TravelSmart: Frequently Asked Questions
If I run into any problems with the TravelSmart program or have any concerns, who should I contact?
You can email us at TravelSmart@unmc.edu or call 402.559-8580 (ext. 3).
What is the cost to sign up for TravelSmart?
Yes, it’s FREE! Sign-up is free and your free bus pass will continue to be free. It’s not tied to your Metro Credit Union account; your badge is used only to identify you as a rider.
TravelSmart is a perk and can save you money while reducing pollution and promoting a healthy lifestyle while reducing parking pressure and traffic congestion.
If you choose to carpool and all members of the carpool turn in their parking permits, you will receive a FREE carpool pass to the best parking lot among you (your group’s choice).
How do I register for the TravelSmart program?
Click here to take you to the TravelSmart registration page.
As I TravelSmart participant, can I use multiple active transportation modes and receive the corresponding program benefits?
Yes. You can use as many of the four active transportation modes as you like. As a registered TravelSmart participant, all program benefits are available to you. If you currently use or plan on using more than one active transportation mode, please make sure to mark the preferred modes when you register for the program. If you’ve already registered for the program, and you would like to start using a different/additional active transportation mode, please contact us at 402.559.8580 (ext. 3) or TravelSmart@unmc.edu so we can update your profile.
If I sign up for the program, do I have to start using active transportation (biking, busing, carpooling, or walking)? Is there a minimum number of times I must use my bus pass?
TravelSmart is a volunteer program. As a registered TravelSmart participant, you are not required to bike, bus, carpool, or walk. However, we strongly encourage you to test out and periodically/regularly use active transportation to travel to and from campus.
The three-month trial only applies to your parking permit should you choose to turn it in, it does not apply to using active transportation.
Who is eligible to participate in TravelSmart?
At this time, the TravelSmart program is available to staff and students from UNMC, Nebraska Medicine, and Clarkson College who primarily work or study at the 42nd & Dewey campus. In the future, this program may be made available to other staff and students.
CANCEL PARKING PERMIT
If I currently have a parking permit, do I have to cancel it in order to participate in the TravelSmart program?
No. You do NOT have to cancel your parking permit to participate in TravelSmart. However, please note that during the program registration process, you will be presented with the option to keep or cancel your parking permit. We encourage you to consider canceling your permit, but it may not be the most desirable option for you from a financial perspective. Generally speaking, if you plan to regularly use active transportation more days per week than drive alone (e.g. 3 out of 5 days/week), it is financially advantageous to cancel your parking permit and pay for $3 daily-rate flexible parking on the days you drive a vehicle to campus. However, if you plan to drive by yourself more days per week, it makes more financial sense to keep your parking permit and still use active transportation when you can. If you are uncertain about which option is best for you, please click on the TravelSmart Options Calculator, which will help you identify the option that makes the most sense financially. You can also contact us at 402.559.8580 (ext. 3) / firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Daily Rate Flexible Parking is available if you need to drive to campus and don’t have a permit. It’s cheap, lots are located around campus, and you can pay via smartphone or website.
If you carpool partner isn’t coming to work, you can still use your carpool pass. If you are both driving that day, one can use the carpool pass and the other can use Daily Rate Flexible Parking.
The 3 month trial starts when you turn your permit in. You save money while you test out TravelSmart, and get your same permit back if you still want it.
IF you decide to turn your parking permit in, you can do so at anytime: when you first register or after you have been using active transportation for a while; whatever works best for you.
NO PARKING PERMIT
If I am a new student or employee who does not have a parking permit and signs up for TravelSmart, can I still obtain a parking permit at a later date?
Yes. If you are a new student or employee and you register for the TravelSmart program, you can still obtain a parking permit at any point in the future. Parking assignments are based on space availability, rank, and start date. You will need to visit Parking Services (402.559.8580) to get set up with a parking permit.
When does the trial period start?
