There are many options for parking on and around the UW Tacoma campus:
Street parking: managed by the City of Tacoma and includes both free options and paid hourly options. Street parking can be purchased using the Flowbird app.
Campus hourly parking lots: Hourly parking is available in TPS, Tioga, Cragle, and Pinkerton North lots. Whitney lot allows hourly parking after 3:30 pm. There is limited daytime hourly parking in the Court 17 parking garage (requires Husky Card for access), but all stalls are available for hourly parking after 3:30 pm. Campus hourly parking is paid using the PayByPhone app.
Campus parking permits: Quarterly parking permits are available for specific on and off-campus parking lots. Permits go on sale 1 week before the quarter starts and often sell out quickly. Evening permits and half-week permits (either M/W/F or T/Th/F) typically do not sell as fast.
UW Tacoma is an urban campus located in the heart of downtown Tacoma. Because of our location, there is a high demand for parking and there are few opportunities for free parking.
Most street parking around campus is metered with a maximum time limit of 90 minutes. Those areas not metered generally have 90-minute maximum parking restrictions. The City of Tacoma heavily enforces these restrictions and any citations will need to be addressed directly with the city.
The Cragle and Pinkerton North lots are free on Sundays and holidays.
Court 17 Parking Garage is now a secure garage and is only available for UW Tacoma students and employees with active Husky ID Cards. All other hourly parking lots on campus are available for public use.
WHICH PARKING LOTS OFFER HOURLY PARKING?
Click on the lot name for more information on each location. Please note that while Court 17 garage does allow hourly parking in the evenings, it is a secure garage and is not publicly accessible.
I JUST BOUGHT A QUARTERLY PARKING PERMIT, BUT THE QUARTER HAS ALREADY STARTED. WHERE DO I PICK IT UP?
Parking permits purchased via the online purchasing tool for community partnered lots will be mailed to the shipping address provided within 5 business days.
We are unable to offer a pick-up option at this time. Please print your receipt of purchase and place it on your dashboard, clearly visible from outside the vehicle, if your permit has not arrived by the start of the quarter. This will act as a temporary permit until yours arrives.
On-campus lots use license plate recognition and do not require a physical pass.
I HAVE A PERMIT FOR A UW TACOMA LOT. WHAT TIMES OF DAY CAN I USE IT?
ARE THE ON-CAMPUS PARKING LOTS FREE IN THE EVENING?
No. Users must pay using PayByPhone or have a valid permit linked to their license plate. City of Tacoma street parking is free after 8:00 pm.
I BOUGHT A PARKING PERMIT, BUT TODAY THE LOT WAS FULL. WHAT DO I DO?
That happens occasionally during periods of peak demand such as the beginning of the academic quarter (especially in autumn) and around lunch time. Demand generally decreases after the first two weeks of the quarter. If you are arriving on campus during times of peak demand, you may want to arrive early to allow extra time to find parking, or if the lot is full, park your car in an area with free street parking (such as on Market or Fawcett) temporarily, and move your car into the permit lot once spots open up (just remember to abide by the free-parking time limits!).
ARE THERE OTHER LOTS I CAN USE?
· The Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center offers half- and full-day parking for $5.00 (0-4 hours) and $10.00 (4 or more hours).
Metered on-street parking around campus costs $1.50 per hour. The minimum purchase is $0.50.
FOR HOW LONG CAN I PARK ON THE STREET?
Time limits for on-street parking around campus range from 90 minutes to 3 hours.
CAN I JUST PARK MY CAR AND THEN “FEED THE METER” EVERY TWO HOURS?
No. The two-hour time limit is strictly enforced by the City of Tacoma. Vehicles parked for more than two hours in the same space are subject to ticketing.
CAN I JUST MOVE MY CAR EVERY THREE HOURS?
That depends. Moving your vehicle between different spots on the same block to avoid time restrictions may be considered “chain parking” (see below) and is subject to a $50 fine under City of Tacoma municipal code.
If you move your car more than a block away, you should be good to go.
WHAT IS CHAIN PARKING?
