Commuting to campus during COVID-19

The University of Utah is a commuter campus, but what exactly does that mean for you? Whether you travel to the U by bus, train, car, bike or foot, Commuter Services is here to help you find transportation options that fit your needs.

Returning students may notice some transportation services were modified in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the university reopens this fall, Commuter Services will transition to normal operations while following appropriate guidelines.

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

SafeRide is a free on-demand ride service for students who don't feel comfortable walking around campus at night. SafeRide functions similarly to other rideshare programs like Uber or Lyft, but only operates within university boundaries on weeknights from 6 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Download the TapRide app in the App Store or Google Play to request a ride.

All passengers must comply with the Salt Lake County Public Health Order 2020-11 by wearing a face covering inside SafeRide vehicles.

Students may have different parking needs throughout this academic year as the university transitions to a combination of in-person and online classes. To allow for flexibility, Commuter Services will only sell semester permits during the 2020-21 academic year. Fall 2020 Semester permits are valid until Jan. 8, 2021.

There are a few factors to consider when deciding which parking permit best suits your needs. Parking permit acronyms can be confusing to new students, so below is 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 does this permit allow students to park in various "U" lots across campus, but it also allows students to park in designated "A" lots after 3 p.m.

HU permit

The "HU" permit allows students who live on -campus to park overnight in housing lots. This permit is also valid in "U" lots. Be aware that overnight parking is not allowed in certain "U" lots.

HCU permit

The "HCU" is similar to the 'HU' permit but comes with extra perks. In addition to parking in the housing lots, the HCU permit also allows you to park in the Central Garage, the Lassonde Studio Lot and "U" lots.

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 page on the Commuter Services website to view prices, purchasing details and other parking permits.

Students with "U" permits may park in designated "A" parking lots after 3 p.m. This option allows students to park in lots closer to central campus during the evening. Not all lots have this accommodation, so please take care in reading the signage posted in the lot.

Additionally, students with "U" permits may also park in designated stalls in the Marriott Library and Union kiosk lots after 3 p.m. Not all stalls in these lots allow "U" permits, so read the signs carefully.

Check out the map of lots that allow "U" permits after 3 p.m.

Students enrolled in a combination of in-person and online classes may prefer short-term parking options, rather than a semester-long permit. Commuter Services offers three short-term parking options for students who will not park on campus regularly.

Day Pass

Students may purchase a Day Pass online (ranging from $4-$15 a day) to park in a "U" or "A" lot on campus.

Kiosk lots

Students may pay the $2 hourly rate to park in the Union Lot, Marriott Library Lot, Business Lot or Student Life Center Lot. Visit the kiosks machines located within these lots to begin a session.

PayByPhone stalls

Students may pay the $2 hourly rate to park in PayByPhone stalls located in various lots throughout campus. Download the PayByPhone app to find a stall and begin a session.

Students have access to UTA buses, TRAX and FrontRunner trains at no cost. Use your UCard to tap on and off the card-readers located on buses and train platforms when boarding and exiting.

The TRAX Red Line and several UTA bus routes come directly to campus, making public transportation accessible to students in the Wasatch Front. Additionally, commuters using multiple modes of transportation may bring their bicycle or personal scooter on buses and trains. Download the Transit app to find a route that works for you.

UTA requires all passengers in Salt Lake County to comply with Salt Lake County Public Health Order 2020-11 by wearing a face covering on board. UTA will continue to implement additional safety and disinfecting procedures that align with the CDC and the Utah Department of Health's safety recommendations.

The Campus Shuttle system transports students to popular locations around the U, including the Union, housing areas, UTA bus stops and TRAX stations on campus. Personal scooters and skateboards are welcome on board; however, bicycles are not allowed on shuttles.

The Blue, Orange and Circulator (previously known as the Night Route) shuttles will increase service frequency during peak hours to ensure shuttles are not overly crowded. Other shuttle routes like the Red, Green, Purple and Union-TRAX will remain off the road until further notice.

Visit uofubus.com to track all campus shuttles live, find the nearest stop and see the estimated arrival times.

Bicycling is a convenient, healthy and sustainable alternative to driving to campus. With new, safe routes opening this fall, cyclists and other active commuters can ride through campus with ease. All cyclists must yield to pedestrians, ride at a slow speed, and follow the university operating regulation for bicycles and other non-motorized riding devices.

The university offers free outdoor bicycle parking within 50 feet of almost every building. Cyclists are also welcome to utilize the secure bicycle lockers located at certain buildings and parking garages. Bicycles locked to anything other than bicycle racks will be impounded.

Later this semester, the Campus Bike Shop will move to a new location at 413 Campus Center Drive, across the street from the Utah Museum of Fine Arts. The new and improved shop will continue to offer bicycle maintenance services, including tune-up, tire replacement, cable repairs and more. Stay tuned for more information coming soon.

Skateboards, e-boards and other wheeled devices, including rentable e-bikes and e-scooters are allowed to operate on campus. Riders must follow the local traffic laws and the university operating regulation for bicycles and other non-motorized riding devices.

Outdoor parking for skateboards and personal scooters is available at the Student Life Center, Peterson Heritage Center and Kahlert Village. Rentable e-scooters and e-bikes must be parked adjacent to an outdoor bicycle rack.

No matter how you commute to the U, you'll find yourself walking on campus at some point. Visit the Campus Map to get walking directions to any buildings on campus.

If you're new to the U, you'll notice that sidewalks are used by wheeled devices, including bicycles, scooters, skateboards and golf carts. As a pedestrian, you have the legal right of way, meaning every rider must yield to you. Be aware of your surroundings to avoid injuries to yourself or others.

Students who do not feel comfortable walking on campus may contact the university's police department to request a free courtesy escort to any location on campus. Call 801-585-COPS to request this service available 24/7.

The Autonomous Shuttle operates at the University of Utah on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., now until Sept. 4, 2020. UDOT and UTA's pilot project gives the public a first look at a completely autonomous vehicle—meaning there is no driver, steering wheel or pedals. The shuttle follows a pre-determined route but reacts to other vehicles and pedestrians in real-time.

The AV Shuttle stops at two locations: The Union and the Lassonde Studios. The shuttle loops around the Union Lot and heads up Student Life Way towards the Lassonde Studios. This route also serves as a great connection to the Student Life Center and the TRAX Fort Douglas Station.

The Commuter Services' main office moved from the Annex building to the Fort Douglas area. Our new office, located at 311 S. Fort Douglas Boulevard, is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

We welcome all students to visit our new main office to purchase a permit, pay a ticket or ask general questions. However, we have discontinued all in-person citation appeals permanently. All citation appeals must be submitted online.