News & Alerts
Bicyclists - We Need Your Input
In coordination with the League of American Bicyclists’ Bicycle Friendly University (BFU) program, PTS is asking our bicycle community for input and insights on the current bicycle programs, facilities, and amenities on our campus.
The goal of this survey is to work with the League of American Bicyclists to improve their understanding of bicyclists' experiences on campus. Responses will be factored into the University of Minnesota's standing in the BFU program. Individual comments will be anonymous.
Take the Survey: https://www.
The survey will close on Monday, November 30.
PTS Customer Service Desk Closes at 3 pm November 23-January 15
The PTS customer service desk will be open from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. from Monday, November 23 through Friday, January 15.
Campus Bus Schedules Change For Winter Break, Vacation Period
Campus bus service will change during the winter break and vacation time after Thanksgiving until the start of spring semester after Martin Luther King, Junior Day.
The revised schedule is below:
122 - Univ. Ave. Circulator runs 15-minute frequency from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Notice Regarding Public Transit Challenges During Covid-19
Parking & Transportation Services (PTS) recognizes that some in our community have strong feelings about riding public transit during this unprecedented time.
Members of our community have expressed frustration about cancelled or reduced regional routes and about making transit new/additional connections, especially before sunrise/after dark. We have heard concern from transit riders who are now driving to campus about driving in snow.
We want our community to know that safety is our top concern. All bus companies in the Twin Cities have increased health and safety measures with enhanced cleaning and disinfection procedures. Riders are required to wear face coverings, wash or sanitize their hands before boarding and maintain social distance. Many buses have had physical changes - for example: posters informing the mask requirement, stickers on the floor to promote distancing, sleeves on seats to encourage riders to space apart, and barriers to the driver seat area.
If you can use transit, bus route information is available at metrotransit.org. If your previous route is not available at this time, Park and Ride locations are another option to consider. You can find more information on these locations at https://www.metrotransit.org/park-ride-lots.
If you do not feel comfortable using transit at this time, other options are available to you.
University employees can request a temporary, no-cost parking contract by emailing the following information to firstname.lastname@example.org (full name; UMN empl ID #; home mailing address; home phone number). This contract provides 24/7 access to Gold Lot, East River Road Garage, Oak Street Ramp, Washington Avenue Ramp, and Gortner Avenue Ramp. These contracts will expire when the remote work order ends.
For those needing occasional parking, the daily rate lots are $5 a day. Those are near the stadium on East Bank, Lot 94 by Regis Center on West Bank and the Fairgrounds Lot on the St. Paul campus. Campus bus routes serve these lots. We encourage you to view a map on our GopherTrip app on your mobile device or click this link to a web-based desktop view: http://umn.rider.peaktransit.com/ (note: you will need to select the bus routes labelled COVID19 to see the routes currently in service).
The University encourages carpooling. Share your commute and save time, money and reduce congestion. PTS has a ridesharing app called Gopher Rideshare, which helps you find members of the University community to share rides with. Gopher RideShare requires users to login with a U of M Internet account. The app is free to download, but costs of individual rides are up to the users to negotiate. Download Gopher Rideshare in the Apple store or on Google Play. You can learn more at gopherrideshare.umn.edu.
Roof Parking Closed For Winter in 5 Ramps
Campus parkers should be aware that parking on the roof of five campus parking ramps is now closed for the winter season.
The five U of M parking ramps are:
- 4th Street Ramp
- Oak Street Ramp
- 19th Avenue Ramp
- 21st Avenue Ramp
- Gortner Avenue Ramp
Help Identify Transit Improvements Along Highway 36
Washington County Public Works, in partnership with Ramsey County, Hennepin County, MnDOT and Metropolitan Council, is leading a study to explore the potential for transit improvements in the Highway 36 corridor, which extends about 27 miles between Stillwater/Oak Park Heights/Bayport and downtown Minneapolis.
You can share your feedback on the study at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/XJP7R2J
A virtual presentation is available online as well.