Chain parking is illegal and carries a $50 fine (see Tacoma Municipal Code 11.05.190). Chain parking is defined as moving a car from a metered and/or time-limited parking spot to another spot on the same block face to avoid getting a ticket.
HOW CAN I APPEAL A TICKET, SEND COMMENTS OR MAKE A COMPLAINT ABOUT THE METERED PARKING PROGRAM?
All metered street parking is enforced and controlled by the City of Tacoma. Please contact the City of Tacoma directly to comment on the parking program.
If you have specific questions about parking on or around the UW Tacoma campus, please contact Transportation Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 253-692-5926.
WHAT EXACTLY ARE THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS I'M ACCEPTING?
The document with the exact terms and conditions can be found below.
Please note that all appeals must be completed using the online parking portal, with no exceptions. Calling, emailing or walking into the Transportation Services office to make an appeal will not be accepted.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON'T RESPOND IN TIME?
Parking citations that have not been paid or appealed within 20 calendar days will be assessed a $10 late payment fee and an official late payment notice will be issued. You may also lose the right to file an appeal.
In addition, your vehicle is subject to impoundment, immobilization or towing at the registered owner’s expense, if found on campus property and the registered owner becomes subject to action by a collection agency (additional fees will apply).
Parking citations can be appealed by completing the appeal form on our online parking portal. Completed appeals must be received online within the 20-day response period to be reviewed.
Tips on appealing a parking citation:
· Explain your basis for appeal with as much detail as possible.
· Include any originals of documents or evidence such as parking permits, payment receipts, photographs, maps, letters or drawings.
· Keep a copy of the entire petition and any evidence for your records.
HOW DO I FIND OUT THE STATUS OF MY APPEAL?
All appeal responses will be sent via email to your UW Email when an appeal is resolved in the parking portal. Once you have submitted your appeal, no further action is required on your behalf and your citation timeline is paused. In other words, you cannot accrue late fees while your citation is in petition status. Please note that appeals must be received within 20 calendar days of the citation’s issuance. If more than three weeks have passed without correspondence, you can email email@example.com to request a status update.
CAN THE UNIVERSITY IMMOBILIZE, IMPOUND OR TOW MY VEHICLE AND IF SO, ON WHAT GROUNDS?
A vehicle found on UW Tacoma property can be impounded, immobilized or towed in cases of:
MY VEHICLE HAS BEEN IMMOBILIZED, IMPOUNDED OR TOWED WHILE PARKED ON CAMPUS WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Please contact the Campus Safety office at 253-692-4416 for instructions.
IF MY VEHICLE IS IMMOBILIZED, IMPOUNDED OR TOWED CAN I PROMISE TO PAY MY PARKING CITATION AND RELATED FEES LATER?
No. The extension of credit through the option of payment agreements or promissory notes for outstanding parking citations and related fees is not possible. All applicable charges must be paid in full to the Cashier’s Office by cash, money order, in the parking portal, or cashier’s check prior to receipt of your vehicle. We cannot accept personal checks.
I THINK THAT THE PAYBYPHONE APP IN THE TIOGA PARKING LOT DOUBLE-CHARGED MY ACCOUNT. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
If you believe that there is a true discrepancy, you should promptly notify your financial institution. The university does not have access to customer account information and cannot process refunds.
Note for summer quarter: you must be enrolled for summer quarter in order to be eligible for the student U-PASS. Employee U-PASS is for permanent employees only. Contact your local transit agency in order to purchase a transit pass directly through them for the summer quarter, if those situations do not apply to you.
WILL MY U-PASS BE DEACTIVATED IF I WITHDRAW FROM THE UW?
If you withdraw from all classes at the UW, your U-PASS will be deactivated and you may be eligible for a U-PASS fee credit on your student account based on when you withdrew.
IS A UW TACOMA U-PASS THE SAME AS A UW SEATTLE U-PASS?
No. All three UW campuses offer the U-PASS program and while they share similar characteristics — such as full bus fare for participants on six regional transit agencies, Sounder commuter rail and Link Light Rail — they are not identical. Each campus has different ways to fund their U-PASS program. Since each campus has unique needs and resources, the programming and price of the U-PASS varies. This is why you may see different U-PASS prices and benefits at each campus.
