In 2017, WashU implemented a zoned approach to parking to better allocate parking resources and enhance alternative transportation during the renovation of the east end of the Danforth Campus. This includes the East End (Zone 1); South Core (Zone 2); North Core (Zone 3); South 40 (Zone 4); and the North and West Campuses (Zone 5).
During construction, parking is available on the core of campus, on the South 40, and at West Campus. At this time, parking is not available on the east end of the Danforth Campus (Zone 1); however, the new Zone 1 parking facility is expected to open May of 2019.
Learn more about parking and transportation at WashU below.
East End of the Danforth Campus
What is the East End Construction Project?
Washington University is making significant changes to the east end of the Danforth Campus. For information about this transformation, visit campusnext.wustl.edu.
How long will the East End of campus be under construction?
A majority of the construction is anticipated to be completed prior to Spring 2019 Commencement.
Will any parking be available on the east end of the Danforth Campus?
Not at this time. The new Zone 1 parking facility is expected to open May of 2019.
How many spaces will be available after construction?
Once construction is completed, there will be approximately 800 spaces available in the new underground garage. This represents a reduction of approximately 145 spaces. During peak business hours, those spaces will be limited to faculty, staff and visitors. The new Zone 1 parking facility is expected to open May of 2019.
Will commencement continue to be held in Brookings Quadrangle?
Yes. For commencement specific information, visit commencement.wustl.edu.
Parking Permit Changes
How has parking changed?
In 2017, parking on the Danforth Campus was broken into five zones, the East End (Zone 1); South Core (Zone 2); North Core (Zone 3); South 40 (Zone 4); and the North and West Campuses (Zone 5).
In each of the zones, there are two permit types available for purchase, red (reserved) and yellow (unreserved). The yellow permits, available to all eligible parkers, are only valid in designated spaces within the zone to which the permit applies. In addition to yellow permits, employees have the option to purchase a red permit, which allows holders to park in any of the five zones.
For the 2017-18 academic year, parking permits are valid from July 1, 2017 through July 31, 2018. Starting 2018-19, all parking permits will be valid for 12 months, from August 1 to July 31.
Parking Permit Options and Pricing
What parking permit do I purchase for 2017-2018?
View 2017-18 permits here.
How long are permits valid?
Permits for the 2017-18 academic year are valid for 13 months, from July 1, 2017 through July 31, 2018. Starting 2018-2019, permits will be valid for 12 months, from August 1 through July 31.
Is there a low cost option?
Eligible students, faculty and staff who cannot park near their primary workplace can purchase a ParkSmart permit and park at West Campus. Employees whose primary work location is at West Campus are not eligible for this permit option.
Parking Permit Payment
How long are permits valid?
Permits valid for the 2017-2018 academic year will be valid for 13 months, from July 1, 2017 through July 31, 2018. If you are paying for your permit on a monthly basis, the total cost will be spread over 13 months. Beginning in 2018-2019, permits will again be valid for only 12 months, from August 1 through July 31.
Parking Permit Availability
I want a monthly permit for a few months out of the year. Can I purchase one?
Yes. Monthly permits need to be purchased by departments directly through the Parking & Transportation office. You will need to contact Parking & Transportation Services to determine the options available to you.
I am a retiree. How do I get a permit?
You will need to visit the Parking & Transportation office to determine what permits are available. If you do not plan to visit campus often, we encourage you to consider parking in visitor spaces instead of purchasing an annual permit.
Are evening permits still offered?
Yes. Evening permits are available and are valid starting at 3:30 p.m. Any drivers can park in any unreserved / yellow space in any zone between 5 p.m. and 7 a.m.
Are daily permits available?
No. Non-permit holders are encouraged to park in a visitor space in the Danforth University Center (DUC), Millbrook, Snow Way and West Campus garages, which are equipped with gate-arm technology. These individuals will need to pull a ticket at the entrance to gain access and pay prior to exiting the garage. For more information, visit the visitor page.
Will the Official Business Permit still be offered?
Yes. Departments on the Danforth Campus will be able to purchase the Official Business Permit for those employees who need to move from zone to zone for meetings. Permit holders can park for up to three hours.
Will summer permits be available?
Official Business Permits
How do Official Business Permits work if you do not have an annual permit?
The Official Business Permit is valid only with an annual permit.
Does the Official Business Permit allow contractors to park at dock locations?
If a department extends the use of its Official Business Permit to a contractor, that contractor may park in a reserved space for up to three hours.
Occasional Parking Permits
Will the Occasional Parking Program continue?
How does it work?
