Information for New Enrolled Students

Freshmen/Sophomore Parking Prohibition
First and second-year students with less than 90 units that reside in University housing facilities, including University Town Center, are not eligible to purchase a permit (except motorcycle permits) to park on-campus. Detailed information is available on the Residential Freshmen/Sophomore Parking Prohibition page.

Off Campus Parking Lots
UCSC prefers that students who are not eligible to purchase an on–campus parking permit not bring vehicles to Santa Cruz unless advance arrangements for paid long–term parking off–campus are made. Residential streets near campus and in downtown Santa Cruz have strictly enforced parking permit requirements managed by the City of Santa Cruz Permit Parking Program. Detailed information is available on the Off-campus Parking Lots page.

Undergraduate Student Parking Permits
All commuting students are eligible to purchase a campus parking permit. Effective 5/8/17 Permit Eligibility status for residential students is determined by the number of units (90 units) completed by Fall 2017. This status remains in place and does not change throughout the academic year. Residential students who have completed less than 90 units or achieve this threshold by Winter 2018 or Spring 2018 are ineligible for parking, but may pursue parking through an appeal process

Student Transit Fee
In 1972 the students of UC Santa Cruz voted to create a new mandatory fee to fund unlimited, fare-free rides aboard the public transit buses of the Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District (SCMTD). UCSC was possibly the first university in the nation to fund public transit in this manner, and has served as a model for similar student fee measures introduced at the University of Washington, CU Boulder, and UC Berkeley. Over the past forty years, UCSC students have supported increases to the quarterly Student Transit Fee in ten of twelve ballot measures. Besides providing fare-free ridership on Metro buses, these funds support the operation of Campus Transit's Day and Night Shuttles, the late-night Night Owl transit service, and the Disability Van Service. The Student Transit Fee is part of each student's UCSC quarterly registration fees.

The Santa Cruz Metro and UCSC TAPS Transit Bus Systems
Santa Cruz Metro Buses: Metro buses operate throughout Santa Cruz County. Regular service is provided between downtown Santa Cruz and the campus. Campus residents use Metro buses to get to downtown Santa Cruz and other local destinations. To travel between campus and downtown Santa Cruz board buses with any of these route signs showing on the front of the bus: Routes 15 or 16 Laurel Street, Route 10 High Street, and Route 19 Lower Bay Street. Many students who reside off-campus use Metro buses to commute to and from campus. Detailed route and schedule information for Metro buses is available at www.scmtd.com.

UCSC Shuttles (TAPS Transit): The Campus Transit system operates two daytime routes (the Loop and Upper Campus), and three nighttime routes (the Loop, the East Night Core and the West Night Core). On-campus shuttle schedules are available on the UCSC Shuttles page. Campus Transit also provides The Night Owl, late-night bus service between campus and downtown Santa Cruz, exclusively for UCSC students and employees. The Night Owl schedule is available on the Night Owl page.

Student ID Card Bus Pass
Through an agreement between the University and METRO (SCMTD) students that display a valid UCSC ID card ride Metro buses fare-free; Student Transit Fee funds pay for student rides on Metro buses. Student ID cards are issued by ID Card Services which is located on the first floor of the Bay Tree building, (831) 459-2990 or idcards@ucsc.edu. A valid quarter sticker is required; stickers are available each quarter at your college office or department. TAPS provides temporary bus passes to each college at the start of Fall and Winter quarters for new students that have not obtained their Student ID Card; new students receive temporary bus passes at their college. Details about student ID cards for Metro bus use is available on the Student ID Cards for Metro Bus Use page.

Bikes at UCSC
If you plan on cycling at UCSC be sure to bring a helmet! You should also check out the Bike Programs and Services section of our website to learn about campus bike resources including:

  • borrowing a bike for the quarter from the UCSC Bike Library
  • how to obtain a mandatory bike license for riding in Santa Cruz
  • free bicycle street skills classes where you will learn how to ride confidently and choose the best local roads and trails for cycling
  • free weekly campus bike maintenance clinics and campus Fixit bike repair stations
  • the importance of using bike safety equipment including always wearing a helmet, and bike lights for night riding
  • a bike shuttle to campus for students that commute

Graduate Student Parking Permits
Detailed information on the types of parking permits that are available to eligible graduate students is available on the Graduate Student Parking page.

How To Check On the Status of Your Parking Permit Order
The best way to inquire about the status of a parking permit application or order is to email tapssales@ucsc.edu.

TAPS mails out student permits beginning the last week of August and through the first week of September; after that, permits can be picked up when you arrive on campus in September. Please note that there is no guarantee of getting the permit you request. We will sell available permits up to the maximum limits we set for each permit type for the year. If we sell out of the permit you have requested, you will be placed on a wait list until we determine if space is available. 

Visitor Parking
Visitors and guests of students who reside on campus may purchase one-day temporary parking permits at the Main Entrance Kiosk (located just inside the campus main entrance [map]) from 7:00am to 1:00pm on weekdays. From 1:00pm to 5:00pm permits must be purchased at the TAPS Sales Office (map). Visitors that want to purchase temporary permits for more than one day, for up to a maximum of three consecutive days, must do so at the TAPS Sales Office (map). Sales Office hours are 7:00am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday. A picture ID is required at the time of purchase. If you have questions about visitor parking email taps@ucsc.edu