CAN I LEND MY U-PASS TO OTHERS?
No. Your U-PASS is for your personal transportation only. It is non-transferable, meaning you may not give or sell your Husky Card or your U-PASS to any other person. Bus drivers and train fare inspectors can confiscate any Husky Card that does not belong to you.
Powered by ORCA
IS THE U-PASS PART OF ORCA?
Yes. One Regional Card for All (ORCA) is a collaborative regional fare system involving seven Western Washington public transportation agencies – Community Transit, Everett Transit, King County Metro Transit, Kitsap Transit, Pierce Transit, Sound Transit and Washington State Ferries. ORCA cards utilize smart card technology and serve as a single payment mechanism for participating agencies.
Your Husky Card card uses the same no-contact technology, so if you have an active U-PASS you only need to bring your card within a few inches of a reader for it to work.
WHEN DID THE U-PASS TRANSITION TO ORCA?
UW moved to the ORCA pass at the start of autumn quarter 2011.
WHY DID THE U-PASS PROGRAM TRANSITION TO ORCA?
All transit pass programs in King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties, including U-PASS, were required to transition to using the ORCA system for fare payment.
IS THE HUSKY CARD DIFFERENT FROM THE STANDARD ORCA CARD?
Yes. The Husky Card is not a standard ORCA card. In order to provide the convenience of a single card to all campus services, UW decided to include the smart chip inside your Husky ID Card instead of issuing standard ORCA cards. The transit portion of your U-PASS uses the ORCA system to process payment for transit, but does not provide access to the full range of ORCA program features.
To purchase a standard ORCA Card and take advantage of the E-purse, card registration, auto-load or other ORCA program features, please go to http://www.orcacard.com.
Using Your Husky Card and U-PASS
WHY WAS A SMART CHIP ADDED TO MY HUSKY CARD?
The smart chip is necessary for transitioning to the U-PASS powered by ORCA. All transit pass programs in the region, including the U-PASS program, are required to transition to utilizing the ORCA system for fare payment.
WHAT IS THE SMART CHIP?
The smart chip is a short-range radio frequency identification (RFID) chip within the Husky Card that stores the U-PASS transit benefit and interacts with the ORCA system. The smart chip is programmed to only work with the ORCA system.
HOW DO I GET A HUSKY CARD?
All current students, faculty and staff can get their Husky Card from the Office of the Registrar in Mattress Factory 253. Husky Cards must be picked up in person; they cannot be mailed. For more information, contact your academic advisor or supervisor.
CAN I GET A HUSKY CARD WITHOUT MY PICTURE ON IT?
No. Photos are required for all Husky Cards. Your picture helps protect your card from improper use if it is lost or stolen.
CAN I PUT A HOLE IN MY CARD SO I CAN ATTACH IT TO A LANYARD?
No. Punching a hole in the card may damage the smart chip or antenna.
HOW CAN I PROTECT THE SMART CHIP IN MY CARD?
The smart chip is like a small computer embedded inside your card. Do not bend, cut, wash or otherwise damage your card.
WILL A MAGNET ERASE THE U-PASS AND OTHER DATA ON MY SMART CHIP?
No. Smart chips are not magnetically encoded. Running a magnet over the chip or using a tap eraser will not affect the smart chip. However, a magnet will likely deactivate the magstripe used for campus services, so keep all magnets away from your Husky Card.
WILL HAVING MY HUSKY CARD CLOSE TO OTHER CARDS WITH SMART CHIP TECHNOLOGY AFFECT MY U-PASS?
If you try to use your U-PASS on transit while your Husky Card is adjacent to a standard ORCA card or another card with smart chip technology, your U-PASS may not work properly. If this happens, hold your Husky Card separate from all other cards with smart chips when tapping it on the ORCA card reader.
HOW DO I ACTIVATE MY U-PASS?