This program offers a limited amount of parking to commuters who only occasionally need to park on campus. The Occasional Parking Permit (OPP) is valid only in visitor spaces within an assigned zone. For more information, visit the OPP webpage. For 2018-19 information, visit this page.
Can I choose Occasional Parking Program and ParkSmart option?
Not at this time.
Where will Occasional Parking Permit holders park?
Occasional Parking Permit holders must park in a visitor parking spot in the parking garage(s) within the zone assigned.
Bearly Drivers Permits
I’m a Bearly Driver, how do I get a permit for next year?
Contact Parking & Transportation Services to determine what options are available to you. Once issued, your permit will be tied to a specific zone, and you will be able to park in a Bearly Drivers’ space until 5 p.m. within your assigned zone. Only full-time faculty and staff qualify for this program. Part-time faculty and staff, undergrads, and graduates, including those in the Medical School, will not be able to participate. For more information, visit the Bearly webpage. For 2018-19 information, visit this page.
Can a Bearly carpooler also get an OPP?
No, these are two separate alternative transportation programs with distinct rules. They cannot be used together. To learn more, visit the Bearly Drivers and Occasional Parking Program sections of the websites.
How does the Eliot Society program work?
To participate in the Eliot Society program, you must contact Alumni & Development to receive a voucher, which you can take to Parking & Transportation to purchase your permit.
Only those who purchase a 2017-18 red or yellow monthly permit, or red or yellow evening permits, will be eligible for a reduced price Danforth Campus permit.
Eliot Society permits are not available to Bearly Drivers, those who participate in the Occasional Parking Program, or ParkSmart permit holders, unless you are an undergraduate commuter student with a ParkSmart permit.
The maximum fair market value of the Eliot Society parking benefit is $500. If you return your permit, you will not be refunded the $500 benefit. Eliot Society permits are valid through July 31, 2018.
If non-staff Eliot Society Members enter a garage after 5 p.m., do they still need to park in visitor spots or can they park anywhere in the garages? What happens if there are no visitor spots available for Eliot members?
After 5 p.m., you may park in any unreserved / yellow parking space, including designated visitor spaces. Parking is not allowed in any red or reserved space at any time.
Will the Medical School and Danforth Campus reciprocity continue?
Yes. WUSM reserved parking permits are valid in red/reserved surface spaces on the Danforth Campus. Other WUSM permits are ONLY permitted to park in the yellow / unreserved spaces in the Danforth Underground Center (DUC) garage. Because the DUC is gated, these permit holders will need to pull a ticket to gain entry and then write their permit number and ID on the ticket they pulled upon entering. At the exit, they will need to hand this ticket to the gate attendant. For more information, visit the reciprocity section of our website.
Parking Policies – Undergraduates
Can sophomores park on campus?
Undergraduates in their first and sophomore years are not permitted to bring cars to campus.
I will be a sophomore this fall and I need a vehicle on campus due to special circumstances. Who do I contact?
In rare cases, the Office of Parking and Transportation will consider exceptions to the rule that sophomores are not allowed to park a vehicle on campus. To be considered, please submit your request, in writing, to Elisa Comer in the Office of Parking and Transportation.
Please consider the following alternative transportation options for Metro Transit U-Pass and CarShare before submitting your request. In the event that the University grants an exception, the exception will likely be for a ParkSmart permit.
I’m an undergrad living in university-owned housing. What are my options?
If you live in university-owned housing managed by Residential Life or Quadrangle Housing and are not a first or second-year undergraduate student, you can purchase a parking permit for the South 40 (Zone 4) or a ParkSmart permit and park on West Campus.
I’m an undergrad student living off campus. What are my options?
If you are an undergrad student who does not live in university-owned housing managed by Residential Life or Quadrangle Housing, you can purchase the ParkSmart option at West Campus.
To accommodate the anticipated volume at West Campus, a new West Campus shuttle is available. It runs in 15 minute increments, year round, from the West Campus to the Danforth Campus. During peak hours, shuttle frequency will be increased. They will also be coordinated with MetroBus and MetroLink services to help reduce wait times.
Keep in mind that the UPass, which is for benefits-eligible faculty and staff as well as registered full-time students, can be used to:
Take a MetroBus, which cycles every 20 minutes, to a variety of stops on campus.
Ride the MetroLink, which cycles every 12 minutes during peak hours, to either the Big Bend station (a 2-minute ride) or the Skinker station (a 4-minute ride) on Forest Park Parkway.
I live on the North Side. Why can’t I park my car in the Snow Way or Millbrook Garages during the day?
All undergraduate students should park in the South 40 lot between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. After that time, permits are not enforced and anyone with a permit can park in unreserved / yellow spaces after 5 p.m. during the weekdays and at any time on the weekends.
