The University of Florida is located in Northern Florida (on the opposite end of Miami and the Everglades). If you drive to school, you likely know that UF parking is ridiculous. The school makes over $1 million yearly from parking citations! Many students aren’t surprised to get a handful of parking tickets every semester.
This article will share more about citations, how much they cost, how to avoid a UF parking ticket, and where you should park.
Why is UF Parking So Difficult?
Since they have so many restrictions and types of parking available, many people make mistakes or don’t read the signs. This results in thousands of tickets given out throughout each school year. According to previous UF parking statistics, the school made over $1,500,000 from parking tickets during 2016–2017!
Another large part of why parking is so hectic is due to the limited number of parking spots. There will be slightly over 26,000 parking spots for students after a new garage is completed in February 2020. They plan to create more parking garages in the future as well.
UF Parking Rules + Guidelines
There is quite a variety of guidelines and various parking decals. These all depend on how many credits you’ve taken, where you live, what program you’re enrolled in, and what type of vehicle you drive.
First, you will need to register your car to park anywhere on campus. Permits cost $80 per semester or $160 for the entire year (including summer). You can also purchase a weekly parking pass for $15 or monthly parking permits for $35. You’ll need to provide a license plate number, registration, and UF identification card. This comes with a sticker decal, which costs $25 to replace if you lose it.
If you’re wondering how to pay for UF parking decal, payments can be made with card or cash. Your assigned parking area depends on where you live, in addition to the number of credits earned. Students will be assigned one of the below decals when you purchase your spot.
Park & Ride Decal – Undergraduate students living off-campus.
Green Decal – Graduate & professional students living off-campus.
Purple Decal – Scooters and motorcycles
Brown 2 Decal – Students living in Corry and Maguire Family Housing Villages
Brown 3 Decal – Students living in Diamond Family Housing Village.
Red 1 Decal – Students who have completed 50+ credits and live on-campus.
Red 3 Decal – Students who have completed under 50 credits and live on-campus.
There is also a decal for handicapped parking.
When is Parking Lifted at UF?
Most lots and garages on campus are restricted to decal parking only from 7:30 am – 4:30 pm on Monday through Friday. Outside of these hours, decal restrictions are lifted (in addition to University holidays) UNLESS there are events or if there are special signs posted that clarify otherwise.
Always make sure to check signs at the lot or garage to see if they have different UF parking restrictions.
No Decal? Try Paid Parking
If you’re just visiting or don’t drive to campus often, there are a few daily parking options available. For one, the paid Visitor Welcome Center UF parking garage is located south of the Reitz Union at the corner of Museum Road and Reitz Union Drive. Daily parking rates are $6, but there are only 159 spaces available so they often fill up.
There is also short-term paid parking (some parking spaces have 1-hour limits and others have 2-hour limits). These cost $4 for the mid-term fee or $2 for a 45-minute limit.
Finally, there are a few metered parking spots that take coins located throughout campus. There aren’t many of these available, so they can be difficult to find. Make sure to check the time limit signs posted at each of the parking meters.
As mentioned previously, decals can also be purchased for $15 per week or $35 per month (you will still need UF identification).
Public Transportation Options
Fed up with tickets? With all this hassle for parking at UF and no free parking available, many students find it easier and cheaper to simply take public transportation to school. There is actually a free bus available for UF students!
The RTS bus offers free rides, you simply need to show your Gator 1 card. They have multiple bus routes on campus as well as routes to all points of the City of Gainesville. You can download Rider, an app that lets you track real-time RTS bus transit. It also shows arrival predictions, proximity alerts, as well as bus times and routes.
Parking at UF During Events
Parking changes when there are events. For example, Gator Football Game days have different parking rules as well as basketball game days. You will need to submit Event Parking Permit orders at least a week in advance.
UF Parking Tickets
You can pay your ticket on the citations website. However, if you believe your ticket was incorrect and plan to appeal it, don’t pay it yet. They can’t be thrown out once they’ve been paid.
How hard is it to appeal a ticket? Actually, it’s simple and can be very rewarding. The form only takes a few minutes to fill out. Often times, students get their ticket appealed or at least reduced! Appeals must be submitted within 15 days of the citation issue date.
Based on our experience disputing parking tickets, we’re guessing school tickets are a bit easier to get waived.
Bonus UF Parking Tips
- Do not park your car in reverse in the parking garage unless there is NO sign saying it is prohibited (most of the garage signs prohibit reverse parking).
- Do not park over the line or curb.
- Submit your orders for event parking at least a week in advance.
- Gather any potential evidence (such as photos) for a UF parking citation appeal.
- Check the Transportation and Parking website for parking updates and information.
- Students who live off-campus are not allowed to park vehicles from 3 am to 5 am in any of the “Any Decal” parking lots (aka no overnight parking).
UF parking can definitely be a hassle, but it shouldn’t be a problem as long as you read the signs. However, there are definitely some days where we’re in a rush and don’t have time to read every little detail. Plus, the school makes parking changes fairly often. However, they often reduce or throw out parking citations if you have a valid reason.