I’ll get straight to the point. You do not want to park on campus. As a matter of fact, there are not very many places in Philadelphia that you would want to park either. Even if you can afford the expensive cost of a permit, parking meters, and the occasional ticket, the average Penn student can not spare the time to make sure the meter is fed and that the car is in and out of the garage at the right time. Some people do bring a car to school, but most of them live in Philadelphia or a local suburb and find a personal vehicle useful for bringing home laundry and picking up mom’s home-cooked meals. However, if you are far enough from home that you can not simply drop the car off and take a cab back to campus, a car will usually prove to be a bigger hassle than it is worth.
If you heed most students’ advice and leave the car at home, fear not; you will still have an easy time getting around the city. Everywhere on campus is within easy walking distance, and if you are really a stickler for time, bring a bike and park it in one of the racks outside most buildings. Bikes are a fairly common mode of transportation, but beware: biking can be dangerous in a city environment like Philadelphia. The busy streets of Spruce and Walnut are two examples. It’s not that the school does not attempt to provide a decent parking system. There are garages and spaces reserved for Penn students and faculty, but the fact is, there is little demand for improvement in this area. If you’re concerned because you would really like to have a car at school, just think of it this way: you never have to pay for gas!