The preferred method of transportation on campus is walking or bicycling. Students who bring bikes to campus should register the bike with the Department of Public Safety and Security, purchase a “U-bolt” bike lock, and remember to lock the bike at all times. Bike racks are easily accessible at nearly every campus building. Winter storage for bikes is also available for a fee.
The University and the city of Ann Arbor offer excellent public transportation options for students. The U-M operates a free bus service for the campus community. During the fall and winter terms, buses run approximately every 10 minutes and some routes to North Campus operate until 2:00 a.m. or later.
In addition, University of Michigan students can ride the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority "The Ride" buses for free by showing an M-Card. The Ride buses run throughout the Ann Arbor area, including campus, and can take students to many popular off-campus destinations including shopping destinations, movie theaters, and community parks/recreation areas.
Late-Night Transportation For late-night transportation, many of the U-M bus routes run late into the night, depending on the route. There are also free or low-cost late-night ride services available to U-M students. Encourage your student to download the SafeRide mobile app and utilize these late-night services on a regular basis. If no other option is available, the Department of Public Safety & Security will provide emergency transportation from campus to a student’s residence.
Parking for students at the University of Michigan is extremely limited, and the University recommends that students leave their cars at home. With the easy availability of free buses on campus and in the city of Ann Arbor, most students find that bringing cars to campus is not usually necessary, and often not worth the expense and the effort.
Freshmen and sophomores are not eligible to apply for daily parking permits offered through U-M Logistics, Parking, and Transportation Services. Juniors and seniors are eligible to apply for daily permits, but the demand exceeds the supply. Students who need to bring a car to campus but don’t drive it on a daily basis will need to find “storage” parking (defined as leaving your vehicle continuously parked in a lot or structure for periods greater than 24 hours). Logistics, Parking, and Transportation Services has a very limited number of storage spaces available to students of all academic years. Permits are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Due to the limited parking situation, students living in residence halls are strongly encouraged not to bring cars to campus. There is no student parking available near most of the residence halls. University Housing does offer a limited number of spaces to residents of Fletcher, Oxford, Bursley, and Baits. The University Housing permits are distributed through a lottery system. However, the demand for these spaces exceeds the supply.
Students who travel by airplane to campus generally fly into Detroit Metropolitan Airport, which is about 30 minutes from campus. There are several shuttles that run between Metro Airport and the U-M campus. In addition, during scheduled U-M breaks, the Central Student Government sponsors AirBus. AirBus provides quick, easy, inexpensive airport transportation during U-M breaks.
Ride Sharing & Car Rentals
Ann Arbor is notorious for its lack of parking. The University offers several alternatives to having a car on campus. In addition to excellent public transportation, the University has partnerships with Zipcar and Greenride to help students get around town, the state, or the country!
ZipCar is a car sharing membership program, where students can rent cars by the hour or the day at low, student-friendly prices. Students 18 years and over are eligible to join. Zipcar cars are parked at several convenient campus locations, so students don't have to go far for their Zipcar. Zipcar fees include insurance, gas, and maintenance.
Greenride is a ride-sharing program for U-M students. While it is typically used for daily commuters, Greenride can also be used by students looking to travel infrequently. For example, let’s say your student wants to come home and surprise you for the weekend (with a basket of dirty laundry) but doesn’t have a car. Your student can register with Greenride and then enter information about their “one-time” trip information. Another student with a car, also traveling that direction, can then connect with your student. Greenride helps students who don't have cars on campus, and it helps students who do have cars to cut down on their transportation costs.
Transportation for Students with Mobility Impairments
All U-M buses are wheelchair accessible. In addition, students with mobility impairments may be eligible for curb-to-curb Paratransit services. To qualify, students must contact the Services for Students with Disabilities Office. Paratransit is free for students and operates on weekdays only.