The trial period only applies if you turn in your parking permit. You can try out various active transportation modes for as long as you would like and there is no minimum usage required. IF you turn in your parking permit you have 90 days from the day Parking receives it to ask for it back. If you do that, you are guaranteed the same lot back. If you do so after the 90 days you may get the same lot back, or you may not; it depends on availability. IF you decide to turn your parking permit in, you can do so at anytime: when you first register or after you have been using active transportation for a while; whatever works best for you.
I’m interested in carpooling but don’t know who to drive with. Can I still use TravelSmart?
If you want to carpool but don’t know who to drive with, check our carpool matching page. Signup on Zimride is free and only people from this campus can see the rides that have been posted. You don’t have to ride with the person it matches you with, so there’s no harm in posting a ride to see if it will work out, even if you work odd hours or a different shift.
I can’t find your bus map, where is it located?
Due to the large number of routes and stops located around campus, as well as the variety of routes people take to get here, we recommend you use the maps and route information on Metro’s website. It will always be the most up to date and you can look at a system map or maps of individual routes. If you have any problems or questions on their website please feel free to contact us at 402.559-8580 (ext. 3), TravelSmart@unmc.edu, and/or Metro’s customer service: 402-341-0800.
If I prefer to only participate in TravelSmart (i.e., use active transportation) during certain seasons, can I cancel my permit and then request it back during the off season(s) that I want to drive by myself to campus?
You can cancel your parking permit at anytime; however, after 3 months, you are not guaranteed your original/same parking lot. In essence, if you cancel your parking permit as part of the registration process for TravelSmart, your current parking assignment will be saved for 3 months from the date you sign up for the program. If you decide you want your parking permit back within this 3-month grace period, a permit for your original lot will be reissued. If you request your parking permit back after 3 months, parking will be reassigned based on where space is available. Having said this, we strongly discourage the idea of repeatedly canceling/requesting a parking permit. If you plan to only use active transportation during certain seasons, we encourage you to sign up for the TravelSmart program, but keep your parking permit (and continue paying the regular parking fee).
PARKING SERVICES ADDRESS
If I would like to cancel my parking permit and interoffice mail it back to Parking Services, what is the department’s campus zip?
Parking Services’ campus zip = 5001. Please note that only TravelSmart participants who plan to bus, bike, or walk can return their parking permits via interoffice mail. If you are a carpooler and your carpool group wants to cancel your parking permits in order to obtain a free carpool pass, you and your carpool partner(s) must visit Parking Services in person and return all of your parking permits at the same time. A carpool pass will not be issued unless all parking permits are returned at the same time in person.
Have you considered renting bicycles for people on campus to use?
Yes. We are currently exploring bike sharing on/around campus. We have been working with B-Cycle, which allows individuals to rent bicycles to use for short time periods. UNO and Midtown Crossing also have B-Cycle stations, which will provide additional options to travel to those locations.
Are we getting more bus shelters on campus?
Yes! We are working with Metro to add and improve bus shelters and benches at bus stops all around campus and on Dodge Street.
Some days I need to use my car for work purposes but I still want to use active transportation. What can I do?
We are currently working with Zipcar to bring cars to campus (hopefully, late summer/early fall). Zipcar provides cars that can be checked out by the hour or day to use however you need. They can be reserved, come with gas and insurance, and will be parked on campus for your convenience. Zipcar will allow you to use active transportation to get to and from work, but still use a car during the day, when needed.
Will there be a shuttle running from campus to places we can park?
At this time shuttles are cost prohibitive. However, Metro has added additional Park and Ride locations that may work for you. You park your car at a location, they pick you up from there and ride the bus to campus. Most Park and Ride locations have Express Buses that make fewer stops and get to and from your location more quickly.
ELECTRIC VEHICLE PARKING
Are there reserved stalls for electric vehicles to charge their batteries?
There are 6 stalls with electrical outlets reserved for electric vehicles on the lowest level of Lot #50 (formerly Lot #59) next to the pillars. Stalls are marked for EV parking only. Please note that any electric vehicle owner who would like regularly park his/her vehicle in these reserved stalls needs to call Parking Services at 402.559.8580 for authorization.