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Freshmen Student Parking Policy

University of Tampa students are not permitted to bring cars to campus for the duration of their freshman year (fall through spring semesters). This includes students who have enough credits to be considered sophomores at any time during their first academic year.

This policy does not apply to local students who commute to campus.

Rationale

Parking restrictions have been applied to freshmen, as it is our belief they will be least impacted by this policy. Freshman residential students live in residence halls with meal plans, and on-campus employment options are readily available. Freshmen are supported by a wide array of special social activities in their residence halls and elsewhere on campus. We want freshmen to stay on campus to become a vital and enthusiastic part of the University community and to enjoy and benefit from all the University has to offer. National research indicates that resident college freshmen who have cars on campus have lower GPAs in their first year than those who do not have cars. They are also less involved than students without cars, as indicated by the number of clubs and organizations they join.

Alternative Transportation

A number of options exist for freshmen and other students without cars on campus. UT’s downtown location is ideal for walking, bike riding and the use of public transportation.

  • On-campus car rentalsZipCar offers qualified drivers ages 18 years and up environmentally friendly vehicles to rent at a low rate – by the hour or by the day. Members access cars using either their mobile device or their Zipcard and only pay for the time they rent the car. The rate includes gas, insurance, GPS navigation, iPod adaptor, Bluetooth technology, 24-hour Roadside Assistance and in-car communication with the Member Care Center.
  • Downtowner – For anyone looking to get around the downtown Tampa area you can now catch a free ride, thanks to the Tampa Downtown Partnership, on the Downtowner. There is an app you can download for a convenient experience.
  • RidesharingUber and Lyft ridesharing services are available throughout the Tampa Bay Area. Students can request affordable rides on demand using the Uber and Lyft apps. Rides are cashless and convenient.
  • Taxis – There are several options for taxi service in Tampa including United Cab, Yellow Cab of Tampa and Tampa Water Taxi. Taxis cost a flat rate of $3 per person within a 5-mile radius of campus and a $25 flat rate to or from the Tampa International Airport.
  • On-campus bicycle rentalsBikeUT is a University-wide, free bike rental program created to promote outdoor physical activity and sustainable transportation options. Students can rent bikes on a daily basis with a valid Spartan ID. Bikes can be ridden off campus for exercise along the 4.5-mile Bayshore Boulevard lining Tampa Bay or to pick up groceries at the Tampa Downtown Market or nearby Publix. Some bikes are equipped with baskets, and all rentals come with a helmet and bike lock.
  • Taxis – There are several options for taxi service in Tampa including United Cab, Yellow Cab of Tampa and Tampa Water Taxi. Taxis cost a flat rate of $3 per person within a 5-mile radius of campus and a $25 flat rate to or from the Tampa International Airport.
  • Buses – Several bus stops and the Marion Transit Center are located near campus, providing bus transportation around the Tampa Bay area. Bus information can be found here.
  • In-Town Trolley and TECO Line Streetcar – HART’s In-Town Trolley serves Downtown Tampa providing quick, convenient transportation from major public parking and downtown hotels to shopping, restaurants, museums, galleries, performing arts, nightlife and major points of interest. The nostalgic streetcar system whisks riders through downtown, Channelside and Ybor City.
  • Coast Bike ShareCoast Bike Share is an effective, convenient and environmentally friendly transportation option, enabling short trips around town. Coast Bike Share hubs can be found near campus and around the downtown, Ybor City, Channelside and Hyde Park areas. Coast bikes are available 24/7 and are equipped with baskets, lights and locks.
  • Cross-Bay Ferry – For those looking to explore more of Tampa Bay there is a new transportation option traveling between Tampa and St. Petersburg, the Cross-Bay Ferry. The 98-foot-long ferry is accessible to everyone. The cost to ride is $10 per an adult one-way ride and $8 per youth (3 years and older, under 3 free).

