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Resident students

Information for New Undergraduates

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Thriving at Stanford [without a car] - free resource guide to public transit
Thriving at Stanford [without a car] (PDF)
Experience all the Bay Area has to offer—the beaches, nightlife, shopping, and the great outdoors—all by using Stanford's and the Bay Area's public transportation options.

SURE Security Escorts
(725-SURE)

  • Safe, evening transportation around campus via golf carts
  • Free to Stanford community
  • Operates 7 nights a week
  • Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters only

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Resident student permits

Students who live on campus can buy permits for their designated house or dorm areas, but are NOT allowed to purchase 'A,' or 'C' commuter permits. You're only allowed to keep one motorized vehicle on campus unless you're in couples or family housing.

Resident student parking is divided into the following areas: West, South, East, SJ, and Escondido Village. See the Parking and Circulation Map for the locations of these areas. Each permit is valid only in its area.

Motorcycles

You can buy a regular Resident permit and park in a full space, or get a Motorcycle/Scooter permit which is good only in 'MC' spaces. If you're single and own both a motorcycle and a car, you'll need to leave one at home.

How long do you need to park?

Permits are available in a variety of time-lengths; select the type that best suits your needs:

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Freshmen parking policy

Stanford students are not permitted to bring cars to campus for the duration of their freshman year; fall through spring quarters. This includes students who have enough credits to be considered sophomores at any time during their first academic year at Stanford.

Rationale

Stanford's growth is limited by restrictions contained in our current General Use Permit (GUP) with Santa Clara County. Limits are imposed on the square footage of new buildings, parking spaces, and traffic (measured by the number of trips to and from campus).

In order to be able to build the housing and new academic facilities needed to allow Stanford to continue to thrive as a world-class institution, the university must impose parking restrictions.

Parking restrictions have been applied to freshmen because they are required to live in residence halls with board plans. Freshmen are also supported by a wide array of special social activities in their residence halls and elsewhere on campus. Employment is available on campus for any freshman who needs to work.

We realize that freshmen students will want to take advantage of the many activities available off-campus as well. The Task Force on Freshmen Transportation (comprised of representatives from the Offices of the Vice Provost for Student Affairs, Parking & Transportation Services, and representatives from the 1999-00 ASSU Undergraduate Senate) explored a number of options to help meet the needs of freshmen and other students without cars. There are a number of alternative solutions to help freshmen get off campus for social, public service, and other discretionary purposes which are listed below.

By restricting cars in the freshman year, students can take advantage of the many alternative transportation options available to them. In subsequent years, the need for a car will not be as likely.

Interpretation and enforcement of this policy

The office of Parking & Transportation Services will not sell parking permits to freshmen. Other members of the community who are eligible for a parking permit will not be permitted to purchase one for a freshman. Attempts to do so will result in having any future parking privileges of both parties revoked.

In addition, we ask that students comply with the spirit of this policy by not bringing cars to campus and parking them on the streets or public areas of our neighboring communities. Stanford works with its neighbors to reduce traffic flow and parking in nearby off-campus neighborhoods. Students are expected to help Stanford be a good neighbor.

Exceptions

Students who can demonstrate a compelling need or who would suffer undue hardship under this policy can apply for a waiver. Waivers are granted at an absolute minimum. Refer to the "Freshmen parking waivers" section for more information.

Alternative programs

To meet the needs of students without cars, the University has developed the following programs to assist students in getting around the local area and going away for the weekend.

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Freshmen parking policy FAQ's

What if I have enough units to be classified as a sophomore during my first year at Stanford?

The policy also applies to students who have enough credits to be considered sophomores at any time during their first academic year at Stanford. This policy does not apply to transfer students.

Why have freshmen been restricted from bringing cars?

Parking restrictions have been applied to freshmen because they are required to live in residence halls with board plans. Freshmen are also supported by a wide array of special social activities in their residence halls and elsewhere on campus. Employment is available on campus for any freshman who needs a job.

By restricting cars in the freshman year, students can take advantage of the many alternative transportation options available to them. In subsequent years, the need for a car will not be as likely.

Can I bring a car anyway and park it somewhere else?

We ask that students comply with the spirit of this policy by not bringing cars to campus and parking them on the streets or public areas of our neighboring communities. Stanford works with its neighbors to reduce traffic flow and parking in nearby off-campus neighborhoods. Students are expected to help Stanford be a good neighbor.

What if I really need a car on campus?

Students who would suffer undue hardship under this policy can apply for a waiver. Waivers are granted at an absolute minimum. Refer to the "Freshmen parking waivers" section for more information.

How will I get around if I don't have a car?

The Bay Area is full of wonderful places to explore which are all accessible with the transportation alternatives available.

What if I need a ride in an emergency?

Freshmen students who register for the Freshman Emergency Ride Program are offered a "safety net" for unforeseen travel emergencies. The Freshman Emergency Ride Program is run in partnership with a local cab company. Students are allowed up to three Emergency Rides per year. This services is reserved for freshman who find themselves stranded off-campus without a way back using existing transit alternatives to campus. This program only allows for rides to Stanford University campus locations.

What if I have guests?

Freshmen may purchase a total of 6 daily resident "scratcher" parking permits per month for their guests. Scratchers are valid for the day you designate through noon the following day. For moving days, a free temporary pass may be available at the beginning of each academic year from the residential housing office.

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Freshmen parking waivers

Students who would suffer an undue hardship under this policy can apply for a waiver. Waivers will be reviewed quarterly by the Freshman Parking Permit Waiver committee. Waivers are granted at an absolute minimum. Waiver requests must be approved prior to bringing the vehicle to campus.

Application process

Download the Freshman Parking Permit Waiver Request application form (PDF)

To submit a request for a waiver, complete the application and submit during the application window. Applications will only be accepted during the application window. The Committee may ask for documentation to support the request. A $100 application fee is also required. If the waiver is granted, the fee is credited to the parking permit purchased. If the waiver is denied, the fee is forfeited.

The committee will assess required documentation, space availability and level of hardship. Decisions of the committee are available one week after the application window closes. Decisions will be sent to each applicant by email.

Submit waiver application to:
Parking & Transportation Services
Attn: Review Committee for Frosh Parking
340 Bonair Siding
Stanford, CA 94305

You can also email it to our Administrative Associate.

Fall Quarter 2016– Begins September 26, 2016

Winter Quarter 2017 – Begins January 9, 2017

Spring Quarter 2017 – Begins April 3, 2017

If a waiver is denied: If the waiver request was denied the student can apply again for the next quarter within the application window. The application fee is required. There is no appeal process; decisions are final.

If a waiver is approved: If waiver is granted, a permit to park in a peripheral lot may be considered in lieu of close-in or dorm parking. The student will be able to purchase a permit for one quarter only, and will be required to re-apply for a waiver each quarter during the application window. The application fee is not required in subsequent quarters if the reason for request remains the same. The student may be required to provide documentation supporting their request.

Medical waiver

If you have a permanent disability or medical condition that necessitates the use of a vehicle, we suggest you apply for a handicapped placard from your home state or from the California Department of Motor Vehicles. These placards are exempt and do not require display of any other type of permit on campus. If you have a temporary disability, the Office of Accessible Education (OAE) will assist in determining your needs, including making a determination about the need for a vehicle on campus.

Falsifying information

Freshmen who obtain a parking permit by providing falsified information, as well as upperclassmen who attempt to purchase a permit for a freshman, will have future parking privileges revoked and may face judicial action.

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