Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the university’s overall philosophy on campus mobility?
How does CMU's Transportation Services support sustainability?
Sustainable practices continue to be implemented across the university, including investments in transportation alternatives, such as mass transit, shuttles, car sharing, pedestrian pathways, and bicycle/personal wheeled vehicle lanes and storage. Several of our parking garages also offer charging stations for electric vehicles.
What are some more-sustainable travel options to get to/around campus?
Carnegie Mellon has an agreement with Pittsburgh Regional Transit (PRT) to allow our faculty, staff and students to ride PRT buses, light rail and inclines using their CMU ID card. View www.rideprt.org for transit details and schedules. Those living in Oakland, Squirrel Hill and Shadyside can also use CMU's shuttles and evening escort service, as well as the University of Pittsburgh's shuttle services – just show your CMU ID upon boarding. Those close to campus can also consider walking or using a bicycle or personal wheeled vehicle.
Is public transportation available to get to, and around, campus?
Those living in Oakland, Squirrel Hill and Shadyside can use CMU's shuttles and evening escort service, as well the University of Pittsburgh's shuttle services, to get around campus and neighboring areas – just show your CMU ID upon boarding. Carnegie Mellon also has an agreement with Pittsburgh Regional Transit (PRT) to allow our faculty, staff and students to ride PRT buses, light rail and inclines using their CMU ID card. View www.rideprt.org for transit details and schedules.
What happens if my CMU ID will not work on the Pittsburgh Regional Transit buses/light rail system?
If you board the bus or light rail train (the “T”) and your CMU ID does not register as a valid CMU ID card holder, you must pay to ride that day or exit the vehicle. You will then need to visit ID Card Services for a replacement CMU ID.
Can I use a bicycle or scooter on campus?
Yes! Learn more about using and parking bicycles and other personal wheeled vehicles -- including skateboards, in-line skates, scooters, electric bicycles, Segways and other similar vehicles -- on CMU's campus.
What options do I have when parking on campus?
CMU offers a variety of parking locations and types across campus. Faculty, staff and students can pay by the hour in parking locations open to visitors or apply for a parking permit in one of our garages or lots. In addition to the standard five-days-per-week permits, some parking locations also offer three-day and two-day options to provide additional flexibility for those whose commutes may vary throughout the week. View our parking permits webpage for additional details and current permit rates.
I am a newly hired faculty/staff member. How can I register for a parking permit?
Please visit our parking permit page for further information. You may request a parking permit at any time. Students can also apply for parking at any time throughout the year.
I received an email about a permit, but I didn’t apply for one. What does this mean?
Some parking email notices are sent to all campus Andrew ID users. Please disregard if it doesn’t apply to you.
Can someone else pick up my permit hang tag?
Yes. Send an email stating your authorization to the person who will be picking up the tag, and they can present the email as proof of consent.
I have more than one car, can I get an additional hang tag?
Only one hang tag is issued per permit.
How do I change my permit vehicle information?
I currently have a separate proxy card for gate access to my parking garage/lot. Do I retain this card for the new parking year, or will I be issued a new one?
Please retain your separate proxy cards for the following locations if you have elected to remain in your current parking location: Fifth & Craig (RAND Building Garage), Bakery Square, Collaborative Innovation Center (CIC), Morewood, Second Avenue (PTC), South of Forbes (Carnegie Museum) and the Tepper Garage. If you misplace your proxy card or it becomes damaged, please visit our office in the East Campus Garage for a replacement card. The replacement fee is $20.
How do I retain or cancel my parking permit while on a leave of absence from the university?
To retain your parking while on a leave of absence, you must pay the monthly fee associated with the permit. You have the ability to cancel at any time. If you cancel your permit, parking in your preferred location may not be available upon your return.
How do I cancel my payroll deduction for a parking permit?
If you are retaining your parking permit, but wish to pay directly and cancel your payroll deduction, a one-time payment for the remainder of the year can be made via cash, check or credit card. If you are canceling your parking permit, you will need to surrender your active hang tag and parking cards at the Transportation Services office for the payroll deduction to be removed.
If I decide to cancel my parking in the middle of the year, do I receive a refund or will I be charged for the entire year?
You may cancel your parking permit at any time by visiting the Transportation Services office during regular business hours to return your gate card and hang tag. If you've already paid for the entire year, you must provide your permit receipt in order to be refunded for the remaining unused months. Refunds are prorated at one-half a month for permits cancelled before the 15th of the month (unless your permit is returned on the first day of the month – in that case, you will not be charged for that month). You are responsible for the full-month charge for permits cancelled any time after the 15th of the month.
Why is there a waitlist for some parking locations, including ones with empty parking spaces?
The university maintains a balance of permit types by location to keep as many spaces in use as possible while also offering flexibility. When popular options reach capacity, waitlists are created to “hold your spot in line.” Lists are reviewed monthly, and when a spot opens up, it is offered to the next person on the list.
Due to flexible work schedules and an individual leaseholder's chosen permit type, you may see empty leased spaces in campus garages or lots. The university must ensure that spaces remain available for leaseholders, who expect to find them when they arrive on campus.
New parking technology is coming in 2024 that will allow us to better monitor garage/lot usage and adjust parking pass availability accordingly. Keep an eye on our website for updates on this initiative. In the meantime, there are permits currently available. Faculty, staff and students can log into their parking account online to view available options.