If you were automatically enrolled in a UPASS, your card is already active! Just tap it on any ORCA card reader and you will hear a loud beep of confirmation.
CAN I USE MY U-PASS FOR WASHINGTON STATE FERRIES SERVICES?
No. The U-PASS in only valid for services provided by King County Metro, Sound Transit, Community Transit, Pierce Transit, Kitsap Transit and Everett Transit.
CAN I LOAD A WASHINGTON STATE FERRIES PASS OR PUGETPASS ONTO MY HUSKY CARD?
Yes. Washington State Ferries passes and PugetPasses can be loaded onto the Husky Card. Visit www.orcacard.com to learn more about loading a ferry pass onto your card.
If you choose to add a pass onto your Husky Card and your card is lost, stolen or damaged, neither the UW nor the ORCA agencies will replace those products. If you want to receive the benefits associated with ORCA card registration and/or the ability to replace ORCA products you’ve added if your card is lost, stolen, defective or damaged, please contact ORCA to purchase a standard ORCA Card: http://www.orcacard.com.
CAN I LOAD MONEY INTO MY HUSKY CARD ACCOUNT AND USE IT FOR TRANSIT FARE?
No. The Husky Card Debit Account cannot be used for transit services.
CAN I LOAD FUNDS ONTO MY ORCA E-PURSE TO USE ON THE BUS, TRAIN OR FERRY?
No. The E-Purse is not available on Husky Cards. To purchase a standard ORCA Card for E-purse usage, please go to http://www.orcacard.com.
CAN I REGISTER MY HUSKY CARD WITH THE ORCA SYSTEM?
No. For security purposes and confidentiality of travel data, Husky Cards cannot be registered within the ORCA system. The University of Washington made the decision to block card registration to protect your data.
CAN I LOAD A PUGETPASS OR WASHINGTON STATE FERRIES PASS ONTO MY CARD AFTER I GRADUATE OR LEAVE UW?
The smart chip with your Husky Card may be permanently deactivated after you leave the UW. Any pass on the card will be lost when the chip is deactivated and will not be replaced by UW or the ORCA agencies. You can load passes onto your Husky Card at your own risk, but it is not recommended. To purchase a standard ORCA Card, please go to http://www.orcacard.com.
HOW DO I SIGN UP FOR U-PASS VANPOOL CREDIT?
You will need to register as a vanpooler in order to receive the U-PASS vanpool credit. You can visit the Vanpool Registration Site and register your information as directed.
DO I NEED TO RENEW MY VANPOOL REGISTRATION EACH YEAR?
Yes. You will need to renew your Vanpool registration annually. Vanpool registrations expire at the end of June each year.
THE ORCA CARD READER SHOWS A VALUE OF 0.00 WHEN I TAP MY U-PASS. IS THIS AN ERROR?
If the ORCA reader shows a green light, beeps and displays the word “PASS,” your U-PASS is functioning properly. The cash value shown on the reader is for other ORCA products not related to the U-PASS program.
WHO DO I CONTACT IF MY NEW HUSKY CARD DOESN’T WORK FOR CAMPUS SERVICES?
Call or visit the Office of the Registrar located in MAT 253, phone number 253-692-4913.
MY HUSKY CARD HAS BEEN LOST, STOLEN OR DAMAGED. HOW DO I GET A NEW ONE?
Please inform the Office of the Registrar immediately if you believe your Husky Card has been lost or stolen. They will be able to suspend activity on your Husky Card account until the Husky Card is found or replaced. Visit the Office of the Registrar (MAT 253) in order to obtain a new card.
Your U-PASS will be transferred electronically when your new Husky Card is printed and will be available for use 48 hours after card replacement.
WHO DO I CONTACT IF MY U-PASS DOES NOT WORK ON THE BUS OR TRAIN?
Transportation Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or 253-692-5926. Please provide the following information:
Your name and UW ID#
Name of the transit agency you were taking
The route number
The time you boarded the bus or train
Bus vehicle number (This is found inside the bus above the bus windshield, as well as on the sides, front and rear of the bus. See pictures below.)