The goals of the study are to analyze existing and emerging needs for east-west transit service between Stillwater and downtown Minneapolis, identify opportunities to develop or enhance transit service, and improve connections to the regional transit system.
To receive more information about the study and to provide feedback, visit www.highway36transit.com.
Reminder to Student Parkers about Hospital Ramp
U of M students are reminded to park in U of M parking garages, ramps, and lots only. The Hospital Patient/Visitor Ramp (on Delaware Street across from Centennial Hall) reserved for hospital patients and visitors. Signs are posted at its entrance indicating no student or contract parking.
Thank you for your understanding.
The Washington Avenue Ramp on the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus is getting a makeover this month when Parking & Transportation Services implements a new wayfinding system making it easier for campus visitors to find their way back to their vehicles.
The new system incorporates 22 animal silhouettes on concrete pillars inside the ramp as well as in elevator and stairwell lobbies. These memory markers are designed to make it easier for guests navigating campus.
Animals were chosen because of the variety of animal choices, recognition of shapes and silhouettes, and the ease of identification.
The new system replaces the old alphabetical and numeric system that used a number for the ramp level, an alphabet letter for the pillar location and a number for the actual parking stall location.
Frequently Asked Questions - Parking and Transportation Operational Changes due to COVID-19
In response to the challenges that we face right now, here are Frequently Asked Questions surrounding COVID-19 and transportation at the U of M:
Q: Is PTS Customer Service open?
A: From Monday, November 23 through Friday, January 15, PTS customer service will be open for in-person walk-in visits from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Friday. The PTS customer service desk will be closed daily from 11 a.m. - noon. Fill out an Appointment Form for PTS Customer Service Visits to set up/request an appointment.
Q: Will parking lots and ramps be open or closed?
A: All parking facilities are open.
Q: Why is parking even considered an essential campus service?
A: Our public and contract parking operations serve the activity of both University and non-University customers like Fairview Hospital. This means for the operation, security, and safety of our community, we have made an intentional decision to continue operating parking facilities with most of the controls done remotely.
In addition, the current environment has led to a number of changes. For example, we have worked to assist our essential employees who need additional parking access by expanding the reciprocal parking options. This allows those essential employees to park where they need. We have also made arrangements for those who are no longer able to come to campus by bus and who now need to drive and park.
Q: Why do students have to pay the Transportation & Safety Fee for the Fall 2020 semester?
A: The Transportation and Safety Fee supports the campus bus infrastructure, including the Campus Connectors and Circulators, and the Safe Walk Program, which is designed to enhance safe campus transportation for all students. The fee is an integral part of ensuring that safe transit and walk services are available for students, parents, and the University of Minnesota community. The Transportation and Safety Fee is not (and has never been) charged based on a set amount of usage of these services. In alignment with the Board of Regents decision regarding Student Services Fees and the statement acknowledged by registering students, PTS will not be waiving the Transportation and Safety Fee. The University will continue to assess our approach should circumstances related to COVID-19 change. Please note that refunds or waivers will not be approved for the reason that a student is not returning to campus.
Q: I am an essential employee and need a temporary parking contract. What should I do?
A: Set up a temporary, no-cost parking contract by emailing the following information to email@example.com:
- Full Name
- UMN empl ID #
- Home mailing address
- Home phone number
This contract provides 24/7 access to Gold Lot, East River Road Garage, Oak Street Ramp, Washington Avenue Ramp, or Gortner Avenue Ramp. These contracts will expire when the remote work order ends.
Q: I am an essential employee and need to park occasionally. What should I do?
A: Park in daily rate lots for $5 a day.
Q: I have a parking contract. Where can I park?
A: Parking contracts will remain available for use. Additionally, the reciprocal privileges traditionally only offered on nights and weekends will be available 24/7. Learn more about reciprocal parking here.
Hangtag contract holders parking in structured facilities should pull a ticket at the entry, push the silver button, and give the call center representative their hangtag number. If a hangtag customer has multiple issues with this method, a keycard can be issued.
Q: I will not be on campus. Can I get a refund on my parking contract?
