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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

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

On this page:


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.

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. You're only allowed to keep one motorized vehicle on campus unless you're in couples housing. 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 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. Inevitably, such a policy has an impact on the life of the campus.

Parking restrictions have been applied to freshmen, as it is our belief that they will be least impacted by this policy. Freshmen are required to live in residence halls with board plans, and any freshman who needs a job may obtain one on campus. Freshmen are also supported by a wide array of special social activities in their residence halls and elsewhere on campus.

We realize that freshmen students will want to take advantage of the many activities available off-campus as well. While no resources can truly match the convenience of a private car, a number of alternative solutions to help freshmen get off campus for social, public service, and other discretionary purposes have been created and are outlined below.

It is our hope that by restricting cars in the freshman year, students will take advantage of the many alternative transportation options available to them, and will think twice about the need to bring their cars in subsequent years. Unlike many universities, resident students at Stanford have enjoyed the privilege of being able to park as close as possible to their residence halls. By restricting car usage in the freshman year, we hope to better protect this privilege for other resident students.

Interpretation and enforcement of this policy

The Office of Parking & Transportation Services will not sell parking permits to freshmen, and 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 with the expectation that they can be parked 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, and 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 will be reviewed by committee (including student representative(s) chosen by the ASSU Nominations Commission), and will be kept to an absolute minimum. Information on waivers can be obtained from the Parking & Transportation office at 340 Bonair Siding (650) 723-9362 or by emailing our Administrative Associate.

Alternative programs

The Task Force on Freshmen Transportation (comprised of representatives from the Offices of the Vice Provost for Student Affairs, Parking & Transportation, 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. For example, the Stanford After Midnight program expands the hours of operations of many on-campus services.

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, as it is our belief that they will be least impacted by this new policy. Freshmen are required to live in residence halls with board plans, and any freshman who needs a job may obtain one on campus. Freshmen are also supported by a wide array of special social activities in their residence halls.

It is our hope that by restricting cars in the freshman year, students will take advantage of the many alternative transportation options available to them, and will think twice about the need to bring their cars in subsequent years. Unlike many universities, resident students at Stanford have enjoyed the privilege of being able to park as close as possible to their residence halls. By restricting car usage in the freshman year, we hope to better protect this privilege for other resident students.

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 with the expectation that they can be parked 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, and students are expected to help Stanford be a good neighbor.

What if I really need a car on campus?

Students who can demonstrate a compelling need or who would suffer undue hardship under this policy can apply for a waiver. Waivers will be reviewed by committee (including student representatives chosen by the ASSU Nominations Commission), and will be kept to an absolute minimum. Requests must be submitted by August 20 for consideration for the Fall Quarter, November 19 for the Winter Quarter, and by February 25 for the Spring Quarter. After each deadline, the application period is closed until the next quarter.

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

The Bay Area is full of wonderful places to explore, and with the transportation alternatives available, you will not be "stuck" on campus!

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 who find themselves stranded off-campus without a way back using existing transit alternatives can take a FREE ride back to campus for up to 3 Emergency Rides per year (each ride must be TO a campus destination).

What if I have guests?

Freshmen may purchase a total of 5 daily resident "scratcher" parking permits per month for their visitors and guests. Scratchers are valid for the day you designate through noon the following day. In addition, students receive a free temporary MOVE-IN permit at the beginning of each academic year from their residential housing office.

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Freshmen parking waivers

Students who can demonstrate a compelling need or who would suffer undue hardship due to the restriction on freshman cars can petition for a waiver. Waivers are reviewed by committee (including student representatives chosen by the ASSU Nominations Commission), and will be kept to an absolute minimum.

Waiver Request Deadlines
(Postmark dates)
Fall Quarter 2013 August 30, 2013
Winter Quarter 2013-14 November 22, 2013
Spring Quarter 2014 February 28, 2014

Waiver requests must be approved prior to bringing the vehicle to campus. If approved, 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. To submit a request for a waiver, write to the Review Committee at the address below, explaining why you need to bring a vehicle to campus. The Committee may ask for documentation to support the request, such as a current pay stub if the request is work-related. Please include your phone number or email address where we can reach you if we need more information to make a determination. After the waiver request deadline, the application process is closed until the next quarter.

Submit waiver requests to:
Parking & Transportation Services
Attn: Review Committee for Frosh Parking

340 Bonair Siding
Stanford, CA 94305

You can also email them to our Administrative Associate.

After assessing required documentation, the committee may grant a waiver based on space availability and level of hardship. If waiver is granted, a permit to park in a peripheral lot may be considered in lieu of close-in or dorm parking. Decisions of the committee are usually available 3 weeks after the request deadline.

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.

Please call the Parking & Transportation Services main number at (650) 723-9362, and your call will be directed to the appropriate staff person.

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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