From free rides on public transit, economical permits, and affordable and sustainable transportation, WashU provides a range of commuting options to get you to, from and around campus. As you consider your option for next year, take a look at what’s new for the year ahead. We will continue to provide updates here so be sure to check back.

FREE Transportation: Metro U-Pass

We know walking or biking are great options, have you considered public transit? The U-Pass program provides free and unlimited rides on the St. Louis region’s public transit system. With the U-Pass, you can access WashU campuses quickly and easily while enjoying a sustainable commute without the stress of driving or parking – at no cost to you.

  • Benefits-eligible employees as well as full-time employees of basic service contractors receive a free Metro U-Pass provided by WashU. Register starting June 7, 2023 to receive your Fall U-Pass.
  • Live near campus? There are MetroLink stations and MetroBus stops on or very near our campuses.
  • Don’t live close to a stop? Parking is free with Metro Park-Ride lots, many of which are located at MetroLink train stations. You can also bike to a nearby bus or train station and bring your bicycle onboard. Learn how here.
  • The Call-A-Ride service provides additional ADA accommodations to eligible customers who live within ¾ of a mile from a MetroBus stop.
  • Citizens for Modern Transit, through the Guaranteed Ride Home program, provides carpool members who enroll up to four subsidized rides home from campus per year in case of an emergency. Rides are reimbursed 80 percent up to $60.

Learn more and register on the Metro U-Pass webpage. Registration opens June 7, 2023.

ECONOMICAL Transportation: ParkSmart Permit

This permit is for those who want to save money but prefer the convenience of driving a personal vehicle.

  • ParkSmart permits are available for only $42.
  • A change from previous years, this flat rate is available to all faculty, staff, students, and contractors, regardless of income level or office location.
  • You can use WashU’s robust shuttle system and/or Metro to commute between campuses.

To learn more about ParkSmart, visit our ParkSmart webpage.

AFFORDABLE & SUSTAINABLE: Bearly Drivers Carpool

This cost-saving option is available to eligible full-time Danforth faculty and staff who are interested in commuting together while sharing the cost of a parking permit at drastically reduced rates.

  • The total cost of a Bearly Drivers permit will be half the price of a Danforth Campus Yellow parking permit. The reduced cost is then split between all members of the registered carpool.
  • Bearly Drivers parking will also now be permitted in any yellow space, in any zone, throughout the Danforth Campus starting Aug. 1, 2023. 
  • For your convenience, there are numerous commuter lots located directly off main highways where you can meet your carpool partner.
  • You can also enroll in the Guaranteed Ride Home program, which provides carpool members up to four free rides home from campus per year in case of an emergency. Rides are reimbursed 100 percent up to $125.

Learn more and apply for your permit on the Bearly Drivers Carpool webpage. To find WashU carpool or bikepool partners based on your schedule, route and preferences, visit WashU Rides.

As always, the Parking and Transportation team recommends choosing sustainable, smart commuting options whenever possible. Learn more about the many options and resources available to you on our Smart Commute webpage.

HYBRID APPROACH: Daily Usage Permit

This permit allows permit holders to pay for parking on a monthly basis based on daily usage and is ideal for those who only occasionally need to park on the Danforth Campus. This year:

  • Daily Usage permits will be valid in Zones 1-4
    Those who are assigned to Zone 1-3 will be restricted to park in the garages within those zones
    – Zone 1 will park in the East End Garage
    – Zone 2 will park in the DUC Garage
    – Zone 3 will park in either the Millbrook or Snow Way Garage
    Those assigned to Zone 4 will use Offstreet to park in Zone 4 yellow spaces, including surface lots.
  • Permit holders can use visitor parking but not if the Daily Usage permit is in their vehicle
  • This permit is available to Danforth Campus employees and graduate students

For more information, visit our Daily Usage Permit webpage.