MTSU Parking and Transportation Services has a new plan to ease the long last-minute lines for students and other members of the campus community who need new campus parking permits this fall: a multi-day drive-thru operation.
When students begin moving into campus housing by appointment Wednesday, Aug. 19, Parking Services staffers will be on hand to issue their permits as they drive their vehicles through the move-in operation's central check-in point in MTSU's Softball Parking Lot.
The move-ins will continue through Sunday, Aug. 23, and Parking Services employees will be helping through Saturday, Aug. 22.
Then, beginning Monday through Wednesday, Aug. 24-26, both commuter and resident students can pick up their parking permits from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. via drive-thru in the Parking and Transportation Services parking lot just off Old Main Circle.
The plan also follows MTSU's health safety protocols by moving the normally crowded operation outdoors, rain or shine, and limiting the number of people inside the Parking and Transportation Services office at 1403 E. Main St., says Tracy Read, the university's director of parking and transportation.
Students will need their university "M numbers," or MTSU ID numbers, as well as the license plate number of the vehicle they'll be driving on campus, wherever they pick up their new permits.
A PDF with the details and a map of the drive-thru plan at the parking office is available at https://mtsu.edu/parking/2020PermitPickup2.pdf. It's also available by clicking the "Fall 2020 Permit Pick-Up" link at http://mtsu.edu/parking.
Parking is included in the Student Program Services Fee each student pays according to their enrolled course hours each semester. That total also includes technology access, postal service, health services and facilities fees.
"We'd talked around some other ideas for the fall, and this was being discussed in a university parking forum that I use, where other colleagues in the parking industry were trying to figure out ... how could you do it and apply it and what it would require," Read says of the idea to boost convenience and safety.
"This was definitely a joint venture (of an idea) with many universities contributing."
Students can beat the rush and pick up parking permits before the drive-thru dates if their fall 2020 tuition and fees are paid.
"We are all for that," Read says with enthusiasm. "Once they've paid their tuition and gotten their confirmation via Pipeline, they can come on to our office and get their parking pass."
Only five customers will be allowed into the Parking and Transportation Services Office at a time. Every customer and visitor must wear a mask and maintain appropriate distancing inside the building.
Students, faculty and staff with state-issued placards or plates for handicapped-accessible parking must visit the Parking and Transportation Services office for a fall 2020 MTSU parking permit.
"We're required to scan that registration to prove that the student, or employee, is the true owner of the disability plate or placard before we can issue them an MTSU permit," Read explains.
"Those permits we just cannot do outside (in a drive-thru option) yet, because we have to be very careful and have all those i's dotted and t's crossed for the state."
Some MTSU community members won't have to worry about new parking permits this fall because their current passes don't expire until August 2021, Read notes.
For more information about parking at MTSU, visit http://mtsu.edu/parking or email email@example.com
MTSU begins its 109th academic year on Aug. 24 with the fall 2020 semester. For information about MTSU anytime, visit http://mtsu.edu.