service from Woodruff Circle is available for those who work along the Clifton Corridor, such as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and the American Cancer Society.
“There will be a cumulative positive effect on the overall traffic along the Clifton Corridor with these new transit options,” said Ray. “When fully utilized, this Park-n-Ride will eliminate 200 vehicles from campus. That’s the equivalent of removing double the number of cars in the University’s Boisfeuillet Jones parking lot from campus.”
Prior to the increase in parking rates scheduled for Feb. 1, 2007, the expanded shuttle fleet represents a cost-free commuting option for employees that will encourage them to leave the driving to Emory.
The North DeKalb Mall lot is the first of several to open. Additional Park-n-Ride shuttle service will be offered at Northlake Mall and South DeKalb Mall. Both locations are expected to be operational in August.
Ray added that Emory is exploring other opportunities for additional Park-n-Rides near Stone Mountain/Mountain Industrial Boulevard and near Executive Park on North Druid Hills Road at I-85. Locations are selected based on the largest concentration of Emory employees and students.
For commuters who use the Park-n-Ride service but occasionally need to dash off campus during work hours, Emory’s new Flexcar service is now available. Flexcar allows those who work at Emory to rent a ‘community vehicle’ by the hour and run errands or make trips off campus.
For more information on the Flexcar fleet, visit www.epcs.emory.edu/alttransp/flexcar.html.
“This summer is going to be busy for us as we begin offering Flexcar and the first Park-n-Ride service and preparing for several other shuttle routes in the near future. We also will unveil an entirely new look for the shuttles with a new name and marketing campaign to increase the shuttle’s profile,” said Ray. “We want these shuttles to be top of mind for commuters who want transportation options.”
Click here to see what the first Park-n-Ride users have to say.