MParents: Parking and Transportation : Student Life

Student Life

Parking and Transportation

The preferred method of transportation on campus is walking or bicycling. If your son or daughter brings a bike to campus, encourage him or her to register the bike with City Hall, purchase a “U-lock,” and remember to lock the bike at all times. Bike racks are easily accessible at nearly every campus building.

Nighttime Transportation
Airport Shuttles
Ride and Car Sharing

Transportation for Students with Mobility Impairments


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. Buses run approximately every 10 minutes during the Fall and Winter terms. Buses to North Campus run past midnight.

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 like Meijer, Target, Briarwood Mall, Arborland Mall, and other shopping locales.

Nighttime transportation

For nighttime transportation, the U-M buses run until midnight or later, depending on the route. There are also free or low-cost nighttime ride services available to U-M students. Encourage your son or daughter to utilize these 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 any parking permits offered through U-M Parking & Transportation Services. Juniors and seniors are eligible to apply for permits, but the demand exceeds the supply. In addition, most permits do not allow for “storage” parking (defined as leaving your vehicle continuously parked in a lot or structure for periods greater than 24 hours).

Due to the limited parking situation, students living in residence halls are strongly encouraged not to bring cars to campus. There is no permit parking adjacent to most of the residence halls. University Housing does offer a limited number of spaces to residents of Bursley, Baits, and Fletcher residence halls through a lottery held during move-in. However, the demand for these spaces exceeds the supply. Students should contact the hall directly for details about the lottery.

Airport Shuttles

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. For details, visit

Greenride is a ride-sharing program for U-M students. Greenride allows students who need a ride to connect with students who have a car and are going in the same direction. Greenride participants can look for rides around town, around the state, or around the country! 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. To learn more, visit


Transportation for Students with Mobility Impairments

Students with mobility impairments can contact Services for Students with Disabilities for information about accessible campus transportation.