A: PTS is working to understand the complexity of this unprecedented time for our campus community and how that relates to the service we provide. We want to ensure parking facilities remain operational for those who need them. For those essential on-campus employees coming to provide essential services, parking is available with extended reciprocal access. With very few exceptions, your parking keycard will allow you entry into all contract facilities and your lot hangtag will allow you to park in any contract lot. Our goal is to support the ongoing efforts of staff who are on campus and make their jobs as easy as possible.
Suspending Staff/Faculty Parking Contracts
University of Minnesota Physicians (UMP) employees should email contract parking questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fairview manages contract parking for its employees through its parking office and is not included in the parking contract suspension process. Contact the Fairview Parking Services Office at 612-273-7278 or email@example.com for information.
University of Minnesota employees who are contract holders on the Twin Cities campus may choose to suspend their parking contract while the remote work order is in place. If you choose to suspend your parking contract, you will be able to restart the same contract once the requirement to work remotely is lifted. You will still see deductions on EVERY paycheck, but you will see a credit ONCE a month.
As of July 1, suspension requests are honored effective starting from the date the request is submitted.
To suspend your parking contract, complete the Contract Suspension Request Form.
- Please note that it may take up to three payroll cycles for the change to be reflected on your paycheck.
- This contract suspension is suspending charges, not the ability to use the parking keycard or hangtag. Parking keycards/hangtags, and reciprocal privileges, remain active even for those who's parking charges are suspended.
Note: If you change your parking contract for any reason, you are required to submit a new suspension request.
There are many significant financial impacts occurring across the University due to COVID-19. The option to suspend parking contracts will present a challenge to maintaining the current parking rate while also continuing to fund important programs on the Twin Cities campus that are supported by parking revenue. Some of those programs include campus transit and the bike program, and campus infrastructure like streets, sidewalks, and plazas. If you wish to leave your parking contract in place to help the University cover these costs, no action is required. Thank you for considering this option.
If you choose to suspend the contract, your parking credential will remain active, but you will not be charged to park.
Canceling Staff/Faculty Parking Contracts
If you wish to permanently cancel your contract, please complete the Contract Cancellation Form. You will then receive a confirmation email with more details. NOTE: This option does not allow you to automatically restart your contract when on-campus operations resume. Also, the ten-day waiting period to cancel your parking contract is being waived and your contract will be cancelled as of the date the form is submitted online. To CANCEL your parking contract, log in using your internet ID and password. Then, send your hangtag/keycard to PTS at: 300 Transportation & Safety Bldg, 511 Washington Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455. Staff and faculty members who choose to cancel will receive a prorated refund for service not consumed about 4-6 weeks after cancellation. If you need to keep your contract parking, please follow the instructions above on suspending your contract.
While these are extraordinary times, PTS is a self-supported department and is working to ensure the University’s parking facilities are prepared for the resumption of normal operations by continuing to maintain safe, clean, and well-maintained parking and to help reduce the need for future rate increases.
Q: How will I see the refund on my parking contract?
A: Please be aware that parking payroll deductions will continue to be taken out of every paycheck going forward as usual. PTS will issue additional credits as time passes and evaluate the amount of additional credit due next at the end of each month. At this time, the University is evaluating and issuing credits monthly. The original suspension of service credit began on March 18 and continues through a future yet to-be-determined date. Thus, the final full value of service credit is still unknown.
WHAT THIS MEANS: You will still see deductions on EVERY paycheck, but you will see a credit ONCE a month.
NOTE: As of July 1, suspension requests are honored effective starting from the date the request is submitted.
Review the sample paycheck below. Please note, the amounts will vary, dependent on your parking contract location.
Q: What is happening with the waiting list?
A: The waiting list is filled on a case by case basis. Anyone on the waiting list that currently has a contract can use it at any facility. Anyone who is on a waiting list who doesn’t currently have a contract can start a COVID-19 contract.
Q: Do I have to be an essential employee to suspend my contract?
