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Back-to-school commuter guide

Check out these options to find a mode of transportation that works for you.

Commuter Services is the department dedicated to providing students with a variety of transportation options.

Click through the slideshow to check out these options to find a mode of transportation that works for you.

Introducing SafeRide

Be on the safe side, request a SafeRide!

SafeRide is the latest pilot program, developed by Commuter Services, that offers an alternative to walking around campus late at night. This free night service is for students, faculty and staff who don’t feel comfortable walking to buildings, parking lots and residential areas, for example.

SafeRide functions similarly to other rideshare programs like Uber or Lyft, but only operates within university boundaries from 6 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Students, faculty and staff may request a ride on campus by downloading the TapRide app and following the prompted steps.

Fun Fact: To make passengers feel comfortable, all SafeRide drivers are friendly university students.

Learn more about SafeRide here.

What parking permit should I get?

There are a few factors to consider when deciding which parking permit best suites your needs. Parking permit acronyms can be confusing to new students, so here’s a breakdown of the most common student parking permits:

  • U PERMIT: The “U” permit is the best option for students living off-campus. Not only are there a variety of lots across campus reserved for this permit but it also allows students to park in designated “A” lots after 3 p.m.
    Psst! Keep reading for info on ‘U’ permits allowed in “A” lots.
  • HU PERMIT: The “HU” permit allows students who live on-campus to park overnight in housing lots. This permit can also be used to park in “U” permit lots on main campus. Be aware that “U” lots do not allow overnight parking.
  • HCU PERMIT: The “HCU” is similar to the “HU” permit but comes with extra perks. In addition to parking in housing lot, the HCU permit also allows you to park in the Central Garage, the Lassonde Studio lot and “U” lots on campus.
  • CU PERMIT: The “CU” permit, like the “HCU,” allows you to park in the Central Garage, the Lassonde Studio lot and “U” lots, but is not permitted in housing lots. This permit is available to all students.

Visit the Student Permits on the Commuter Services website to view pricing, purchasing details and other parking permits.

“U” permits allowed after 3 p.m.

Students with ‘U’ parking permits may park in designated “A” permit parking lots after 3 p.m. This option allows students to park in lots closer to main campus during the evening. Not all lots have this accommodation, so please take care in reading the signage posted in the lot. If an “A” lot sign includes the phrase, “U Permit Allowed After 3 p.m.,” you may park as stated. Certain “A” lots are reserved for faculty and staff with “A” permits who work afternoons or evenings. These lots are signed accordingly.

Check out the list of lots that allow “U” permits after 3 p.m.

INSIDER TIP: “U” permit allowed after 6 p.m.

Are you a night owl who likes a late-night study session? With a “U” permit, students may park in designated areas in the Marriott Library and Union pay lot after 6 p.m. This parking option is especially convenient for night students. Watch out for signs in these lots and be sure you park in the designated area.

UCard and UTA

The university’s agreement with UTA provides students free access to UTA buses, TRAX and Frontrunner trains. Use your UCard to tap on and off the card-readers located on buses and train platforms when boarding and exiting trains.

The TRAX Red Line and several UTA bus routes come directly to campus, making public transportation accessible to students in the Wasatch Front. As of Aug. 11, 2019, UTA increased coverage in the university area by modifying and adding routes like the 400/Foothill Drive route. For more information on the new and modified routes to the U, visit the UTA Change Day site.

INSIDER TIP: Use Google Maps and select the transit option to find a UTA route the works for you.

Campus Shuttle

The Campus Shuttles transport students all over campus. This free service is available to all students—as it stops at housing areas and UTA bus stops and TRAX stations on campus.

Track the Campus Shuttle location live by downloading the Ride Systems app and selecting the University of Utah transit system. With this app, you can also find:

• Nearest stop locations
• Estimated times of arrival
• Additional route information

Insider Tip: Check out the notification feature to receive a text message alert when your shuttle is about to arrive.

Biking to the U

Bicycling is a convenient, healthy and sustainable alternative to driving to campus. The university offers free and convenient bicycle parking within 50 feet of almost every building entrance. Remember to yield to pedestrians, always wear a helmet, and slow your speed to avoid a crash and injury to yourself or others.

Check out the following bikeway maps when planning your commute to campus:

University Downtown Bikeway – If your commute begins on the west side of campus.
Salt Lake City/County Bikeways Map – If your commute begins east, north, or south of campus.

The Campus Bike Shop, located on 1901 South Campus Drive, offers a wide variety of bicycle maintenance services including tune-up, tire replacement, cable/housing repairs and more.

Text or call 801-599-7039 to make an appointment with our experienced bicycle mechanic.

Shared mobility on campus

Rentable e-bikes and e-scooters, such as Bird or Lime, are allowed on campus. However, just like a bicycle, rentable e-scooters and e-bikes must only be parked adjacent to an outdoor bicycle rack. When operating these devices on campus sidewalks, you are responsible for following the university operating guidelines.

Shared mobility devices are not allowed in any building and must not block entrances or ADA access, or impede movement on any sidewalk.


No matter how you commute to campus, you’ll find yourself on the sidewalks at some point or another. If you’re new to the university, you’ll notice that sidewalks are for everyone, including bicyclists, skateboarders, golf cart drivers and much more! Remember, pedestrians always have the right of way. Be aware of your surroundings, and watch where you’re walking to avoid injuries to yourself or others.

If you feel unsafe or witness unsafe behavior on campus sidewalks, please report it immediately by calling 801-585-COPS.

Autonomous shuttle pilot project

UDOT and UTA want to explore ways to meet the travel needs of individuals and enhance community accessibility through safe, reliable and innovative services. Autonomous and connected technology could be a great solution for transit needs.

Autonomous shuttles are electric vehicles with capacity for six to 12 passengers. They do not have a driver’s seat, steering wheel, pedals or the other features usually associated with traditional vehicles. The driverless shuttle follows a pre-determined route but reacts to other vehicles, pedestrians, etc. in real-time as they are encountered.

The AV Shuttle will be on campus now through September. Operating Monday-Friday, from 12-6 p.m.

For more information on the AV Shuttle, click here.

Coming soon: Transit Hub at the Union

A new transit hub, located in front of the Union, will accommodate more frequent UTA bus service coming to campus.

The Transit Hub construction project includes:

• Expanding the bus stop and staging area
• Relocating the ADA stalls to the pay lot
• Creating a new entrance to the Union pay lot, which will be located at the north end.

Pedestrians walking through this construction site should follow the detour signs and be aware of their surroundings. Expect traffic and parking impacts beginning now until mid-September. For more information on this construction project and others, check out the Commuter and Construction Updates each week.

More info:

To learn more about student commuter options, visit the Commuter Services website or call 801-581-6415.