Fresno State has begun the fall 2018 semester with a record number of enrolled students – and that could mean longer wait lists and less parking.
The university is offering some relief from parking headaches with a shuttle system that was started in January 2016, since a parking structure isn’t an option anytime soon.
Fresno State’s shuttle bus, the Bulldog Express, has been operating with a monthly ridership of anywhere between 10,000 to 15,000 students, according to Derek Brantley, interim parking and transportation manager.
“The idea behind Bulldog Express is to try to reduce single-occupancy vehicles on campus and to encourage folks to park in areas that may be a little farther from campus,” Brantley said.
The Bulldog Express then shuttles students to the main campus.
“You would go out and park in like the Save Mart Center parking lot,” Brantley said, “and then we run the shuttle from that parking lot to campus.”
The Bulldog Express offers stops at six locations – Bulldog Lane and Millbrook Avenue, Millbrook and Barstow avenues, Campus Drive at the North Gym, Save Mart Center parking lot, Campus Pointe and the Athlete Village.
The shuttle operates Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. The shuttle arrives at each of the six locations every 15 minutes.
Brantley said the shuttle is helping students.
“Especially at the beginning of the semester, we can tell people where we know there will be parking, and we have an option for them to ride to campus,” Brantley said.
Miguel Carrasco, a senior criminology student, occasionally shuttles to campus.
“I don’t even bother looking for parking,” Carrasco said. “I’ll drive to Save Mart Center and wait for the shuttle.”
Carrasco said he’s noticed other students also parking farther from campus and taking the shuttle to their destination.
“It only takes me about 7 minutes to get from Campus Drive to the Save Mart Center,” Carrasco said. “And it saves me the frustration of going in circles trying to find parking.”
Demi Wack, president of Associated Students, Inc., suggests students download the Fresno State mobile app available on the App Store. Through the app, students can access the SmartTraxx app that gives real-time tracking on shuttles.