A: No, any University of Minnesota employees can choose to suspend their parking contract regardless of whether they are working onsite, remotely, or both.
Q: I suspended my contract. Can I still use my keycard or hangtag?
A: Yes, you may use your parking contract as you normally do even if you do not pay. This applies to all University of Minnesota employees regardless of whether they are working onsite, remotely, or both. You do not need to notify PTS that you are using your parking.
Q: If I suspend my contract, do I lose my spot on the waiting list?
A: No, your waiting list status will not change if you choose to suspend your parking contract.
Q: If I suspend my contract, do I get my same parking spot back?
A: Yes, if you suspend your contract, you will get the same parking spot back when regular operations resume.
Q: Can I have an extended suspension or suspend during a different time?
A: No, the suspension is a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Once we are in regular operations, you will no longer have the option to suspend a parking contract and will need to follow the regular cancellation process. The suspension is from now until the remote work mandate is lifted. The suspension is not based on when classes return to campus. It is based on when the University faculty and staff no longer are required to work remotely.
Q: Will city bus routes continue to serve campus?
Q: Will University buses continue to run on campus?
A: Campus bus route details are below (specifics are subject to change):
- The Connector and Circulator routes resumed their normal published schedules when classes moved to hybrid mode on Monday September 21.
From Monday, Nov. 30 to Thursday, Dec. 23:121 - Connector runs 5-minute frequency from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and then 15 minute-frequency from 6:30 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.122 - University Avenue Circulator runs 10-minute frequency from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.120 - East Bank Circulator runs 20-minute frequency from 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.123 - 4th Street Circulator runs 15-minute frequency from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.124 - St. Paul Circulator runs 20-minute frequency from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.From Monday, Dec. 28 to Monday, Jan. 18:121 - Connector runs 15-minute frequency from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
122 - Univ. Ave. Circulator runs 15-minute frequency from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.120 - East Bank Circulator runs 20-minute frequency from 6:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.123 & 124 - No Service
- PTS will monitor capacity and timing, and adjust service levels where needed to maintain physical distancing and scheduled service commitments.
- Students may be encouraged to choose different transportation modes for short trips (like walking, biking, scooters).
- Watch https://www.pts.umn.edu/news for more details.
Q: Are riders required to wear masks on the campus buses?
A: Yes. In alignment with the University's announcement, face coverings will be required for all riders unless they are unable to wear it: https://safe-campus.umn.
Q: Will bus drivers kick people off the bus for not wearing a mask?
A: No, campus bus drivers are required to focus their attention on their main duty - safely operating the vehicle. They will not force riders off University transportation. Like with the campus smoking policy, it is up to our community to know the rules and act safely. Community awareness and peer pressure are the tools to enforcement.
Q: I’m concerned about the cleanliness of the campus buses. What are you doing to keep them safe?
A: The safety of our community is our top concern. The company operating University buses has increased health and safety measures with enhanced cleaning and disinfection procedures in place. Additionally, riders will need to wear face coverings, wash or sanitize their hands before boarding and maintain social distance. PTS is also working to implement some changes on the buses - posters informing the mask requirement, stickers on the floor to promote distancing, sleeves on seats to encourage riders to space apart, and and adding barriers to the driver seat area.
Q: Why do you continue to operate campus transit when no one is using it?
A: The University transit system still has riders, and we take our responsibility to help provide transportation options for the University community very seriously. We have essential employees, as well as students and patients, who may rely on campus transit to get to and/or around campus. We have moved to reduced campus transit service.
Q: Is Paratransit service operating?
A: As of July 6, Paratransit service is operating. All time slots are now 30 minutes to accommodate additional cleaning of the van. Drivers will be wearing PPE (masks, faceshields, gloves) and there will be a new partition between the driver and passenger. Hand sanitizer will be available in the vans. In alignment with the University's recent announcement, face coverings will be required for all riders unless they are unable to wear it: https://safe-campus.umn.
