Stanford Transportation impacts during Winter Closure
Refer to our Winter Closure Impacts to Customer Service, Parking Enforcement, Marguerite, and Transit Service article to learn more.
While this system is new to Stanford, we are not alone in implementing a license-plate based permit system. Our office spoke with colleagues at other universities who have successfully implemented this type of system.
“Virtual permits greatly simplified the process for updating, renewing and modifying parking permits across campus,” said Matt Penney, director of Parking & Transportation Services at Baylor University. “Students, faculty and staff appreciated the ability to deal with parking permit issues online, instead of having to make a trip to our office.”
Virtual parking permits are an easier, more flexible alternative to physical permits. With the new system, customers can purchase parking permits anywhere, at any time, and from a variety of devices. Once the order is placed, the parking permit will be valid immediately or on the date(s) specified when purchased. Customers will no longer need to stand in line at the Stanford Transportation office or wait for physical permits to arrive in the mail. Plus, there will no longer be a need to replace lost or stolen permits!
When driving a different vehicle unexpectedly, such as a loaner or rental car, use a smartphone, computer, or mobile device to add the new or temporary license plate to the permit. This can be done on the day it’s needed—or in advance if you know the license plate number. The permit for the new or different vehicle will be valid immediately.
For those who drive different vehicles to campus on different days, they can register multiple license plates on the same permit. This eliminates the need to remember to switch a permit between vehicles. Since a license plate can only be entered in the system once, those sharing a vehicle simply need one person to purchase the permit and enter the vehicle information, then anyone who drives the vehicle will have a valid permit. Each permit will only be valid for one vehicle to park on campus at a time.
Individuals can wait to purchase daily permits until they actually need them. For example, a commuter could arrive on campus and see whether a ‘C’ parking space is available before deciding to purchase the more expensive ‘A’ permit for the day.
If a commuter has a long-term ‘C’ permit and finds that only ‘A’ spaces are available near their building on a day they are running late, they can purchase an ‘A’ daily permit on the spot and have it be valid immediately.
For those who purchase daily permits, including departments that purchase permits for visitors, they no longer need to stockpile, manage, and track physical permits. Instead, departments can assign virtual permits by entering the visitor’s vehicle information online as needed.
For departments with multiple sites, they may find that they are able to purchase fewer department permits, providing the department with cost savings. For example, if a department has two worksites and currently purchases one department permit for each site, they may find that they can purchase one virtual permit and share it between the two sites.
Departments may designate department contacts, who are authorized to assign and unassign the department’s permit(s). Similar to reserving a conference room, the permit can be assigned to a specific vehicle for a specified period of time as long as the permit is available.
Carpool and vanpool members will no longer be required to fill out and sign the same physical, paper application forms and bring the form to the Stanford Transportation office. Instead, the application can be accessed and completed online by each member of the carpool or vanpool. Changes to carpool and vanpool memberships also can be made directly in the system.
Did you know we replace hundreds of lost or misplaced permits each year? With the new system, you won’t have to worry about paying to replace a lost permit. In addition, our office will stop printing and distributing tens of thousands of permits annually, which supports sustainability at Stanford.
In the new system, there will be no restriction on how many daily permits you can buy each month. Each person will be able to purchase only one daily permit per day. While there are no monthly limits on daily parking permit purchases, customers should determine whether purchasing a permit for the day, month, or year(s) makes the most financial sense.
As with all customers, Commute Club members will be able to purchase more than eight daily parking permits in any month. However, if they purchase more than eight daily permits in a month, they will become ineligible for Commute Club rewards. They can re-enroll in the Commute Club once they become eligible again.
Once Stanford affiliates make Commute Club selections starting in June, or anytime thereafter, their memberships will continue until they choose to end it or they become ineligible. Similarly, Stanford affiliates can purchase a parking permit and have it automatically renew for many years, so they won’t have to remember to renew their permits every year. During the transition, once your physical permit expires, you can purchase a long-term permit in the new system with an expiration date years in the future to enjoy multiple years of automatic renewals.
Whether Stanford Transportation is located on the main campus or at Stanford Redwood City, we will be glad to assist you. Our customer service staff will be available for phone consultations to answer your questions or provide assistance online. While we remain on campus, we also are glad to assist you in person with this new system transition and other transportation needs.