A publication of the Office of Student Publications
of the University of Washington
From here to there
Parking and commuting options around campus
By Laura Mishkin
Parking in the U-District can be difficult to navigate. Here are some options to make it more bearable and several ways to avoid parking entirely.
STUDENT PARKING PERMITS
Student parking permits are available from UW Transportation Services in two flavors: a daily permit for about $400 per quarter, or a night permit valid only between 4 p.m. and 8 a.m. for about $160 per quarter, both only valid in specified lots. Students on two-wheeled vehicles (motorcycles, mopeds, and scooters) can get a permit for $150 per quarter, valid at any motorcycle parking zone across campus. These and other permits can be purchased at the Transportation Services office, located on the corner of Northeast Campus Parkway and University Way Northeast, between Poplar and Schmitz Halls.
VISITOR PARKING PERMITS
Parking for visitors and guests is available at self-serve stations from the time of purchase until 6 a.m. the following day. The daytime parking rate Monday through Friday is $3 per hour, or $15 for the day. The night parking rate begins at 4 p.m. and is $5 per night except for the Central Plaza Garage where it is $10. Students can also purchase impromptu carpool daily parking permits for $7.50 with two current students in the car or $5 with three or more current students.
Complimentary parking is available in unrestricted lots weekday evenings from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. and on weekends from noon Saturday to 6 a.m. Monday. Parking is free during holiday closures.
For additional information about parking and a map of UW parking lots, visit washington.edu/facilities/transportation/.
Street parking is available throughout the U-District for around $2 an hour, Monday through Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Street parking is free after 8 p.m. and on Sundays and holidays except where signage states otherwise. For free street parking, try venturing several blocks off campus to the north.
For a map of all street parking in Seattle, visit web6.seattle.gov.
If you don’t have a car, you can always borrow one. ReachNow and car2go are rental vehicle services accessible via smartphone apps. Their vehicles are considered “free-floating.” Cars are parked in any legal stall for free after a rental, and the subsequent renter then retrieves the car from that location. ReachNow and car2go vehicles also have a free parking pass for street parking anywhere in the city. Zipcar vehicles are another option paid by the half hour and must be picked up and dropped off in the same location. Zipcar is the only service with designated stalls located on campus.
The U-District is served by numerous bus routes. The King County Trip Planner can point you in the right direction. Smartphone apps like OneBusAway, which was created by UW graduate students in 2008, can also help you easily navigate the bus system in and around campus.
LINK LIGHT RAIL
Since March 2016, the Sound Transit UW Station has been open for service. Located next to Husky Stadium, the station allows riders to reach downtown Seattle in six minutes, Capitol Hill in four, and SeaTac International Airport in less than an hour. A new Link Light Rail station is set to open just West of the Ave on Brooklyn and NE 43rd Street in 2021.
BIKE & BIKE SHARE
Seattle is a bike-friendly city, with a sizable part of the population commuting daily by bike. RideTheCity allows you to enter a start and end location, and provides you with travel routes that are either the most direct or most safe, based on your preferences. It also shows available bike shops along your route.
The UW is committed to students who ride bikes, offering almost 10,000 bike parking spaces around campus. Approximately 7,800 of these spaces are in the public bike racks placed nearby almost every building on campus. There are also bike lockers available for rental all over campus for $140 per year. Most residence halls also offer secure bike rooms for residents in HFS housing. A map of all the bike parking options on campus can be found at transportation.uw.edu.
The ASUW Bike Shop offers cheap repair services for students. It is located in HUB 103, and open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. during fall and spring quarters, Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. during winter quarter, and Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. during summer quarter.
If you do end up commuting by bike, helmets and lights are required by law. If you don’t have a bike, consider using a bike share app like LimeBike, JUMP, or Spin. These services allow you to temporarily rent out a bike for fees as low as $1 per ride. Use the app’s map to pick up a bike near you, then park it in one of the many bike racks installed around the city.