Another alternative is to check on availability of Metro Transit’s Metro Mobility. Please note that you will need to register to use this service. Consider using University transit (all buses are wheelchair lift equipped) if possible or a TNC service like Lyft or Uber. If possible, for current parking contract holders, we will try to make special, temporary parking accommodations. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: I will not be on campus. Can I cancel my Metropass?
A: Email email@example.com to request a cancellation with your name and employee ID number. You may receive a prorated refund for service not consumed about 4-6 weeks after cancellation. Note: you can repurchase your Metropass at anytime.
Q: I will not be on campus. Can I get a refund on my U-Pass?
A: Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a cancellation with your name and student ID number. Our staff will contact you for follow-up.
Q: My department rents vehicles from Fleet Services. Will that be available?
A: Fleet is renting vehicles for approved essential travel. Rentals must be requested 24 hours in advance through our rental system. No walk-in requests will be fulfilled.
Q: I need to cancel a Fleet rental reservation. Will I be penalized?
A: No penalty/cancellation fees will be assessed to any customer who is cancelling future reservations due to COVID-19.
Q: I’m concerned about the cleanliness of rented University vehicles. What are you doing about my concerns?
A: Every rental vehicle has always been cleaned in between rental reservations. Our Fleet staff has added enhanced cleaning and disinfection of returned rental vehicles to further minimize risks to our customers.
Q: My drivers license is expiring. What do I need to do?
A: You can find good information on common drivers license questions at the Department of Vehicle Services.
PTS Announces New Parking Equipment To Be Installed Across Twin Cities Campus
University of Minnesota Parking & Transportation Services (PTS) announces the installation of enhanced parking equipment across the Twin Cities campus in the next 18 months. The Board of Regents approved the purchase on Friday February 14, 2020.
PTS is responsible for the administration, operation, management and maintenance of nine parking garages, eight parking ramps and 115 surface lots that provide over 20,000 parking spaces to approximately 5.4 million cars each year.
The University has 35 parking facilities that currently have gated access. The current equipment has been in place since 1994 and is in need of replacement.
Through a competitive Request for Proposal process, HUB Parking Technology USA, Inc. was awarded the project, which is expected to cost approximately $9.5 million.
“The new equipment allows for a better customer experience for University visitors and improved technology advancements, like an opt-in license plate recognition system for our contract parkers,” said Ross Allanson, PTS director. “We also hope to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through a faster entry and exit of vehicles using our new systems.”
PTS is a self-supporting department, using parking revenue to cover expenses, and each year examines its parking rates as part of developing a responsible and fair budget. PTS will use fund balance reserves for the one-time cost of system implementation and future parking revenue for on-going yearly recurring costs.
PTS in the News!
An Appreciation of the U of M Transitway
Rape reported in 19th Avenue parking garage
A sexual assault involving rape occurred around 8:20 p.m. on March 6 inside the 19th Avenue Parking Ramp on the University of Minnesota’s West Bank Campus, according to a campus-wide safety alert sent out Saturday morning. READ MORE
Editorial: The University of Minnesota needs to reduce the price of student parking
MN Daily / February 26, 2020
Seventy-eight percent of undergraduate students at the University of Minnesota live off-campus, according to U.S. News & World Report. READ MORE
Scooters prompt old concerns, new conversations about accessibility
MN Daily / February 16, 2020
Within the first years of electric scooter rentals being introduced to Minneapolis streets, concerns have been raised in the city and on the University of Minnesota campus about accessibility for people with disabilities. READ MORE
Alternative transportation at UMN: "One small step in the right direction"
MN Daily / January 28, 2020
Every morning for the past 25 years, Steve Sanders has left his house at 6:50 a.m. to bike to work. READ MORE
Nice Ride considers retiring dockless bikes, adding e-bikes
MN Daily / October 6, 2019
After debuting just over a year ago, Nice Ride’s dockless blue bikes could be phased out. READ MORE
