Transportation Services COVID-19 Response Hub

The university is committed to reducing the risk of COVID-19 for its students, faculty, and staff. To safeguard the health of the community, the university will modify many of its operations based on public health guidance. UW COVID-19 Response site

This page is a “hub” for information on the current and expected future state of UW-Madison transportation and parking operations. All operations will comply with university, local, state, and federal public health guidance.

Red and white colored circular transportation icon, includes a bus and bicycle near each other on the road.

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Please note this page will be updated as new information becomes available.
Last update: 7/29/21


Madison Metro Transit bus capacity limits ended June 2, 2021. Passengers are required by federal law to wear a face mask at transfer points, shelters, and throughout boarding, riding, and leaving the bus. (Reasonable accommodations may be made for those unable to do this for medical reasons.) View all service details on the Metro COVID-19 service updates web page.

2020-21 (Sept. 1, 2020 – Aug. 31, 2021) employee bus passes are available for online purchase in the eBusiness purchasing portal as of August 1, 2020. 2021-22 (Sept. 1, 2021 – Aug. 31, 2022) employee bus passes will be available to purchase online starting August 1, 2021. Eligible students can obtain a student bus passes through the Associated Student of Madison (ASM).

Metro Transit will continue its current limited service level into 2022. However, certain service updates will go into effect in August 2021 to improve service to and from the UW campus and UW Hospital. View Metro’s August Service Update announcement

Campus service (Routes 80, 81, 82, 84)

  • Campus bus service (Routes 80, 81, 82, 84) is run through a partnership with Madison Metro Transit. All campus routes are fare-free.
  • Metro’s service guidelines are in place for campus service (ex. face mask requirement).

Campus bus service is on a recess schedule May 10 – August 21, 2021. Reminder: No campus buses operate on legal holidays.

Note: Campus route service changes were finalized in April 2020 and are in effect as of August 23, 2020. Daytime service (Route 80, 84) was changed to better accommodate demand and late night service (Routes 81, 82) was adapted to better serve off-campus student housing areas. Check out the new UW Campus – Transit Ride Guide (PDF) for route details.

The accessible circulator shuttle provides supplemental service to the campus bus for those with specific mobility needs. Shuttles serve campus locations Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-  7:30 p.m. during fall and spring UW class sessions and exam periods. Learn more about the accessible circulator shuttle

Fall semester 2020 service ran September 2 – November 26, 2020. Spring semester 2021 service ran January 25 – May 7, 2021.

Public health safety measures on accessible shuttles include:

  • Face masks must be worn while riding.* Drivers will wear a mask.
  • Shuttles will be wiped down and cleaned with anti-viral spray every night.

* Reasonable accommodations may be made for those unable to do this for medical reasons.

Biking continues to be an excellent commuting option! Madison has a thriving bike scene and UW-Madison was upgraded to a Platinum-level Bike Friendly University in Fall 2019. There are over 15,000 bike parking stalls on campus. Be sure to check out our bicycling page for details on bike safety, bike parking, and other resources.

Although the University Bicycle Resource Center (UBRC) is closed, all DIY “air and repair”  stations (map PDF) are open. The UBRC is expected to reopen in fall 2021.

The UBRC was closed and did not host in-person classes during the 2020-21 fall or spring semesters, although there was virtual programming. Check out recordings of past classes on the University Bicycle Resource Center page.

Don’t have your own bike? Learn more about local bike sharing options, including a discounted partner membership with Madison BCycle. Find BCycle stations in various places around campus and across Madison.

Walking or other pedestrian movement is the most common way to travel to, from, and around campus. Per summer 2021 campus policy, face coverings are no longer required in outdoors spaces on campus, but are strongly recommended when physical distancing of at least six feet (1.8) meters is not possible.

SAFEwalk–a nighttime walking companion service–resumed August 23, 2020. There were operational pauses September 10-25 (campus safety protocols) and December 20 – January 10 (winter recess).

You can arrange a walk by calling or texting (608) 262-5000. The following safety measures are in place:

  • All walkers – the requester and both SAFEwalk staff – are required to wear face masks at all times, regardless if indoors or outdoors. SAFEwalkers may refuse service to anyone who refuses to wear a mask unless the client has a stated medical condition that precludes wearing a mask.
  • Individuals will walk with physical distancing (6 feet, 1.8 meters) between group members wherever possible.

Updates to safety measures will be shared when available.

