Zonal Parking FAQ

Updated 8/20/2021

What is the purpose of this change and how will it benefit permit holders? 

Parking on campus can often be challenging. This parking management strategy is used by many other higher education institutions, including within the Pac-12, with positive results. 

The zonal parking system project was initiated by UO Transportation Services to rethink UO’s parking system to more effectively balance parking supply and demand, while offering more price options for those who drive to campus.  A zonal parking system disperses demand through the use of pricing incentives and increases the likelihood of quickly locating parking in an expected area. In alignment with the Campus Plan, it decreases vehicle traffic and congestion caused by circulating vehicles seeking parking spaces in core campus areas. This system will allow Transportation Services to better manage parking demand and more efficiently use parking spaces throughout campus, while also providing additional pricing options to those who drive to campus.

Transportation Services went through an extensive study and outreach process this past year, including focus groups with numerous departments and individuals, group presentations, and an online survey to parking permit customers that was sent out to over 6,300 individuals for input and feedback on a potential zonal parking system.

How many zones are there and how much do they cost? 

There are 10 commuter zones organized into three major categories distinguished by price and proximity to the campus core: A zones, B zones, and C zones. 

Transportation Services recently went through an updated FY22 fees and fines public review process. Zonal parking prices for the 2021-22 academic year include: A zones = $115 per month; B zones = $50 per month; and C zone = $26 per month. The percentage of campus’ total parking supply in these zones include: Zone A = 10%; Zone B (including 13th Avenue Garage) = 52%; and Zone C = 21%. Remaining supply after that includes paid-hourly, residential, and other restricted parking lots.

Once I purchase a permit in a particular zone, can I park in other zones too? 

Customers must purchase one permit for a particular zone, but may also park in a “down zone.” As an example, a person who purchases a Zone A-North permit may park in any space in their primary Zone A-North, as well as any permit space in a B or C zone. However, they may not park in other "A" zones. 

Permit parking hours (7 a.m.-6 p.m.) will not change this year. Any parking in ordinary permit spaces after business hours do not require a permit between 6 p.m.-midnight, or on weekends. Hourly pay-to-park spaces are still enforced on Saturdays.

When will permits go on sale? 

Permits will first go on sale approximately four weeks prior to the active date of the academic term permit for current permit holders, and approximately two weeks prior to the active date of the academic term permit for non-permit holders. 

How will the new parking system be enforced?

Virtual parking permits will be enforced using license plate recognition (LPR). If a vehicle is parked in the wrong zone, the vehicle will be issued a citation, and in some cases, may be towed. This is similar to how parking is currently enforced.

If a permit holder’s designated zone has no parking space available when they arrive on campus, the driver should park in a "down zone". For example, a permit holder for Zone B-North could park in any C zone spot, but they should not park in any other B zone except the one for which they have purchased a permit. E.g., they should not park in Zone B-West or Zone B-Blvd.

Transportation Services understands that this is a new system and it will take some time for the campus community to adapt to it. Therefore, the department will focus its initial enforcement efforts on education and reminders. 

Will there no longer be an option to purchase an academic year permit?

Virtual permits will be sold in three durations: daily, 30-day, and academic term. The full-year permit will no longer be available. This will allow zone ratios and boundaries to more easily be adjusted at the end of an academic term as needed, to manage parking supply and demand in each zone and to ensure a better experience for permit holders.

Will there be a reduced price for an academic term permit, or will it just be at the monthly rate?

All permits are based on a monthly cost structure. Academic term permits allow customers to take care of one purchase per term, and guarantees a permit in that particular zone for the duration of the permit. Employees may choose payroll deduction to purchase an academic term permit, and deductions will be taken out over three months. 

Will reserved space parking still be available? 

Department reserved spaces will continue under the zonal system. Accommodations will be made for departments’ visitor and client parking needs, especially in research and clinical settings where university departments serve and support vulnerable populations. Department reserved spaces will be sold at a set rate regardless of their zone designation.

Personal reserved spaces will continue to be offered initially in the zonal program. Since the zonal parking program is intended to ensure parking availability in desired locations, most zonal parking programs do not include reserved spaces and we are likely to phase these out over time at UO. Personal reserved spaces will require the space holder to pay a flat reserved space fee. Reserved space holders are expected to park in their specified space in their designated subzone, but they may also park in any space in the zone in which their reserved space exists as well as in a "down zone." For example, with a reserved space in an A zone, the driver may parking in any B or C zone space; with a reserved space in a B zone, the driver may parking in any C zone permit space.

How will parking in the 13th Avenue Garage work in the zonal system?

The 13th Avenue Garage will be sold as its own zone type due to the shared use arrangement between Transportation Services and the UO Athletics Department, through which the garage must sometimes be completely cleared of commuter vehicles for use as Matthew Knight Arena event parking. Designating the garage as its own zone allows Transportation Services to communicate specific expectations and instructions to garage permit holders on those event days.  