Freshmen Parking Policy Frequently Asked Questions

Why are freshman students unable to bring cars on campus?
Parking restrictions have been applied to freshman students, as it is our belief they will be least impacted by this policy. Freshman residential students live in residence halls with meal plans, and on-campus employment options are readily available. Freshmen are supported by a wide array of special social activities in their residence halls and elsewhere on campus. We want freshmen to stay on campus so they become a vital and enthusiastic part of the University community and benefit from all the University has to offer. National research indicates that resident college freshmen who have cars on campus have lower GPAs in their first year than those who do not have cars. They are also less involved than students without cars, as indicated by the number of clubs and organizations that they join.

If I come in with enough credits to be classified as a sophomore student will I be able to bring a car?
No. This policy has nothing to do with credit hours earned, but rather has to do with “freshman” admission status as defined by the University admissions policy.

Is obtaining an off-campus job or internship grounds for an appeal?
No. If students choose to work during their freshman year, the University encourages students to work on-campus or obtain a job close to campus. Career Services is a great resource for students who are looking for employment. Find on-campus jobs and nearby off-campus jobs at http://www.ut.edu/hireut or by emailing hireut@ut.edu.

Can I bring a car anyway and park it somewhere else?
We ask that students comply with the spirit of this policy by not bringing cars to campus with the expectation that they can be parked on the streets or in public areas. Since UT is located in an urban environment, there is very limited parking available off-campus. Public parking garages and lots are at least a 15-minute walk from UT’s campus.
There are public parking garages and lots in the surrounding downtown Tampa area where students can rent parking spaces on a monthly basis. However, it is the student’s responsibility to research this information, and availability is extremely limited. We strongly prefer students adhere to UT’s parking policy regarding freshmen. For more information about off-campus parking locations, visit the City of Tampa’s parking website.

I’m a freshman student, but I plan to live off campus and commute. Can I park my car on campus?
Yes. Commuter students are exempt from this policy.

Will any exceptions other than medical be considered?
No. Only waivers that are medical in nature will be considered for a parking waiver. See below for more information about Medical Parking Waiver Exceptions.

What if I have guests visit me?
Visitors are required to obtain a free visitor parking pass between the hours of 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or when visiting overnight. Guests, including family members, may stay a maximum of three days per academic year in the residence halls. Visitors may park in designated visitor areas in either parking garage or along the north side of Frederic H. Spaulding Street in front of the Ferman Music Center building.

Medical Parking Waiver Exceptions

The University recognizes that in some instances there are medical needs that necessitate students who do not otherwise qualify to have a motor vehicle on campus. To be granted a medical exception for a vehicle as a freshman campus resident, the student making the request must be formally accepted to the University.

If you have a permanent disability or medical condition that necessitates the use of a vehicle, we suggest you apply for a handicapped placard from your home state or from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Freshmen students with this placard will be approved for a vehicle.

For other medical situations, the accepted student must send an email documenting the medical need, along with medical supporting documentation, to freshmenparking@ut.edu. This information will be reviewed by the Office of Disability Services. If you have any other type of disability, the Student Disability Services office will assist in determining your needs, including making a determination about the need for a vehicle on campus. The recommendation of the Student Disability Services Office will be forwarded to the Freshman Parking Committee for a final decision.

Once the medical transportation waiver request and supporting documents are submitted, it will be reviewed by the Freshman Parking Committee for a final decision. Medical transportation waiver requests will be reviewed on a rolling basis and waivers will be kept to an absolute minimum. Requests for fall admission must be received no later than July 1. Requests for spring admission must be received no later than Dec. 1. After each deadline, the application period is closed until the next semester. Students will be notified via email within 10 business days if the request is granted and will go through the regular parking permit registration process. Medical transportation waiver requests must be approved prior to bringing a vehicle onto campus.

Please note that medical exceptions will not be granted for the purpose of providing care for a family member or relative. The documented medical need must apply to the student filling out the appeal.

Falsifying Information

Freshmen who obtain a parking permit by providing falsified information, as well as upperclassmen who attempt to purchase a permit for a freshman, will have future parking privileges revoked and may face student conduct action.