Mayor Chris Beutler today announced new options to make parking easier for those headed to Downtown, the Pinnacle Bank Arena and the West Haymarket. A new Evening Star Shuttle will take passengers on a route that includes many of the City's Park and Go garages. The shuttle will operate from 6:45 p.m. to 12:15 a.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights through July 12. The fare is just 25 cents, but those who present a Park and Go ticket or a current bus pass may ride for free. The shuttle will run on a continuous 15-minute schedule.
"Many Downtown parking garages outside the Haymarket see most of their use during the day," said Mayor Beutler. "In the evening, they have a great deal of capacity to serve people headed to the West Haymarket and the Arena. The only barrier is the distance of these Downtown garages to the Haymarket. Thanks to StarTran, distance will no longer be an issue. The new shuttle will be convenient, fast, and inexpensive."
The Mayor said parking has been difficult in the West Haymarket because private development has occurred much faster than the City anticipated. About 2,100 new parking spaces have recently been created or will be available this year:
Mayor Beutler said the shuttle is a pilot program to determine the level of interest from the public. City officials will talk with business owners and Arena staff to determine whether the service should continue once the new garages are open.
"During the three-month pilot, the shuttle will be available for seven major concert events," Beutler said. "We hope the new route will end some frustration reported by those who find parking challenging in the new West Haymarket and help business owners provide parking for their regular patrons."
The City is working on several other options:
The Mayor thanked City Council members Carl Eskridge and Jon Camp, Terry Uland and Ed Swotek of the Downtown Lincoln Association and Brian Kitten of Brewsky's for working with Arena staff and City officials to find solutions. "As we found out in building the Arena, the best solutions are the product of collaboration and consensus," Mayor Beutler said. "That's how we continue to move Lincoln forward."