With the development of a new Career & Student Success Center, the Portland Commons Residence Hall, and Residential Quad on the University of Southern Maine (USM) Portland campus, we are in the process of reviewing options to create additional structured parking on campus.
In July of 2020, the University hired Desman Design Management of Boston to design a new parking garage. Desman's first order of business is to conduct a site evaluation of possible locations to add a structured parking facility on campus, and that process is currently underway.
To determine the appropriate location for the new structured parking facility, the University will take into account the findings of Desman Design Management, as well as our conversations with our students, community neighbors, and the City of Portland. Our objective is to accommodate the University’s need for a sufficient number — but not oversupply — of parking spaces, while also seeking to meet the needs of our student population, neighbors, and the City.
While adding structured parking is related to the Career and Student Success Center and Portland Commons project, it is not part of the project and will have a separate and distinct permitting process.
Transportation Demand Management
In conjunction with the new building project, the University has published an ambitious Transportation Demand Management (TDM) plan that aims to reduce the number of single-occupancy vehicles commuting to campus by replacing as many as possible with carpool, biking, walking, and bus options.
The estimated impact of the TDM plan comprises the largest share of our carbon-reduction goal to decrease the University’s transportation footprint by 20% by 2025.
Offsetting single-occupancy vehicle use with bus options is made feasible through our partnership with Greater Portland METRO, which includes free, unlimited service for USM students, staff, and faculty on the METRO; the Biddeford, Saco, Old Orchard Beach transit; and the South Portland Bus Service lines.
Unlimited service has been proven to increase transit ridership while making better use of existing infrastructure by relieving vehicular congestion and air pollution. Eliminating the cost of transportation increases access to jobs, internships, and other opportunities.
Other METRO benefits include, year-round, seven days a week service (except for four major holidays), frequent bus runs, longer service hours, bike-racks, Wi-Fi, and charging ports at all seats.
You can review additional information regarding how campus parking will be affected throughout and following the construction process on our Frequently Asked Questions.