Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS)

 Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS) provides and manages access to the UC Santa Cruz campus, with a focus on sustainable transportation modes. By providing alternatives to bringing a car to campus, TAPS helps reduce the demand for on-campus parking, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and mitigate the impacts of travel on the surrounding community. These efforts support the UC Carbon Neutrality Initiative and the Campus Sustainability Plan, and are one of the reasons that UC Santa Cruz regularly ranks as one of the “greenest” colleges in the nation.

To support these efforts, parking for undergraduate students is either prohibited or extremely limited. Freshman and sophomore students who live on campus are generally not eligible to purchase parking permits. All commuting students and juniors and seniors who live on campus may apply for a permit; however, due to the limited number of parking spaces on campus, there is no guarantee of actually being able to purchase one. Historically, permits have sold out before the start of fall quarter, and have only been available through an appeals process for the remainder of the academic year. (Those students, including residential freshman and sophomores, with a documentable need for a parking permit, such as job or family responsibilities, or health-related needs, may use the appeal process to request a permit.)

Off-campus parking options are also extremely limited, and typically sold out before classes begin in fall quarter. If you will be living on campus, and are not eligible to purchase an on-campus parking permit, you should not expect to be able to park your vehicle anywhere nearby.

Gift cards, raffles, and other prizes are some of the rewards possible for using a sustainable transportation choice. Sign up at and download the Commute Tracker app to log your trips.

For additional information, visit the TAPS website.

Transportation Options

Campus Transit: On-campus shuttles and Disability Van Service are provided fare-free through the Student Transit Fee. TAPS shuttles operate on campus from approx. 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 6:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. on weekends.

METRO Buses: Santa Cruz Metroplitan Transit District (METRO) is the transit bus service provider for Santa Cruz County. METRO operates more than 25 bus routes throughout the county, including five routes to and from the residential UC Santa Cruz campus, and one route between the residential UCSC campus and the Coastal Science Campus (CSC) during fall, winter, and spring quarters. UCSC students can ride METRO fare-free throughout the county by showing a student ID card with a current quarter validation sticker.

Bike Program: TAPS offers a variety of programs, including over 3,500 bike-rack spaces, bike "fix-it" stations, bike lockers, helmet/light giveaways and morning bike shuttles that run from CVS Pharmacy on Mission Street to campus. Popular bike services include the Bike Library, which lends bikes for free on a quarterly basis, e-bike workshops, free bike maintenance clinics, and free bike skills classes. Visit for upcoming bike events and programs.

Car Sharing: Zipcar is a membership-based car share program that allows students 18 and over to rent cars on campus on an hourly or daily basis. Use fees start at $5.50 per hour and include all vehicle fees, gas, insurance, mileage, and reserved parking on campus. Members have access 24 hours per day to a variety of vehicles both on campus and at nearby Santa Cruz locations. For detailed information, visit the campus Zipcar website.

Carpool Ridematching: Cruz511 offers a county-wide ridematching program that spans from San Francisco to Santa Cruz. Download the Commute Tracker mobile app to start finding carpool buddies. Even if you don’t have a car, you can post the ride you need. If you have a car, you can share your trip with others and save on costs. You can list your regular commute to campus or your one-time trip needs through Cruz511.

Walking: UC Santa Cruz is one of the most beautiful campuses in the world, and the best way to experience it is on foot! Walking is the single most sustainable means of getting around (and often the most direct way, as well) so be sure to bring a pair of sturdy walking shoes. A walking map of the campus is provided to all new students.

Long-Distance Train/Bus Service and Airports: Northbound Amtrak is available from the San Jose Diridon Station, which can be accessed by the Hwy 17 bus. Southbound Amtrak service is available from San Jose or Salinas.

The nearest airport is in San Jose, approximately 35 miles from Santa Cruz. The San Francisco Airport is about 70 miles from campus. Both airports are accessible by taking the Highway 17 Express bus that runs between Santa Cruz and San Jose, including a stop at the San Jose Diridon Station, where connections to Amtrak and other local and regional transit services are available. Commercial van and limousine services are also available.