News & Alerts

News & Alerts

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Transportation Headlines

New Radius Apartments Stop Added To University Ave Circulator’s Weeknight/Weekend Service

Posted: 02/18/21

Starting on Friday, February 19 at 5:30 p.m., the University Avenue Circulator will include a stop at the Radius Apartments on 15th Avenue SE.  This stop will be part of the extended route for weeknight and weekend service.

The new stop will be after the University Avenue at 15th Avenue stop and before the University Avenue at Rec Center stop.

The frequency of the University Avenue Circulator will change from every 15 minutes to every 20 minutes.

This change was initiated by the Minnesota Student Association.

U of M Twin Cities Campus Renewed as Bicycle Friendly University

Posted: 02/18/21

One of eight higher education institutions recognized as most bicycle-friendly schools across nation

The University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus was recently named as a platinum-level Bicycle Friendly University award in recognition of the institution’s achievements in promoting and enabling safe, accessible bicycling on campus. This recognition comes from the League of American Bicyclists, a grassroots advocacy organization encouraging better bicycling and protecting the rights of people who bike.

“It is so energizing to have the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus among our cohort of 212 Bicycle Friendly Universities across the country,” said Bill Nesper, executive director of the League of American Bicyclists. “The 2020 class of 38 Bicycle Friendly Universities, which includes the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus, has had to address a crisis unlike any we’ve seen in our lifetimes. Amidst the pandemic, we are grateful each of these institutions has acknowledged the benefits to the well-being and health of its students, staff, and faculty in being a Bicycle Friendly University. These colleges and universities are leading by building healthy environments where people can safely get around while improving the well-being of their community by enabling access to sustainable transportation options.”

“The applications from colleges and universities in 2020 demonstrate the myriad challenges educational institutions have and are overcoming in order to serve the needs of their students and employees,” said the League’s Bicycle Friendly America Director, Amelia Neptune. “What’s clear is that bicycling is part of the solution many colleges and universities are using to better the campus life of their communities. The League is so proud of institutions like the University of Minnesota Twin Cities for continuing this important work of building a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone at such a critical time for the health of our population and our planet.”

“We are so pleased to be recognized as we continue to give our bicycle programs a key focus and resources in helping us to achieve our department’s mission of ‘facilitating safe and effective integrated transportation systems providing for pedestrians, bicycles, transit and vehicles,” said Parking and Transportation Services Director, Ross Allanson.

The University Bike Center is one example of how being a bike friendly campus benefits the U of M Twin Cities community. As a public/private partnership, the bike center advances bicycling and has become a one-stop shop for a variety of cycling needs with classes, retail, repair services, secure parking and shower facilities.

“We encourage bicycling as a viable option for transportation and provide amenities such as plentiful bike parking, secure bike parking, thoughtful prioritized bike lanes on campus connecting to regional bike facilities, and incentives such as gift card distribution for students, healthcare premium rebates for staff/faculty, and quarterly team competitions,” said Allanson.

To learn more about the free BFU program, visit the League online at

For 141 years, the League of American Bicyclists has been leading the movement to create a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone. Its commitment is to listen and learn, define standards and share best practices to engage diverse communities and build a powerful, unified voice for change. Learn more at

About U of M Parking and Transportation Services:

The University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus is the third largest traffic generator in Minnesota. University of Minnesota Parking & Transportation Services is committed to establishing, maintaining and improving a comprehensive transportation system that reduces congestion, eases accessibility and enhances a friendly university community.  For more information, visit us online at, e-mail or call 612-626-PARK.

Give Your Input on Route 3

Posted: 02/11/21

Metro Transit is seeking feedback in an online survey about proposed improvements to Route 3 as part of the Better Bus Route program.  The survey ends on March 12.

Improvements could involve consolidating bus stops or moving select stops past signalized intersections, replacing service along the Elm/Kasota branch, shifting the route downtown Minneapolis to Washington Ave and extending the route to serve the North Loop. 

More information is online at

Full Third Avenue Bridge Closure Begins Jan. 4

Posted: 12/21/20

The Third Ave. Bridge will fully close to traffic starting Mon, Jan. 4, 2021, through November 2022. Motorists, transit riders, and people walking and bicycling will need to use alternate routes across the river during this time.

Visit the project website to learn more about the schedule, impacts to your commute, rehabilitation and preservation efforts, and what the bridge will look like when the work is done.

If you have questions, call the hotline at (612) 547-7968 or email at

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:

General Questions  |  Parking Questions  |  Transit Questions  |  Fleet Services Questions

General Questions

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.

Parking Questions

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

  • 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, 19th Avenue Ramp, 21st 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

  • 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 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. 

Please find updates and changes with the PTS News/Alerts page and the Safe Campus website.

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 usualPTS 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.

sample of what a paycheck looks like

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.

Transit Questions

Q:  Will city bus routes continue to serve campus?

A: Metro Transit is operating the buses and light rail.  Visit Metro Transit’s webpage for service information. Learn more about their COVID response.

Q: Will University buses continue to run on campus?

A: Campus bus route details are below (specifics are subject to change):

    • Weekdays from Tuesday, Jan. 19 to Thursday, May 5:
      121 - Connector runs 10-minute frequency from 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 a.m., 5-minute frequency from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 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 5:30 p.m. and 20-minute frequency from 5:30 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.  
      120 - East Bank Circulator runs 20-minute frequency from 6:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 
      123 - 4th Street Circulator runs 10-minute frequency from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
      124 - St. Paul Circulator runs 15-minute frequency from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
      121 - Connector runs 20-minute frequency from 9:30 a.m. until 12:00 a.m.
      122 - University Avenue Circulator runs 20-minute frequency from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.
      Note: spring break service (April 5-9) will change and be posted at a later date.
    • 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 for more details.
View a map on our GopherTrip app on your mobile device or click this link to a web-based desktop view: (note: you will need to select the bus route labelled 121 Campus Connector COVID19 to see the route currently in service).

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:

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:

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

Q: I will not be on campus.  Can I cancel my Metropass?

A:  Email to request a cancellation with your name and employee ID number.  Note: you can repurchase your Metropass at anytime. 

UPDATE! Metro Transit has a no-refund policy on all fare products and program purchases.  However, because of Covid-19, Metro Transit relaxed the policy based on challenges Covid-19 has presented to customers. Metro Transit will re-instate its no-refund policy starting February 1, 2021.  Customers who have been paying for a Metropass but have not used transit should request a refund no later than January 31, 2021.  No refunds will be approved after that date.  Please contact Lisa Anderson, Metro Transit Revenue Operations Supervisor, 612-349-7626;, if you have any questions.

Q: I will not be on campus.  Can I get a refund on my U-Pass?

A: Email to request a cancellation with your name and student ID number.  Our staff will contact you for follow-up.

Fleet Services Questions

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.   

Media Contact:

Jacqueline Bass

Interested in campus area traffic impacts?

Visit PTS's U of M Area Construction Map.

Interested in Campus Crime Alerts?

Check out the U of M Police Department's Alerts page.


PTS in the News!

An Appreciation of the U of M Transitway

Living in the Midway, I consider the U of M Transitway to be the best bike route in the Twin Cities–even better than the Midtown Greenway. READ MORE

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