Information for Prospective 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. Also see the Determining Undergraduate Student Parking Permit Eligibility section below.

Leave Your Car at Home
Because parking is such a limited resource at UCSC, it is strongly recommended that students who are not eligible to purchase an on–campus parking permit not bring vehicles to Santa Cruz. 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.

Off-campus paid parking options are extremely limited, and are usually sold out by mid-September. Detailed information is available on the Off-campus Parking Lots page.

Determining Undergraduate Student Parking Permit Eligibility Status
Permit eligibility status for residential students is determined by the number of units (90 units) completed by Fall of the current academic year. 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 or Spring are ineligible for parking, including day passes, but may pursue parking through an appeal process. 

All commuting students, and residential juniors and seniors, are eligible to apply for a campus parking permit, but there is no guarantee of a permit as permits do sell out quickly.

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 Permits page.

The Santa Cruz Metro and UCSC TAPS Transit Bus Systems

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 Metropolitian Transit District (SCMTD). UCSC was possibly the first university in the nation to fund public transportation 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 Core transit service, and the Disability Van Service. The Student Transition Fee is part of each student's UCSC quarterly registration fees.

Santa Cruz Metro Buses: METRO buses operate throughout Santa Cruz County. Regular service is provided between downtown Santa Cruz and the campus, using various routes including Laurel Street (Routes 15/16), Bay Street (Route 19), High Street (Route 10), Western Drive (Route 20/20D), and UCSC/Coastal Science Campus (Route 22). Many students who reside off-campus use METRO buses to commute to and from campus. Campus residents use METRO buses to get to downtown Santa Cruz and other local destinations.

UCSC Shuttles (TAPS Transit): The Campus Transit system operates two daytime routes (the Loop and Upper Campus) Monday through Friday. Nighttime service is provided seven nights per week.

Carshare and Rideshare Programs
Considering UCSC but concerned that first and second-year residential students can't bring a car when they come to UCSC? With Zipcars on campus you can reserve a car online by the hour or day and pay as you go. Prices from $10.50 per hour - includes all vehicle fees, gas, mileage and reserved parking. Detailed information on Zipcars at UCSC is available on the UCSC Zipcar page.

Cruz511 can also be used for carpooling purposes.