Commencement Parking and Transportation Information

All information subject to change without notice. Expect delays.

This page only addresses parking and transportation for 2019 Commencement. Visit the Commencement page for all other commencement information.

On Commencement Weekend, it can take as long as an hour from downtown Santa Cruz to get up to the UCSC campus during peak times. Leaving the campus after ceremonies can take equally as long. Please plan accordingly and consider public transit, ride sharing or other alternate modes of transit. See below for additional details.

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Parking Permits Parking on Campus Directions to Campus
Transportation to Campus Tranportation on Campus Students, Staff & Faculty

Parking Permits

Two Commencement Parking Permits per Graduate

Each graduate receives two commencement parking permits (general or Accessible) from their college office or celebration coordinator.

Two Permit Types: General or Accessible


All parking permits distributed to students are “general” unless an Accessible permit is requested by the graduate.


If you or one of your guests use a wheelchair, or if ascending three steps in a shuttle vehicle is problematic, please instruct your graduate to request an Accessible parking permit.

Display Your Parking Permit

As you enter campus, please have your permit ready to display to attendants. Once parked, clearly display your permit in your car’s windshield.

No Permit?

If you do not have a commencement parking permit, you may not be able to park on campus.


Parking at UCSC during Commencement Weekend is extremely limited. Due to the large number of people arriving on campus throughout Commencement Weekend, please arrive no earlier than 75 minutes prior to the scheduled ceremony that you are attending.

Be sure to jot down, drop a pin on your app-based map, or otherwise make note of the parking lot number where you are parked.

General Commencement Parking

Designated, general parking for ceremonies at the East Field is located in Gold Lot 104 (East Remote).

Designated, general parking for ceremonies at the Quarry Amphitheatre is located within various Blue lots on the west side of campus.

Please refer to the parking directions below and/or the map on the back of your commencement parking permit(s).

Accessible Commencement Parking

Designated Accessible parking for Quarry ceremonies is located in Blue Lot 126 (at Performing Arts), and designated Accessible parking for East Field ceremonies is located within Gold Lot 104 (East Remote Lot). In order for guests to access these parking areas with a vehicle, they must possess either a TAPS-issued general commencement permit along with a valid, DMV-issued ADA placard / plates, or a TAPS-issued Accessible commencement permit.

RV and Oversized Vehicle Parking

Oversized vehicles such as RVs, limos or trailers must park at the base of campus in the Barn Theater parking lot 122 and will require a valid, Commencement parking permit. After you park, use the crosswalk to cross Coolidge Drive and board a campus Loop shuttle or METRO bus at the Main Entrance shuttle stop.

Commencement Parking Location Maps

Follow Staff Directions

Commencement-designated roadways and parking lots are subject to change, based on conditions. University Police and Event Parking staff will be posted at most intersections and in parking lots; please follow their direction. Do not attempt to park elsewhere or ignore instructions.

Directions to Campus:

As you enter campus, please have your permit ready to display to attendants

Gold Lot 104 (designated parking for East Field ceremonies )

From Highway 1/Mission Street in Santa Cruz, take Bay Drive north towards campus. Continue up Coolidge Drive .42 miles and turn left at the second stoplight onto Hagar Drive. Proceed on Hagar Drive .67 miles and turn into Gold Lot 104. A parking map is included on the back of your parking permit.

Blue Lots (designated parking for Quarry ceremonies)

From Highway 1/Mission Street in Santa Cruz, take Bay Drive north towards campus. Once past Meder Street, get into the left-turn lane, and turn left onto High Street. Follow the Blue Lot directional signs to the West Entrance of campus; turn right onto Heller Drive. Proceed up Heller Drive and traffic attendants will direct you to available Blue Lot Quarry Ceremony parking. A parking map is included on the back of your parking permit.

FACULTY/STAFF, VIP, & OPERS Access Parking Permit Holders

For those in possession of STAFF, VIP or OPERS Access parking permits: From Highway 1/Mission Street in Santa Cruz, take Bay Drive north towards campus. Continue up Coolidge Drive and follow the directions on the back of your permit to your designated lot.


To Campus


Friday, June 14 – Sunday, June 16, 2019, Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District (METRO) buses on routes 10, 16, 19, and 20 to and from the UCSC campus are fare-free and travel from Downtown Santa Cruz to campus; routes and schedules are available at

Ride Share (Uber/Lyft/Taxi)

Designated, geofenced Uber, Lyft or taxi drop off and pick up is located in Lot 116 on Coolidge Drive just after Carriage House Road. Once dropped off, wait for a Campus Transit shuttle or any METRO bus at the adjacent transit stop. Use Campus Transit Shuttles to return to Lot 116 if you would like to utilize Uber, Lyft or taxi services to depart campus.

Jump Bikes

Located thorughout Santa Cruz and at the main entrance to campus, JUMP bikes are one demand, pay-per-use electric bicycles. Ride from Downtown Santa Cruz to Campus and from there, take a Campus Transit Shuttle to the commencement you are attending.

On Campus

Campus Commencement Parking Shuttle Service

Shuttles will be operating throughout Commencement weekend beginning 75 minutes prior to, and up to an hour after, Quarry and East Field ceremonies, providing service from all designated Commencement parking lots to within 100 yards of each ceremony location. If you are attending an East Field ceremony, disembark at the East Field House shuttle stop. If you are attending a Quarry Amphitheater ceremony, disembark at the Bookstore shuttle stop. If you are attending a ceremony at an alternate location, disembark at the respective shuttle stop.

Campus Transit Loop Shuttles:

Friday 6/14/19 through Sunday 6/16, Campus Loop shuttles will be operating approximately every 20 minutes. Clockwise Loops will run from 7:40 a.m. to 9:20 p.m.and counter-clockwise Loops will run from 7:50 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.


Shuttle service to and from your commencement parking lot may be delayed while shuttles deliver passengers during peak times. Walking to your destination may be the quickest option. Please follow the color-coded lines on our pedestrian map for the most direct routes.

UCSC’s campus is located on a hill. Traveling East and West is generally level. Traveling North and South involves hills with varying degrees of incline or decline. If you have difficulty walking up or down hills, please wait for commencement shuttle service.

Accessibility Van Service

A wheelchair lift-equipped van will provide service from the designated accessible parking lots to the Commencement venue; it will use the same drop-off location as the general Commencement shuttles. The van can accomodate the individual in need and one additional person. All others in the party must use a general Commencement shuttle.

Staff will be available with wheelchairs at the shuttle and van drop-off areas to provide further assistance to seating locations.


Weather Tip
Commencements take place in open air venues and involve prolonged exposure to the elements—often heat. We recommend sunscreen, hats, and reusable water containers.

For Students, Staff, and Faculty

Road Closures

Please be aware that Hagar Drive will be closed between the East Remote parking lot and McLaughlin Drive on Thursday from 2pm on, and all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday beginning at 7am. Metro buses, campus shuttles, and emergency vehicles will be the only exceptions made.

UCSC Permit Holders

UCSC permit holders coming to campus for reasons other than Commencement should be aware that many lots will be full, or may be restricted to those with commencement permits only. Please consider telecommuting from home on Friday, or consider using alternative transportation to get to campus. Please refer to the maps above for a day-by-day view of impacted lots. Those with valid UCSC permits who are unable to find parking in their regular lot may park in the following locations:

Friday June 14
Kresge parking lots 143
Barn Theater Lot 122

Saturday June 15 and Sunday June 16
Kresge parking lots 143 and 145
College 10 Lots 164 and 165

See Also