Park-like Shriners campus attracted University of Minnesota
Finance&Commerce / September 16, 2019
With its walking trails and serene setting along the Mississippi River, the Shriners Healthcare for Children location in Minneapolis seems in one sense to be a world away from the bustling University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus. READ MORE
Park Board temporarily changes course on tailgating at East River Flats
MN Daily / September 15, 2019
Amid pushback from fans, a decision to limit parking and tailgating at East River Flats on Gophers football game days was temporarily reversed last month. READ MORE
Impact of Arterial Bus Rapid Transit on Traffic and Users
Crossroads News Blog / September 11, 2019
Video and statistical analyses showed that arterial bus rapid transit (ABRT) along Snelling Avenue in Minneapolis-St. Paul had no significant impact on traffic volume and wait times at intersections. READ MORE
Varsity Bike and Transit to end its 25-year-ride in Dinkytown
MN Daily / September 1, 2019
With the closing of Varsity Bike and Transit in Dinkytown, Steve Panizza’s lunch breaks will never be the same. READ MORE
Gopher football fans convince Minneapolis Park board to reverse tailgating, parking ban
Bring Me The News / August 28, 2019
It only took a matter of hours for enough boisterous Gopher football fans to convince the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) to overturn an unpopular decision. READ MORE
U of M unveils on-campus motorized scooter policy
Fox9 / August 8, 2019
The University of Minnesota announced a motorized foot scooter policy Thursday to help corral and regulate the fleet on its campus. READ MORE
Blank: The University of Minnesota is effectively a food desert
MN Daily / June 18, 2019
When we think of food deserts, we typically think of low-income neighborhoods left behind by the modern economy, not college campuses stacked with a mecca of ethnic eateries and upscale dining venues. READ MORE
University adds solar panel sites around campus
MN Daily / April 29, 2019
A newly constructed structure topped with solar panels that towers over the Mondale Hall parking lot is part of the University of Minnesota’s efforts to increase renewable energy production on campus. READ MORE
10th Avenue Bridge repairs expected to start in the fall
MN Daily / April 29. 2019
The city of Minneapolis has finalized plans for repairs to the 10th Avenue Bridge, with construction expected to begin this fall. READ MORE
Knoll Area to get major infrastructure upgrade
MN Daily / April 29, 2019
The oldest spot on the University of Minnesota campus is about to receive major improvements. READ MORE
The U’s attendance problems aren’t going to be solved by booze and better pricing
MinnPost / April 26, 2019
University of Minnesota athletic director Mark Coyle is in a tough spot. His young, energetic football coach hasn’t generated the buzz and ticket sales he expected. READ MORE
The Minnesota Gophers cut ticket prices... while shooting themselves in the foot
City Pages / April 24, 2019
Over the past three years, the University of Minnesota football team has tied for the nation's biggest drop in attendance among major conference schools. READ MORE
Man dies after being run over by Green Line train in Stadium Village
MN Daily / April 20, 2019
A man died after falling from the Stadium Village light rail station as a train departed early Saturday morning, according to Metro Transit. READ MORE
Scooters to return to Minneapolis, UMN campus
MN Daily / April 15, 2019
Electric scooters will likely soon return to Minneapolis following recent approval of a second pilot program with a focus on accessibility. READ MORE
Nice Ride Minnesota Returns Next Week with Expanded Bikeshare Offerings—but only in Minneapolis
TCB Mag / April 03, 2019
If sunshine, birds chirping and snow-free streets weren’t enough to show spring has arrived, here’s another sign: Nice Ride Minnesota bikes are returning to the streets of Minneapolis on April 15. READ MORE
St. Paul left without bicycle sharing after Lime, Nice Ride pull their bike fleets
Pioneer Press / April 2, 2019
As the 2019 cycling season begins, St. Paul is without a bike sharing service. READ MORE
Students push for better campus bus system
MN Daily / March 31, 2019
Despite the end of a harsh winter, which saw many overcrowded University of Minnesota buses and increased delays, students continue to voice their concerns about campus buses and push for change. READ MORE
Less than half of eligible students use government food assistance, report finds
MN Daily / March 7, 2019
A federal study published in January showed that fewer than half of college students eligible for government food assistance benefits actually use them. READ MORE