From Kevin’s Desk: We Get Blue There . . . and Back! (09/22/17)

Dear Colleagues:

Happy Friday!

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, there are A LOT of people around with the academic year in full swing! More than 40,000 students, 45,000 faculty and staff, and hundreds of patients and other visitors come to campus each day. Safely getting all of these people where they need to go is a monumental and incredibly complex task. I want to give a huge shout-out to the Logistics, Transportation and Parking team for their amazing and unflagging work. You are the best!

One of the biggest challenges the LTP team is tackling is parking. Everyone who drives to our campus knows that parking is a critical issue, but it’s also about mobility in, out and around campus. Our LTP team is on it! They have partnered with U-M faculty experts from the College of Engineering and others in and outside the university to develop comprehensive and creative solutions to this challenge, in both the near-term and longer-term. New possibilities include everything from promoting more vanpools and carpools, to expanding transit service to commuter lots, to building new parking. They’re even supporting Mcity’s testing of autonomous shuttles as a potential future option! You should also know that the B&F leadership team has agreed we must also look into our practices and policies with respect to how flextime, staggered work schedules, work from home and other ideas might help address the problem.

Our university’s commitment to sustainability and our goal to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions are also important factors in these conversations. It’s not easy work. There are no quick fixes. But I am so grateful to the LTP team for their expertise and commitment to addressing our parking and transportation challenges—at every level. This will take time but you have my commitment that we and the university acknowledge the parking and mobility challenges nearly all of you experience each day and we are committed to finding solutions.

Lastly, I want to give a special thank-you to our parking attendants and bus drivers. They transport roughly 35,000 riders per day on U-M buses and fill about 28,000 parking spaces on campus. These folks are on the front lines, not only providing exceptional service but also managing customer concerns and feedback – and they do a terrific job! The next time you see one of them please join me by personally thanking them for their service to all of us.

With much appreciation and gratitude,

Kevin

PS: I thought it was supposed to be fall in Michigan…we are forecasted to have summer weather this weekend. Enjoy it!