EDINBURG, Texas (ValleyCentral) — With the start of the Spring 2023 semester University of Texas Rio Grande Valley students are facing the same parking issues that plagued many on a daily basis in the fall.

According to Google Trends, searches from the Rio Grande Valley regarding “parking” spiked early Tuesday–at 2:32 a.m.–an indication of what might be keeping students up late the night before a semester begins. Google’s top related searches on Tuesday were: UTRGV parking (No. 1); UTRGV parking permit (No. 2); UTRGV map (No. 3); and UTRGV parking map (No. 4).

The fifth highest search related to “parking” was for people looking for South Texas College parking permits.

During the first week of the Fall 2022 semester, UTRGV students reported having to wait an hour to find a parking spot on campus. The fury even led to the start of an online petition with more than 500 signatures.

This semester, UTRGV is facing similar conditions with three out of four of its Zone 2 parking lots at 100% capacity by 8:50 a.m. on the first day of classes.

On Tuesday morning, UTRGV Parking and Transportation Services tweeted about available “overflow parking” on both the Edinburg and Brownsville campuses.

A public service announcement from UTRGV stated the City of Edinburg’s Schunior Street Reconstruction Project is ongoing and will be closed from Closner to Jackson.

Consequently, all parking lots on the Edinburg campus are open for use except for remote lot E35. Just like during the fall semester, the entrances to parking lots along W. Schunior Street are unavailable because of the city street closure.  

According to the UTRGV Parking and Transportation Services website, the parking permit-to-spot ratio is 2:1.

A frequently asked question by students is where they can find open parking spaces during peak times. Peak periods of the day are typically between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

UTRGV’s response is that Zone 1 often has the most open parking spaces during peak periods. Students are also encouraged by the university to utilize the VOLT services. VOLT is a fleet of electric carts that transport students across campus connecting parking lots and other on-campus locations. To view the VOLT circuits or routes on the Edinburg and Brownsville campuses, click here.

For incoming students or those unfamiliar with the Brownsville, Edinburg, Harlingen and Weslaco campus the zone map is a helpful resource to find out where your parking permit allows you to park.

Students traveling on the Vaquero Express for classes in another city should be conscious of the Spring 2023 connector routes and times to make sure they are ready for pickup with ample time.