How often are the waitlists for popular parking locations reviewed, and how will I be notified if/when I've been assigned a permit?
Parking permit waiting lists are reviewed on a continual basis, and spaces are allocated as they become available. In that case, you will be contacted via the email address provided on your permit application. Because waiting lists are dependent upon users cancelling their parking or leaving the university, there is no guarantee of receiving parking at CMU.
I forgot my hang tag for my parking lot/garage. How do I obtain a temporary hang tag to avoid receiving a parking citation?
If you have forgotten your permit hang tag, please stop by our East Campus Garage office for a temporary tag. The tag is a one-time charge of $3. If you are driving a rental vehicle for more than one day, the $3 charge will cover the duration of your rental car use. Once a year, permit holders may request a waiver for a citation received for forgetting to display their hang tag. Simply appeal the citation and note that you forgot your tag or did not have it properly displayed. Subsequent incidents in the same calendar year will not be waived.
What do I do if my permit hang tag is damaged or lost?
Your parking permit hang tag must be displayed while parked on campus at all times. To replace a lost or damaged hang tag, stop by our East Campus Garage office to receive a replacement tag for a one-time fee of $20.
I am a CMU faculty member, staff or student and have a parking permit for an off-campus CMU location. Can I get my parking validated when parking on the main campus?
Off-campus permit holders may request validated parking at one of two garages on the Pittsburgh campus:
- You may park in the East Campus Garage if you have a current parking permit for any of the following parking locations: 4700 Fifth Avenue, 6555 Penn Avenue, Bakery Square, Dithridge Street Garage, Fairfax Lot, Fifth and Craig Streets (RAND building), Fifth and Neville Streets, Henry Street, Second Avenue (PTC), Whitfield, Zebina Way lot, and all downtown locations.
- You may park in the Dithridge Street Garage if you have a current parking permit for any of the following parking locations: East Campus Garage, 6555 Penn Ave, PTC, Bakery Square and all downtown locations.
To enter the garage, take a ticket. Then stop by the East Campus Garage office to pick up your validated parking ticket for that day.
Accessible Parking and Transportation
I need short-/long-term special accommodations for a disability. Where do I go for help?
Transportation Services works in conjunction with several areas across campus to help faculty, staff, students and visitors who may need additional assistance. Please contact us for details about how we can help.
I have a state-issued disability placard. How do I get a disabled parking space on campus?
Faculty and staff should email HR's Equal Opportunity Services Division. Students wanting to obtain a disabled parking space should contact the Office of Disability Resources. The Transportation Services office will receive the necessary paperwork from the appropriate sources. Once you are granted a disabled space, you should display both the state-issued placard and the CMU-issued disabled hang tag when parking at the university.
Do you have charging stations for electric vehicles?
Yes! Learn more about charging electric vehicles on campus.
What is a subcompact car?
A subcompact car is the American classification for small cars and is broadly equivalent to the B-segment (Europe) or supermini (Great Britain) classifications. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency car size class definition, the subcompact category sits between the mini-compact and compact categories.
Any high-clearance vehicles (vehicles exceeding a height of 5 feet, 2 inches), regardless of length, are not considered subcompact cars. If your vehicle is classified as a compact car, it is not necessarily a subcompact car.
Makes and models of classified subcompact cars include the Honda Fit, Chevrolet Sonic, Kia Rio, Ford Fiesta, Mini Cooper, Mazda 2 and Toyota Yaris. Makes and models of subcompact SUVs and crossover SUVs shorter that 5 feet, 2 inches in height include the Kia Niro, Hyundai Kona SE and Mini Cooper Countryman.
We are having a few people visit our offices on campus and would like to pay for their parking. Where can I order parking validation tickets for our guests?
Learn more about how to purchase parking validation tickets.
Our department is hosting an event on campus for a large group. How do I secure parking for our guests?
Learn more about how to arrange event parking for university guests.
If I receive a parking citation, how do I pay or appeal the ticket?
Parking tickets can be paid or appealed in person at our East Campus Garage office, online or by check/money order mailed to the address on the ticket envelope. All citations can be appealed, with the exception of handicap parking violations and safety/hazard lane violations. Please visit our enforcement and citations webpage for more information.
What is the university’s overall philosophy on campus mobility?
CMU provides multiple options for faculty, staff, students and visitors to commute to, and navigate, our campus. The university, as part of its ongoing commitment to sustainability and efficient regional development, continues to invest in “green” methods of transportation, such as mass transit, CMU shuttles, car sharing, safe pedestrian pathways, and bicycle/personal wheeled vehicle lanes and storage. For those that cannot use these methods, CMU also offers several vehicle parking garages and lots throughout campus, with parking permit options to meet a variety of needs.
The university has committed to an appropriate balance of these mobility options, based on our community’s needs, our sustainability goals, and what best supports our neighbors and region. CMU’s 2022 Institutional Master Plan, which was approved by the Pittsburgh City Council, focuses on people over vehicles and aims to reduce the need for single-occupant vehicle use when coming to campus. Based on that, the university maintains a parking system that balances environmental impact and encourages faculty, staff and students to take advantage of alternate methods when feasible. Over time, parking spaces may be added and removed as areas of campus are developed, keeping us within a targeted range. As always, the needs of our community are continually assessed as CMU grows and evolves, and our policies and facilities will be amended appropriately.