Permits for this zone will be priced the same as other B zone permits. Garage permit holders will also be allowed to park in nearby Zone B-East permit spaces and in any C zone permit space. This will ensure they have adequate parking options during Matthew Knight Arena events. 

For employees who are on-call at all times, how will the zonal system work?

The zonal system does not change regular permit hours, which in most areas is 7 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Personal vehicles are required to have an appropriate permit during these hours.

Any parking in ordinary permit spaces (e.g., not reserved, service, ADA, etc.) does not require a permit between 6 p.m.-midnight. The zonal system does offer a no-cost employee overnight permit for those needing to park between the hours of 12 a.m. and 5 a.m., when parking on campus is not normally allowed.

Will faculty and staff permit holders still be allowed to park in metered spaces on University Street and elsewhere? 

Permit holders will no longer be allowed to park for free in hourly spaces (i.e., yellow area on map).  The updated ratio of permit spaces to hourly parking spaces in the new system should adequately accommodate both types of parkers. The supply and demand in these locations will be evaluated on an academic term basis and adjustments made as needed. 

Have you considered offering parking at Autzen as an option?

While Transportation Services does not control daily parking at Autzen, the department opened a UO Park and Ride lot near PK Park in 2019. This park and ride will reopen for fall term and allows free parking all day to any UO community member.

What is the cost of parking in UO's off-campus lots, i.e., Baker Downtown Center and 510 Oak?

Parking in these lots will be charged at the C zone rate.

How will my ADA parking be affected by the zonal system?

The zonal parking system will not change current ADA parking practices. All persons who park in university-owned parking lots will continue to be required to obtain a parking permit or pay hourly for parking. A person with both a DMV-issued disabled placard and a UO parking permit for any zone will be allowed to park in any ADA space on campus regardless of the parking zone designation. 

I work at UO Portland. How will this affect my parking?

The zonal parking system only applies to the Eugene campus. Parking at UO Portland does not change under zonal parking.

Why are the new permits higher priced in the campus core and the new, least expensive parking options so far away? This seems unfair.

One of the primary benefits of a zonal system is that it provides a variety of price options for users to choose from, including a low-cost option (in this case, permits for Zone C. In fact, this is the first time UO has had a monthly permit at a price point this low in over ten years. Permits for both Zones B and C are priced below the Eugene area market rate for monthly paid parking.

Parking supply in Zone A—the parking areas accessible via the highest price permit and also the spaces closest to the center of campus- makes up only about 10 percent of UO’s total permit parking supply. However, the associated permits will help subsidize parking in the less expensive Zones B and C, which make up the majority of permit parking spaces on campus.

Zone C is made up primarily of spaces in the new Millrace Drive Parking Garage. Not only do we hope that the lower cost permits will encourage its use, but the garage is also located in close proximity to many UO employee offices on the north side of Franklin Blvd., including those at Campus Planning and Facilities Management, 1600 Millrace, and the Knight Campus. And for those on the south side of Franklin Blvd, the distance remains reasonable given campus’s urban-style development.

For example, walking distance from the Millrace Drive Parking Garage to the EMU, in the core of campus, is a little over 0.4 miles, or a 9-minute walk. Another example is the Student Rec Center (SRC). The SRC is 0.6 mile, or a 13-minute walk to the Millrace Garage. The 13th Avenue Garage, which continues to offer plentiful employee parking, will be a B zone, and is approximately 0.4 mile, or and 8-minute walk, to the Student Rec Center. B zone permits, at $50/month, are the most comparable in price to the previously-set general faculty/staff permit rate ($49/month) for the coming year.

I’m concerned about walking to and from parking in further away lots, such as the new garage. Will it be safe, particularly during the evening?

The primary pedestrian route to and from the Millrace Drive Garage is well lit, as shown on UO maps. With the new garage fully functional, there will be increased pedestrian traffic along this route as well.

Additionally, UO Duck Rides provides 24/7 accessible shuttle service to students, staff, and faculty who may not feel safe walking to the garage or surface parking lots on the edge of campus, and rides can be arranged ahead of time. And University of Oregon Police Department staff can provide safety escorts to students and employees, from any campus location to any other campus location, 24 hours per day.

Transportation Services and UOPD will continue to monitor the garage and pedestrian routes to and from the area to address any potential safety issues or concerns.

Will employee parking become more difficult in the zonal system now that students can park in the same lots?

While the zonal system will allow access to the same parking lots regardless of a person’s role as student or employee, past student transportation habits indicate that 66% of students ride their bikes or walk to campus. Additionally, past student parking patterns show that many of the students who do drive to campus opt for hourly paid parking in lieu of a permit. Also, given the significant Zone C discount, it is likely that many students will choose to park in the new Millrace Drive Parking Garage.

Student Resident parking will remain restricted to the same lots they have been in years past and will not mix with daily commuters.

Transportation Services is committed to ongoing monitoring and adjustments to the zones if needed and have set up the system to allow these sorts of adjustments on an academic term basis.