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So You're Trying to Park at UW

People boarding UW campus bus
UW offers several shuttle systems for the public to use.

The world needs more...parking?

Whether you're a freshman, graduate student, faculty or staff, you've probably noticed that parking on or near campus can be an issue at certain times of the day.

Here are some tips, as well as alternatives to parking on campus, that will help ensure you get to class on time.

Tips for parking

Outside of Half Acre

  • Be aware of all parking lots open to you. The parking lots in front of the Union and Half Acre Gym are highly convenient, so they're constantly full. Prevent yourself from circling the same lot for hours by knowing where all the lots are. While only a couple lots offer metered parking for those without permits, all lots are free game after 5 p.m. when parking is free to all. Check out a map of the parking lots here.

  • Look for street parking. Street spots are hard to come by, but they're there. Typically these spots go early in the morning, but they're an option if you have an early class or commitment. If you can get your hands on one, they're also free (just make sure it's a legal space).

  • Keep a stash of quarters in your car and download the ParkMobile app. Some spots on campus still use traditional meters, so it's helpful to have quarters on hand so you can use them! Most spots, however, use a pay-by-license plate system--which is where ParkMobile comes in! Just pay with your phone and be on your way.

  • Only park on campus if you're going to be there for a short amount of time. Parking gets expensive--currently, it's $1.50 an hour. If you're absolutely set on driving to campus every day, you're better off investing in a permit. Use those pay-by-the-hour spots for quick classes and meetings.

  • Don't park without paying. Just don't. Take it from someone who's paid the price--you WILL get a ticket if you leave your car without paying.

Alternatives to parking

Students walking and long boarding on campus

  • Use the shuttle system. UW offers a wonderful shuttle system that runs throughout the day. All you need to do is park at one of the shuttle lots and the shuttle will bring you to the Union. Parking at the lots is free, as well, so this is a great option for students who live out of walking/biking distance of campus. You can track where the busses are by downloading the TransLoc app.

  • Ride your bike. A lot of students bike around here! There are bike racks and bike pumps located around campus to make this a more accessible method. And, you'll get some fresh air! 

  • Park and walk. Parking on the street a little ways from campus and then walking is an option some students use. This is definitely more difficult, however, since you can't park on streets that require city permits. But if you're open to a 10-minute walk, it's worth checking out.  

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