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 for 2017-2018
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

All commuting students are eligible to apply for a campus parking permit, however parking permits do sell out. Being eligible to apply does not guarantee securement of a permit when permit sales are suspended due to high demand.

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
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), and Western Drive (Route 20/20D). 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), and three nighttime routes (the Loop, the East Night Core and the West Night Core). Campus Transit also provides The Night Owl, late-night bus service between campus and downtown Santa Cruz, exclusively for UCSC students and employees.

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 $7.00 per hour - includes all vehicle fees, gas, mileage and reserved parking. Detailed information on Zipcars at UCSC is available on the UCSC Zipcar page.

UC Santa Cruz has a private Zimride rideshare community at https://www.zimride.com/ucsc/. It's simple. UCSC Zimride helps you offer or request rides for commutes, road trips, popular events, and travel home for quarter breaks. If you have a car, split costs by offering rides. If you don't have a car, find rides where you need to go. With Zimride you can also check out the profiles of your classmates before you share the ride.