USF Parking Guide

The art of parking on college campuses has a learning curve, and The University of South Florida is no exception. We’ve created this guide to help our fellow Bulls understand the rules and some tricks for parking on USF Campus. If you haven't purchased a parking permit yet, it would be a good idea to skim through this entire guide. If you're already a proud parking permit holder, we hope we can help answer your questions!

Should I Drive To Campus?

If you’re living in one of the off-campus apartments near USF, it might be more convenient to walk, bike, or take the Bull Runner Shuttle from your apartment rather than paying for a permit to park on campus. Depending on where your classes are, you might even find that your apartment’s parking lot is closer or more convenient than locating a spot on campus. If you’re a commuter or live in apartments that are a bit farther from the university, then driving to campus is definitely your best option.

Buying USF Parking Passes

Parking passes are required for USF campus 24/7. Permits are issued to a specific individual and registered for a specific car - so you aren't supposed to share a permit with another student. You will be required to purchase a parking pass if you want to park on USF campus. Parking passes can be purchased at any time and do not need to be purchased before the start of a semester. Parking passes do not seem to be limited, or at least there are enough passes for the students who attend USF and want to park on campus. 

You can purchase parking permits from USF online with your USF Login. Permits are sold by a third party and you can visit the parking portal here to purchase a permit.

Permit Types

USF offers a long list of permit types (we counted more than 10!) and you can read through the entire list on the Permit Types page of their website. An individual's affiliation with USF will determine the type of permit they may purchase. As a student at USF, you'll most likely purchase one of these permits:

  • S Permit - for students who live off campus
  • R Permit - for students who live on USF campus 

How Much is a USF Parking Permit?

We found the rates for USF parking permits a bit complicated, so hopefully we can help explain and save you some confusion! Here's what you need to know:

  • All parking permits for the semester expire on the same date, at the end of USF's Fiscal Year (historically sometime in mid-August).
  • The price for a parking permit scales by week, so if you're purchasing a permit later in the semester it will be cheaper than purchasing a parking permit on day 1 of the semester.
  • Because of the scaling pricing, we can't share prices here. For the most up-to-date pricing, visit USF's Weekly Fee Schedule.

Where To Park

USF parking permits are only valid for the parking locations that match the letter on the permit. There are some campus rules (posted at each lot) that lift restrictions after 5:30pm, so you can take advantage of more available spaces if you're visiting campus for an after-hours club meeting or study session. You're going to want to keep the USF Parking Map handy as you learn your favorite parking garages on campus:

USF Tampa campus parking map
USF Parking Map

Off To A Good Start

Parking at USF can be tricky. Don't wait until the night before your first class to figure out where you will park. Start a week or two early and map out your classes, then utilize the USF Parking Map above to determine which lots are closest to your first and last class of the day. Go for a quick drive around campus and locate these lots. Just remember, when you're parking for class campus will likely be busy and your first choice option may not have an available spot. 

Come prepared with a backup plan and notes in your phone with a secondary option so you aren't late to your first class! For the first few weeks of classes, it is a good idea to give yourself a 45-minute cushion for parking and walking to class. Once you establish a routine and are more confident on where to find a spot and the best walking route to class, you won't need as much extra time!

Can I get a refund for my USF parking permit?

It seems like USF's refund policy for parking passes changes from time to time. To help keep this guide as accurate as possible, we recommend visiting the Permit Refund Policy page on USF’s website for the latest update.

Can I share my parking permit?

When you register for your parking permit, you commit to being responsible for any and all parking violations for that permit. You should not share your parking permit, because if your trusted borrower makes any parking mistakes the violation and money owed will be in your name.

This also means it is not a good idea to sell your parking permit or purchase a permit from a student. You should always obtain a parking permit directly from The University of South Florida.

Paying USF Parking Tickets

Don't beat yourself up too much, parking tickets happen! Our best advice for parking tickets on USF campus is just to pay your ticket and move on knowing you learned a valuable lesson. If you feel that you received a ticket in error or that you misunderstood the parking signs, you should try to appeal the ticket. When appealing a ticket, you should include details such as signage that you may have misunderstood, if you have a permit that you paid for you should share that detail, and throw in a, "I promise it won't happen again." - but only if you mean it!

The Bull Runner Shuttle

The Bull Runner transit is one of the best ways to get around USF campus. If you find that you need to walk a long distance to get from the parking garage to your first class, plan ahead and hop on the Bull Runner to help save you energy, time, and sweat (this lovely USF perk is air conditioned!). Everyone rides free with a USF ID. Two important resources you'll want to check out:

  1. Bull Runner Shuttle Map
  2. Bull Tracker App - helps you find bus locations in real time and will provide you with bus arrival predictions. You can even set up alerts for when the shuttle will arrive at your stop!

Any Tips for Finding A Spot?

We looked to our friends on the r/USF subreddit for some parking tips. We've gathered the top 5 tips here:

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