Moped use accelerates on campus

Hundreds of St. Thomas students commute to campus every day, but more and more are ditching their cars and riding to campus in a more cost-effective way. The parking spaces for motorcycles and mopeds are starting to overflow, and students are taking noticing.

“When I started at like 40 degrees there was no one here,” sophomore Tremayne Williams said. “But, when it gets a little warmer out it gets pretty packed.”

Williams believes more students are driving mopeds because of the convenience and the cost. He said his moped gets 115 miles per gallon and only costs around $4 at the pump.

Diana Kaardal, operations and parking manager, said the biggest incentive may be the free parking on campus. A commuter pays $250 a year for a parking permit, but there is no charge for a motorcycle or moped, as long as it’s parked in one of the designated areas.

The trend has prompted Parking Services to write policies regarding moped use and safety on campus, which should be in place by fall semester.

“We’re very concerned about having them operating on the sidewalks and things where people are and parking at bike racks,” Kaardal said.

However, Williams finds it’s more convenient parking his moped than trying to park a car.

“You always know you are going to have a parking spot,” he said. “You don’t have to look for one.”

Kristopher Jobe can be reached at jobe1276