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: PTS is working remotely as much as possible. Emailing firstname.lastname@example.org is the best way to reach us with questions and concerns. Starting the week of June 29, PTS customer service desk will be open for in-person visits again Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. (desk closed 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 except Lot 108. Lot 108 is closed to public parking - use Lot 101.
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: I need temporary parking due to the COVID-19 situation. What are my options?
A: There are a couple of options for you.
22 uses to be used between now and Sept 30. Available at East River Road Garage, Oak Street Ramp or 4th Street Ramp.
- Fill out an Appointment Form for PTS Customer Service Visits to set up a contract.
These special COVID-19 contracts are temporary and will expire when the university resumes normal operations.
24/7 access to Gold Lot, East River Road Garage, Oak Street Ramp, Washington Avenue Ramp, or Gortner Avenue Ramp.
- PTS has made the decision to not charge for these contracts during the remote work order.
- To start a special COVID-19 contract, email the following information to email@example.com:
- Full Name
- UMN empl ID #
- Home mailing address
- Home phone number
- Students only: start/end requested for contract
Park in daily rate lots for $5:
Review locations here.
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.
All contract parking suspension requests made after Tuesday, June 30 will be eligible for credits effective as of July 1.
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.
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 have been designated and informed that you are a University of Minnesota essential employee who needs to come to campus, you may also choose to suspend your parking contract. 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 into the cancellation request form 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.
Student Parking Contracts
- As approved by the Board of Regents on April 3, the Comprehensive Student Fee Refund Plan provides students who have a spring semester parking contract with 100% of their parking fee credited from March 16 to the end of their semester contract.
- Students who need a parking contract for summer 2020 must complete this Summer 2020 Student Parking Contract form. Space will be sold on a first response basis.
- If a student needs a COVID-19 contract, e-mail the following information to firstname.lastname@example.org:
- Full Name
- UMN empl ID #
- Home mailing address
- Home phone number
- Start/end requested for 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: all contract parking suspension requests made after Tuesday, June 30 will be eligible for credits effective as of July 1.
Review the sample paycheck below. Please note, the amounts will vary, dependent on your parking contract location.
Q: Is there an option to suspend a parking contract through the summer for 9-month employees?
A: While we are in Extended Reduced Operations, the waiting list will not be filled until campus returns to normal operations, due to reduced staffing requirements. PTS will only fulfill new contracts that are in response to the situation, which are called COVID-19 contracts, offered to essential personnel. 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?
A: Metro Transit is operating the buses and light rail. Visit Metro Transit’s webpage for updates on service. Metro Transit has announced that it will reduce service on March 25. Learn more here: https://www.metrotransit.org/reduced-service-march-25.
Q: Will University buses continue to run on campus?
A: University buses will run on a reduced schedule. Watch https://www.pts.umn.edu/news for more details.
- Campus Connector will operate on weekdays from 7:00 am - 9:30 pm. To view a map of the current Campus Connector, use the GopherTrip app on your mobile device or visit: http://umn.rider.
peaktransit.com/and select the bus route labelled 121 Campus Connector COVID19.
- St. Paul Circulator will operate on weekdays from 7:00 am - 6:00 pm. To view a map of the St. Paul Circulator, use the GopherTrip app on your mobile device or visit: http://umn.rider.
peaktransit.com/and select the bus route labelled 124 St. Paul Circulator.
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.c
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 again. 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 email@example.com.
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 that runs the University buses has increased health and safety measures beyond their usual activities. Enhanced cleaning and disinfection procedures are in place now.
Q: I will not be on campus. Can I cancel my Metropass?
A: Email firstname.lastname@example.org 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: As of June 26, PTS is no longer refunding spring semester U-Passes. The spring semester pass is no longer active and service associated with this pass ended on May 13.
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.