What if I need to work in a lab/studio or need to access a building in the evening hours? Where can I park?
Permits will be enforced on campus during the regular business hours (7 a.m. – 5 p.m.), Monday through Friday. Students that need to access Danforth Campus parking lots after 5 p.m. can park in yellow spaces. Red spaces will continue to be enforced 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
I’m an undergrad student. Can I purchase the evening yellow permit?
Yes. This permit is for graduate students and upper-class undergraduates who commute.
I park at West Campus but what do I do if I have a lot of items to take to my office/building/class?
There are a couple options. You can park in a visitor space and pay the hourly rate or park on campus after 5 p.m. in any yellow / unreserved space, in any zone, Monday through Friday, or anytime on Saturday and Sunday.
Parking Policies – Graduates
I’m a grad student. What are my options?
Graduate commuter students are eligible to park in Zone 2, Zone 3, or the low cost ParkSmart option to park at West Campus.
I’m a grad student. Can I purchase the evening yellow permit?
Yes. This permit is for graduate students and undergraduates who commute.
I am planning to park at West Campus but what do I do if I have a lot of items to take to my office/building/class?
You can park in a visitor space and pay the hourly rate or park on campus after 5 p.m. in any yellow / unreserved space, in any zone, Monday through Friday, or anytime on Saturday and Sunday.
Why do grad students have multiple zone options?
Graduate students access campus similar to our faculty and staff and tend to live further away from campus than undergraduate students. Because there is no housing available on campus for graduate students, they require a greater level of Danforth Campus parking access than undergrads.
Parking Policies – Staff/Faculty
I’m a staff / faculty member on the Danforth Campus. What are my options?
Due to the extremely limited parking that will be available on the Danforth Campus, the ParkSmart is a great option.
I am an employee who works at North/West Campus and come to the main Danforth Campus daily for meetings. Do I have to buy two different permits in order to park at the Danforth Campus?
The Official Business Permit is available for purchase by departments for those employees who frequently travel to the Danforth Campus for meetings and allows parking in any of the zones for up to three hours.
I am planning to park at West Campus but what do I do if I have a lot of items to take to my office/building/class?
You can park in a visitor space and pay the hourly rate or park on campus after 5 p.m. in any yellow / unreserved space, in any zone, Monday through Friday, or anytime on Saturday and Sunday. Your department may want to consider purchasing an Official Business Use permit which, if you need to move around campus for your job, allows you to park in a space in any of the zones for up to three hours.
I am a non-benefit eligible staff member / adjunct faculty and need to park on campus occasionally. What are my options?
You can park on campus after 5 p.m. Monday through Friday in any yellow / unreserved space in any zone. Another option is to park as a visitor in a garage and pay by the hour.
Parking Policies – Contractors
Can construction and contractor parks on campus?
Contractors are not allowed to park in any of the zones, with the exception of a few basic service contractors who are regularly on campus for maintenance needs.
What permit can a Basic Service Contractor purchase?
Basic Service Contractors (BSC) can purchase annual permits. Those who only need a permit for a few months out of the year can purchase a monthly permit at the Parking & Transportation office at North Campus.
Can Basic Service Contractors choose the ParkSmart option?
I need an accessible parking space. Where do I park?
When purchasing a permit, these drivers specify the zone that is their primary location and can park in any accessible space within that zone. If you need to access another zone, you can use an Official Business Permit or park in a garage and either secure validation from the department you are visiting or pay the hourly rate for visitor parking. Only vehicles with a state issued accessible tag and a paid Washington University parking permit may park in an accessible parking space on campus.
Parking Policies – Visitors
How will visitor parking be affected during construction? And after?
The east end of the Danforth Campus is a high traffic area for visitors.
Guests are encouraged to park in the Danforth University Center (DUC), Millbrook, Snow Way and West Campus garages, which are equipped with gate-arm technology. Visitors need to pull a ticket at the entrance to gain access, park in a designated visitor space, and pay prior to exiting the garage.
In addition, Passport Parking, an app that allows individuals to pay for parking by the hour, is also available in designated visitor spaces located on the fourth floor of the Wallace Garage and along the west and south sides of the main building at North Campus. The app can be downloaded for free via iTunes and Google Play. To learn more, watch this video [link to video if it’s not already].
Will the Kemper Art Museum still offer visitor parking?
Yes. Visitor parking will still be offered by the Kemper Art Museum.
Parking Policies – Other
Do motorcyclists need permits?
Yes. Contact Parking and Transportation to secure a permit for the current or coming academic year.
Enforcement and Security
When is parking enforced?
