Commuter Club offers chance to avoid stressful commute
Torres-Torres has a long commute to work, but he’s found a way
to get here without having to battle the nightmarish traffic on
the Katy Freeway.
Torres-Torres, who lives in west Houston near Katy, is a member
of the UH Commuter Club, a program started last year by Parking
and Transportation Services. It allows him to hop on a Metro bus
at a Park & Ride near his home, then sit back and relax as
someone else does the driving.
“I do not have to worry about traffic or parking on campus,
which allows me to arrive at work relatively stress-free in the
mornings,” he said.
Membership in the club is still small – 40 people were signed up
as of the last week of October – but it is steadily growing. And
officials in Parking and Transportation Services believe more
will want to join once they realize the benefits it has to
offer. The goal is to sign up 250 people, which represents
approximately 5 percent of staff and faculty.
The university pays 25 percent of the cost for members to ride
Metro buses and light rail using a Metro Q Card. That assistance
is one of the best parts of being a member, Torres-Torres said,
but it’s not the only one.
“Taking Metro to work costs far less than what gasoline costs
would be, not to mention the lack of wear and tear on my
vehicle, considering I live quite a distance away from UH,” he
Torres-Torres, who is the office coordinator in Library
Administration, was hired by UH a little less than two months
ago. He became a Commuter Club members a couple of weeks later
and has not regretted his decision.
Ed Bell, marketing coordinator for Parking and Transportation
Services, said the program is open to full-time faculty and
staff. It is not open to night-shift workers. Members must give
up their UH parking pass if they have one, but they receive 12
days of free parking passes annually for those times they need
to drive to campus.
The club also offers other alternative transportation options,
including carpools, vanpools, bicycling and even walking.
The program serves several purposes, Bell said. For one, it’s
helping to reduce congestion – both on the freeways and on
campus. It’s also helping to free up more parking spaces.
“Ultimately, the cost of riding Metro is lower than the cost of
gas, especially when we’re covering 25 percent of it,” he said.
To learn more about the Commuter Club, visit