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1 College Freshman

Parking: Parking is expensive and scare. The parking authority is very strict. However, the bus system is good and I would recommend using that.

1 person found this useful Report
1 College Junior

Parking: I take the bus this year because the permit cost is outrageous and there is never parking. Most of my friends come to school an hour early because it'll take them that long to find a spot. If an on-campus event is planned, the likelihood of finding a spot is nonexistent. Why are we paying this much if we can't even use the lots the permits allow us to?

4 people found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Parking: Parking structures and large lots on the edges of campus, with short term parking around the library. There aren't many classes right next to parking, but it only takes 3-7 minutes to walk to class from the structures or lot.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Parking: dont plan on having a car

2 College Freshman

Parking: Way overpriced and stupid parking tickets are given out like tickets at a chucke cheese


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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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Parking is the biggest complaint of nearly every commuter student. It is entirely possible to get to campus by 7:40 a.m. and not find a parking spot until nearly a half hour later. Getting to campus at noon means that the parking structure and nearly all of the spaces in Via Carta will be full. This can provide for an extremely frustrating start to the day and a sweaty sprint across campus to get to class. There are students who are hired to help traffic flow, and they do a great job, but they are still no match for the sheer number of cars coming onto campus. Leaving campus in the afternoon can take an equal amount of time; it's not unheard of to sit for 25 minutes before getting out of a parking lot or structure.

Permits are pricey, but not nearly as expensive as at other schools. Many students will say that the convenience of driving to campus outweighs the costs. Overall, parking is a problem at Cal Poly. While it is a relatively minor problem when compared to things like rampant discrimination or a forceful drug culture, which may be found at other schools, it is still like the proverbial thorn in the lion's paw: small but unbelievably annoying.

Facts & Statistics

Student Parking Lot?
Freshmen Allowed to Park?
Approximate Parking Permit Cost
  • $120 per year for motorcyclists
  • $345 per year ($5 per day) for communters
  • $495 per year ($7 per day) for residents
Best Places to Find a Spot
  • North side of campus
  • Via Carta
Good Luck Getting a Spot Here
  • The library parking lot
  • Parking structure, during peak hours
Getting a Parking Permit
Anyone living off campus can buy a parking permit, but it doesn't necessarily guarantee you a spot. Students can purchase permits at the University Cashier's office or online.
Parking Services
University Police Department
1 Grand Ave.
Building 36
(805) 756-2281

Student Polls

How convenient is off-campus parking?    Based on 206 responses

  • 3% It's free, and there are usually plenty of spots.
  • 39% It's free, but spots fill up quickly.
  • 11% The cost is reasonable, and there are usually plenty of spots.
  • 32% The cost is reasonable, but spots fill up quickly.
  • 8% The cost is totally outrageous, but you can usually find a spot.
  • 8% The cost is totally outrageous, and there are never any open spots.

Rate the campus parking on the following topics    Based on 206 responses

Very poor
  • Distance from class
  • Distance from dorms
  • Ease of finding a spot
  • Parking enforcement
  • Permit cost
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