Reduced and low cost parking options

UW–Madison campus administration collaborated with Transportation Services to temporarily expand parking options for graduate and professional students and lower-paid employees (see specific to the right). These groups include many public transportation users, some who may feel a bus commute is not currently their safest travel option to and from campus, despite safety protocols in place for Metro Transit and campus bus operations.

Metro Transit operations follow local, state, and federal public health recommendations and have limited bus capacity, require rider face coverings, and include daily disinfection measures. Campus bus routes follow the same safety procedures. Learn more at the Transportation Services Covid-19 Response Hub.

Parking options include low-cost and reduced cost products valid in different parking lots across campus. Permit and pass availability will vary and may be limited.

The reduced and low-cost options were first announced in November 2020 and intended to be limited to the 2020-21 parking year. A one-time extension has been granted for the 2021-22 parking year. This program will not be extended in the future.

Be sure to check out offering from our Commuter Solutions program for other great commuting options, including the Flex (pay-per-use) program, carpool, vanpool, and biking.


The reduced and low-cost options are available to:

  • All UW–Madison graduate and professional students
  • Employees with a UW or UW Hospital salary less than $35,000 per year (in base wages)

The $35,000 earning level is comparable to the average stipend for teaching and research assistants and the annualized salary of employees making approximately $15-$17 per hour. Base wages do not include lump sum bonuses or overtime.

These criteria were set with guidance from the Office of Human Resources (OHR) and were approved by campus administration.

Product options

Reduced and low-cost parking options were announced in November 2020. Read the full news announcement

Options include three reduced cost parking permit options:

  • Monthly parking permit – $55 on-campus lot, $30 off-campus UW park and ride lot; valid for one month, can purchase up to three months at a time
  • Semester parking permit – $250 per semester (cost prorated); Fall semester valid Sept. 1 – Dec. 31, 2020, Spring semester Jan. 1 – May 31, 2021
  • Base lot (annual) permit – $500 (cost prorated); valid Nov. 1, 2020 – August 31, 2021

Other options include the new prepaid multi-day pass, a Flex permit, an afternoon permit, or a night permit. More information about these options, including prices, descriptions, lot options, and purchasing details can be found in the reduced cost parking options chart (PDF).

Permit and pass availability will vary and may be limited. Purchases can be completed in person at a Transportation Services office or via the contactless drive-thru at the 21 N. Park Street office. Some purchases may be completed online; see the full product listing chart for more information: Reduced cost parking options chart (PDF).

UW Transportation Services has been asked to expand these offerings for one additional year. This program will not be extended in the future.

Similar reduced and low cost products will be offered. Availability will vary and may be limited to a greater degree due to the anticipated increase of on-campus employees. Details on pricing, descriptions, lot options, and purchasing details will be made available in May 2021.