Parking in yellow / unreserved spaces in each zone will be enforced from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Red spaces will continue to be enforced 24 hours a day, seven days per week. These policies also apply during the summer months.
What safety measures are in place?
Safety and security are always a priority at WashU. We continue to make improvements and adjustments to our safety and security measures as needed throughout the year.
Why does WashU increase permit rates each year?
Parking is a value-added service on any university campus, particularly one of WashU’s size and location. The rate increases reflect necessary associated maintenance and operational expenses required for the university’s campus parking resources.
What are the new rates? Are low cost options available?
For 2018-19 prices, click here. There are plenty of options available, including low cost options and alternatives to parking permits. For example, ParkSmart is a great option for employees who don’t work at West Campus. ParkSmart allow holders to purchase a ParkSmart permit and park at West Campus at a reduced cost.
Alternative Commuting Options
What are my alternatives to parking on the Danforth Campus?
There are lots of ways to get to campus you don’t have to pick just one. To learn more about alternative commute options, visit parking.wustl.edu/commute-options.
Available Commuting Options
- ParkSmart Permits: Those based on Danforth Campus will be able to purchase a ParkSmart permit at a reduced cost, which allows you to park at West Campus. It’s easy to get to and from Danforth Campus using the MetroLink, MetroBus, or the West Campus Shuttle service, which circulates every 15 minutes (download the WUSTL app for IOS and Android for real-time shuttle locations & schedules). You can also bike to the core of Danforth Campus in about six minutes.
- Metro Transit: You can ride it anytime for free with your U-Pass. There are MetroLink stations and MetroBus stops on and within close walking distance to Danforth Campus, as well as near North Campus, West Campus and Medical Campus.
- Metro Park & Ride: If you don’t live close to a bus stop, you can park for free at a Metro Park & Ride lot, some of which let you take a train directly to a MetroLink station on or very near our campuses, including two MetroLink stations on Danforth Campus.
- Bearly Driver Carpool Program: This is a great option for employees, who can enjoy reduced permit costs and preferred parking spots that are available only to Bearly Drivers members.
- Bicycles: Riding a bicycle instead of driving to campus is a great way to save money on fuel and also serves as an important part of a healthy lifestyle. View the campus bicycling brochure (PDF), which includes a map of bicycle routes on campus, tips for securing your bike as well as additional resources.
Additional options to support your alternative commuting choices include:
- Occasional Parking Program: This program offers discounted parking to faculty, staff, basic service contractor employees and graduate students who use alternative forms of transportation as their main commute method.
- Guaranteed Ride Home: This provides subsidized rides home in case of an emergency for those who use alternative transportation as their main commute method to and from campus.
- CarShare: These cars are available to rent from dedicated spots across campus.
- Campus2Home: Staying on campus late? This option provides a safe ride home.
- Campus Circulator: This WashU shuttle has numerous stops around Danforth Campus, many of which are shared with Metro stops.
Are you planning to enhance existing alternative commuting options?
We are always exploring new alternative transportation methods and ways to improve our current set of offerings. We frequently meet with students, faculty and staff to discuss options, gather input, and listen to concerns and will continue to do so.
West Campus Shuttle
What is the cost and who can ride it?
The shuttle is free to students, faculty and staff but you must present a WashU ID to board.
What hours/days will it run?
The shuttles will run Monday through Friday from West Campus to the Danforth Campus every 15-minutes, with service beginning at West Campus at 7 a.m., and the last pick up at Mallinckrodt Center at 10 p.m. It does not run Saturdays or Sundays. Download the WUSTL Mobile App for real time tracking.
What is the route?
The West Campus shuttle picks up and drops off passengers at the corner of Jackson and Forsyth at West Campus. View the route map.
Will Metro, Campus Circulator or Campus2Home routes be affected by the East End construction?
Yes. The Metro Bus, Campus Circulator, and Campus2Home routes have been modified to accommodate the start of the East End construction project. Learn more:
Will any bike racks be added to campus?
The East End construction plan includes a new building – the Hub – which includes an area for bike racks. In the meantime, we are taking a look at the current bike rack availability and making a decision regarding whether more will be needed.
How can I get more information?
To learn more about parking and transportation at WashU, visit parking.wustl.edu.
Who can help me understand my parking options?
For more information about the new parking strategy, review information on our website.
- You can watch a recording of a town hall on parking.wustl.edu.
- Or call the team at 314-935-5601 or email at ParkTrans@wustl.edu .
- In addition, faculty and staff can also contact the department to request departmental presentations about the new strategy or alternative commuting options.
How do I provide input and feedback on these plans?
We appreciate any feedback and input you’d like to provide. Call us (314-935-5601) or email us at ParkTrans@wustl.edu .