Per May 27, 2021 announcement: As of June 2, 2021, face masks must be worn inside university owned vehicles if any passenger is unvaccinated. Vehicle occupancy when traveling with an individual who is not vaccinated is recommended to be no more than 50 percent of capacity. Campus travel policy has been updated to reflect this change.

Routine cleaning and disinfection procedures used for all vehicles and associated items (keys/key fobs).

UW Transportation Services does not organize carpool or vanpool services, although we offer incentives to registered carpool groups and partner with the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) vanpool program.

Those who commute by carpool or vanpool should operate to the best of their discretion and consider following public health department recommendations (CDC guidance), such as regularly disinfecting surfaces, adhering to physical distancing where possible, and regular use of face masks. The DOA vanpool program may implement their own safety protocols.

Explore our carpool webpage and vanpool webpage for more information about these shared commute programs.

Flexible Parking Options

Circumstances may change, but we’re here to help. We understand the need for flexibility as employees figure out their best commuting options for the academic year.

The campus parking situation is constantly reviewed to see if it is matching the UW community need. Many UW and UW affiliate employees were at least partially telecommuting in fall 2020 and spring 2021, and hybrid work situations may be more common going forward. Transportation Services has been working hard to adapt parking options.

Parking allotments have been shifted for many parking lots. Both new and existing parking options allow employees to choose what will work best for their circumstances.

Need an idea about what permit or pass might fit your work schedule? Click the button below to learn about commuting options.
Summer and fall 2021 parking and transportation guide

The Flex parking program will be expanded by offering more permits for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 year. Flex is “pay as you go” parking, there is no up-front or monthly permit cost.

You must apply in the permit application system (PAS) in order to be considered for a Flex permit. More information on the Flex parking program and How to apply for parking

A new multi-day parking pass was created to assist employees without a parking permit who need to park occasionally and want a guaranteed space. The prepaid pass costs $40 for 5 uses.

2020-21 multi-day pass

Valid for 5 uses from Sept. 1, 2020 through Aug. 31, 2021. The pass can be used in any of the following public visitor parking facilities: Lot 6, 7, 17, 20, 29, 36, 46, 76, 80, and 83.

Multi-day passes will be available to purchase starting August 1, 2020 in the eBusiness purchasing portal. This is a pilot program; availability will be limited and may be subject to change. You are able to purchase more than one, but only one item may be purchased per transaction.

2021-22 multi-day pass

Minimum purchase amount is 5 uses ($40). Additional uses can be purchased at the cost of $8 per day. The 2021-22 multi-day pass will be “reloadable”–additional value can be added without purchasing a new pass.

The pass can be used in any of the following public visitor parking facilities: Lot 6, 7, 17, 20, 29, 36, 46, 67, 76, 80, and 83.

Multi-day passes available to purchase starting August 1, 2021 in the eBusiness purchasing portal. This pass will be valid August 1, 2021 through August 31, 2022.

Find more information on the multi-day pass and all available permit types on the permit types and information page. The page also describes how to apply for and purchase the various types of parking permits.

Visitor temporary parking options ranging from hourly to monthly are available on a space-available basis. Learn more about all visitor parking options

Visitor parking is primarily available in gated parking facilities (garages and ramps). A live count of visitor parking in gated lots is displayed on the visitor parking availability page.

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Customer service locations

UW Transportation Services WARF and 21 N. Park Street offices reopened August 24, 2020. New protocols for in-person customer service have been implemented and some “contactless” options are available. Please see our Contact Us page for virtual, phone, and in-person customer service hours of operation.

Citation fees and other payments

Citation appeals and fee payments were temporarily paused but are once again being collected. Fee escalation for late payments was started again September 29.

2019-20 product refunds

You will receive a refund if you had an “active” (not canceled or returned) 2019-20 parking permit, employee bus pass, or other transportation product as of March 23, 2020. The refund period is March 23 – August 31, 2020. Details about 2019-20 product refunds

Other commuting methods

Bus, bike, carpool, vanpool or by foot are great ways to get to campus. Using one of these methods also makes you eligible for the emergency ride home program–a free-to-you voucher for a taxi to take you home in case of emergency.

See the transportation section at the top of this page and check out the other resources on our website for more details.

Need help figuring out how to get to campus? Submit a custom route planning request form or email for assistance. Staff will reach out to help you find the best plan for your circumstances!