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STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – The first day of fall semester at Mississippi State is always busy but it can be even more challenging for those who commute to campus.

MSU Parking Services issues 20,000 permits each year for students, staff and faculty but there’s only 13, 600 parking spaces available.

We have peaks and valleys during the week. During those peak times, we have our commuter lots that fill up and once those are filled up, we have an overflow area which is around the Humphrey Coliseum and the Sanderson parking area. So if you come in and you find your area full then that would be the place you would need to go,” says  Mike Harris, MSU Director of Parking Services & Transit.

Harris says peak times are generally on Tuesdays and Thursdays and crowding subsides after Labor Day. Though the lack of available parking spaces is cause for concern, most commuters do find a place to park.

“They’ve allowed a lot more people into school here but that creates more of a parking problem, which there already was, in the last 3 years I’ve been here. I mean I got the one I wanted anyway. I was lucky one of the spots opened up,” says MSU Staff member James Herzog

Parking Services has even created a new smart phone app called Parker that tells commuters where available parking spots are on campus.

“What it’ll do is actually give you an overview of the parking lots on campus, all your commuter lots. The app is free. You can go to your app store on any of your iPhones or your Androids and down load it. Based upon the color of those icons that you have in those commuter lots, it’ll tell you if there’s parking available,” says Harris.

There’s also a Bike Share program that encourages students to ride bikes on campus instead of driving. Students can sign up each semester for the free program that includes a bike, a helmet and bicycle repairs. Harris also says they’ll break ground on a new parking garage this year.

A second parking garage will also be built by the Fall of 2014.

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