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3 College Sophomore

Parking: I don't have a car

4 College Sophomore

Parking: I don't have a car but the parking fee is only 80 dollars for a year. There are plenty of parking spaces. Freshmen can bring a car, and there is talk of building a new parking lot.

2 College Senior

Parking: Parking sucks on campus unless it's night time and there isn't a basketball game

2 College Junior

Parking: Off campus parking is cheap ($25 a year), but be prepared to have your side window broken off at some point in your undergraduate career. Pittsburgh Parking Authority IS THE WORST thing to deal with. They ticket all the time, and will always find a reason to ticket you. Don't even bother trying to fight it in court, it's not worth the stress and hassle.
On campus parking for full time students is $736 for an indoor garage, $680 for an outdoor lot. Commuters can pay $368 for an indoor garage or $340 for an outdoor lot. There are lots for off campus parking, but their prices vary.

3 College Freshman

Parking: I have just a vague idea because I don't drive.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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The University of Pittsburgh is one of the few schools that allows freshmen to bring cars. Most students who do bring cars are given parking passes for the OC lot—the area on upper campus near the athletic facilities. While this is a low-traffic area that avoids the congestion of central Oakland, the OC can be quite a hike. Unless you’re living in Sutherland Hall, Pennsylvania Hall, Panther Hall, or one of the frat houses, you’re going to have to climb “Cardiac Hill” whenever you want to get to your car. The cost of permits doesn’t justify this walk for many students, and it definitely detracts from the convenience of having a car. By 5 p.m. weeknights, and all day on weekends, most of the lots on campus open up to anyone with a permit. Without a permit, you’re stuck with street parking or public garages. Metered parking is free after 6 p.m., but this is too late to matter for most students who try to drive to campus. Parking in Pittsburgh isn’t convenient at all—the streets tend to be small and crowded, and it’s difficult to be sure where you can safely leave your car. If you have an off-campus house or apartment, it’s a good idea to make sure there will be adequate parking before you sign your lease.

Overall, the cost and inconvenience of parking at Pitt makes it too much to bother with for most students. Public transportation is free for Pitt students, and buses will take you almost everywhere you’ll need to go. While a car can be a great boon for escaping city limits on weekends, you have to weigh how much you’re actually going to do this against the effort of keeping a vehicle around. You’ll probably find that, for daily activities, a car is more trouble than it’s worth.

Facts & Statistics

Student Parking Lot?
Freshmen Allowed to Park?
Approximate Parking Permit Cost
$680-$736 per year
Common Parking Tickets
  • Handicapped zone: $200
  • No parking zone: $90
  • Parking without a permit or valid permit: $25
Best Places to Find a Spot
  • Metered lots
  • Soldiers and Sailors garage
Good Luck Getting a Spot Here
  • Forbes Avenue or Fifth Avenue
  • Schenley Quad
Getting a Parking Permit
Permits at Pitt are assigned by area-your permit will be for a specific garage or lot; rates listed describe different types of lots that are available. In the event that you can't park in your assigned lot or garage (i.e.: the lot is full, blocked by snow), your permit will be temporarily validated in the Soldiers and Sailors or O'Hara garages. You can purchase a neighborhood zone street parking pass from the city for $20 a year. You have to fight for a parking spot and may have to drive around for a bit, but this is the cheapest option.
Parking Services
Office of Parking, Transportation & Services
204 Brackenridge Hall
(412) 624-4034
Did You Know?
  • If you need to make a quick stop at a campus building but don't have the permit for its lot, just leave your flashers on! With a valid parking permit displayed and your four-way flashers activated, you're allowed to park for up to 15 minutes in any lot.
  • Need a jump start? Locked your keys in your car? Call MAP, Pitt's Motorist Assistant Program, at (412) 624-4034.

Student Polls

How convenient is off-campus parking?    Based on 232 responses

  • 2% It's free, and there are usually plenty of spots.
  • 8% It's free, but spots fill up quickly.
  • 8% The cost is reasonable, and there are usually plenty of spots.
  • 52% The cost is reasonable, but spots fill up quickly.
  • 15% The cost is totally outrageous, but you can usually find a spot.
  • 15% The cost is totally outrageous, and there are never any open spots.

Rate the campus parking on the following topics    Based on 228 responses

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