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3 Recent Alumnus

Parking: It's hard to find parking closer than 4-6 blocks from campus. The bus system is very efficient so parking far has yet to be a problem.

1 College Sophomore

Parking: Parking is not the best, very expensive and hard to find a spot. I would prefer not to have my car on campus.

1 College Junior

Parking: parking is very expensive. If you want to reserve a parking spot, then you have to pay $600/semester which is crazy.

Free off street parking is nonexistent, and on campus, you always have to pay for parking.

1 person found this useful Report
3 Recent Alumnus

Parking: The parking is okay the further you are away from campus.

3 College Sophomore

Parking: It's expensive, but you don't need a car to get around campus.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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Parking is terrible around the University area. Whether on campus or off campus, it is difficult to find places to park without paying a ridiculous amount of money. Students who bring cars on campus enter the lottery system for parking, where a student chooses a lot or garage in which they want to park. The lottery decides who gets the parking space. The odds are based on how many students apply to get contracted parking. It is expensive to have contract parking, ranging from $65 to $150 a month on campus. Many off-campus apartments have parking options, too, but they are also expensive. There is daily parking available for those who bring their cars up for a weekend or so. Otherwise, there are parking meters on and off campus for temporary parking, but they are very limited, especially when construction is going on around campus. They are risky because of the chances of getting a ticket for expired meters. Students can park on streets in neighborhoods of St. Paul and sometimes in the Dinkytown area for free, but these are limited, as well. Most houses get some parking spaces with them.

All of this hassle is typical in the city environment in which the University is situated. Hence, if it is not necessary, students should consider not bringing their vehicles to school because parking is limited and expensive. Besides, the city transportation is very good around the campus area and takes students anywhere they want to go. Metro Transit bus passes are very popular with students and cost around $100 per semester for unlimited use. And the Campus Connector runs between the three campuses. Thus, bringing a car on campus is not a necessity. Not bringing a vehicle reduces the trouble of finding a spot, paying for parking, and/or getting a parking ticket.

Facts & Statistics

Student Parking Lot?
Parking facilities include the Art Museum Garage, Armory Garage, Church Street Garage, East River Road Garage, Northrop Auditorium, Nolte Center Garage, and the University Office Plaza.
Freshmen Allowed to Park?
Freshmen can apply for lottery parking. But since most freshmen live in dorms, bringing a car along is not a necessity.
Approximate Parking Permit Cost
  • Garage permits are $127.25 per month ($140.25 for reserved parking and $97 for evenings).
  • Lot permits are $65 per month ($78 for reserved parking and $34 for evenings).
  • Ramp permits are $97.25 per month ($110.25 for reserved parking and $74 for evenings).
  • There is daily parking available, ranging from $2 to max of $12. Some parking lots offer free parking after certain times. There are usually special arrangements made for event parking. Check for specifics.
Best Places to Find a Spot
  • Deeper in Dinkytown or on Como-if you have a friend with an extra parking lot by their house, it is a good option.
  • St. Paul campus-park in the neighborhood for free and take the Connector to your destination.
  • Paid parking ramps or garages that are located in many areas across campus
Good Luck Getting a Spot Here
  • University Avenue or Fourth Street-restaurant patrons and commuters park here. It's very busy!
  • Metered parking all over campus-come early enough to snatch a spot.
Getting a Parking Permit
Parking at the University of Minnesota requires a permit, which can be obtained through a lottery system where a student chooses a ramp or lot or garage in which to park. Usually students get the parking they desire, but some ramps are more in demand than others. So it is better to have a back-up plan in mind. Instructions about how to apply can be found on the Parking and Transportation Services website.
Parking Services
Parking and Transportation Services
300 Transportation and Safety Building
511 Washington Ave. SE, Minneapolis
(612) 626-7275
Did You Know?
  • The U of M offers a car sharing/Zipcar facility. Zipcar is an on-campus car-sharing alternative to owning your own car. Wheels when you want them-for job interviews, to run errands, or to transport bulky items. The daily rates range from $8 per hour to $66 per day plus additional $35 per year membership for University students, employees, and staff. It is a 24/7 service. Other information can be found at:
  • Parking is also available for mopeds and motorcycles.
  • Odds are that two out of three students who apply get a parking contract.

Student Polls

How convenient is off-campus parking?    Based on 250 responses

  • 1% It's free, and there are usually plenty of spots.
  • 20% It's free, but spots fill up quickly.
  • 10% The cost is reasonable, and there are usually plenty of spots.
  • 38% The cost is reasonable, but spots fill up quickly.
  • 19% The cost is totally outrageous, but you can usually find a spot.
  • 12% The cost is totally outrageous, and there are never any open spots.

Rate the campus parking on the following topics    Based on 251 responses

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