Parking Priority

The University of Wisconsin-Madison and affiliated agencies (Transportation Units) prioritize parking needs for their employees. Transportation Services does not assign priority numbers to parking permit applicants. Priority numbers are used in the permit offer process.

Transportation Units have the responsibility to assign local priority numbers for faculty/staff with a valid UW Wiscard/UW Health ID.

Unit Transportation Coordinators (UTCs) are responsible for applying their unit’s priority criteria to all new and existing staff who request parking. The UTC must assign an individual local priority number beginning with No. 1 (highest priority). The list is provided to Transportation Services for calculating global priority. Applicants with higher global priority numbers have a better chance to receive a parking assignment in the lot/location of their choice.

Transportation Units are responsible for explaining their priority-setting process and criteria used to all employees applying for parking and must submit criteria to Transportation Services upon request.

Transportation Services is not responsible for and cannot make changes to an established priority list as submitted by the individual transportation units.

Transportation Services is responsible for calculating global priority and assuring fair and consistent application of the formula.


Undergraduate students are not eligible for a priority number (See UW-6142 Student Annual Permits).

Employees must have valid employment, emeritus status, or authorization to be considered for parking or must apply through the student parking process, if qualified.

Priority Calculations

Transportation Services uses a formula to integrate parking priorities for all Transportation Units.

Parking assignments can only be made for applicants affiliated with an approved agency.

Parking assignments are based on the employee’s priority.

A standard formula is used to determine global priority based on the local priority number assigned by the Unit Transportation Coordinator.

The priority formula is calculated based on the number of Offers per Transportation Unit (OTU) made to applicants from each unit.

Priority Number (PN) represents the unique number in the local Transportation Unit for that offer round assigned to each applicant by the Unit Transportation Coordinator.

Units may appeal the assigned OTU to Transportation Services. Appeals will be reviewed based on sizeable changes in the unit applicant base.


OTU (Offers per Transportation Unit)

  • Each parking offer (made to applicants in a specific Transportation Unit) is counted.
  • The total number of offers per Transportation Unit is determined after the initial spin.
  • The OTU is a rolling average (of offers) made for the past three (3) parking years.

Priority Formula

Global Priority = PN X 100/OTU