CAN I RECEIVE A HUSKY CARD WITHOUT A SMART CHIP OR CAN MY SMART CHIP BE DISABLED IF I AM NOT A U-PASS PARTICIPANT?
No. The university is unable to disable the smart chip or issue Husky Cards without the smart chip.
WHAT PERSONAL INFORMATION IS STORED ON THE SMART CHIP?
No personal information or UW data is stored on the smart chip. Data on the smart chip indicates if you have an active U-PASS powered by ORCA or not, and processes transit transactions.
DOES THE ORCA SYSTEM STORE MY PERSONAL INFORMATION?
No. Personally identifiable information such as your name or UW ID number are NOT stored on the smart chip or within the ORCA system. The University does not send names, UW ID numbers or other personally-identifiable information to ORCA. No personally-identifiable information is collected by the ORCA system when you use your U-PASS.
CAN SOMEONE ELSE EASILY READ THE DATA ON THE SMART CHIP IN MY CARD?
The smart chip is a passive, short-range RFID chip that can only be read at short distances. For more information about what can be read from the chip, view the ORCA Privacy Statement.
WHERE IS MY TRAVEL DATA STORED?
Travel data is stored in the ORCA databases controlled by the transit agencies. This data is used for billing purposes and does not include personally-identifiable information.
Information about your most recent transit trips is also included on the smart chip in order to support transfer functions and fare apportionment amongst participating transit agencies. For more information, view the ORCA Privacy Statement.
Data on the last ten trips are stored on an ORCA card and can be viewed using this app. Regular ORCA card users can obtain a printout of this same data at ORCA card retailers or they can register their cards in the ORCA system to view their complete trip making history. UW Husky ID Cards cannot be registered in the ORCA system. Prior to the availability of this app, U-PASS members who were interested in viewing their trip history had no access to their own data.
The RFID chip in the Husky Card is a short-range chip and a phone must be less than four inches away from the card to read it. The card must stay within this range for a couple seconds to read the data (similar to the pause that is needed when tapping an ORCA reader).
U-PASS members who are concerned about someone using this app to download data on their last ten trips are encouraged to purchase an RFID protective sleeve. The sleeve protects the card from minor scratches while shielding it from RFID readers. These sleeves are available for purchase from the Husky Card Account and ID center at UW Seattle.
CAN THE SMART CHIP WITHIN MY HUSKY CARD BE USED TO TRACK ME?
The smart chip is a passive, short-range RFID chip. It can only be read within a few inches of a reader and the chip stores no personally-identifiable information. You can use an RFID protective sleeve to prevent your card from being read. RFID protective sleeves are available for purchase at the Husky Card Account and ID Office in Seattle. Please note, the RFID protective sleeve must be removed when you use your U-PASS for transit.
There are several factors that will help guide your decision in how to get to UW Tacoma. The time of day that you need to be here, where you live, cost, etc., all play an important role in your decision. Our advice would be to try out different options (bus, train, drive & park, etc.) several weeks in advance from when you need to be here, if possible. Check out the Trip Planner to see if there are any bus routes located near your home. Talk with fellow students, staff and or faculty to find out how they get here and how they make it work for them. One crucial piece of advice is to give yourself plenty of time when getting here for the first time; don’t wait until your first day to figure it out, as you’ll already be stressed about classes, work, etc. Take a trial run on a slower day, such as during the weekend. If you still need help figuring out your commute options, employees can contact James Sinding at email@example.com, and students can contact the Student Transportation Senator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOW CAN I FIND OUT WHAT BUS TO TAKE TO GET TO UW TACOMA?
Take advantage of Pierce Transit’s Trip Planner, which gives you detailed bus route information to/from UW Tacoma. Be sure to enter your destination as UW Tacoma. We also recommend doing a trial run prior to your first time taking the bus to UW Tacoma (and ideally before your classes start). That way you can work out the kinks and figure out how it works for you before your first day.
DOES UW TACOMA OFFER DESIGNATED CARPOOL OR VANPOOL PARKING?
At this time, we do not offer designated parking for carpoolers or vanpoolers. We hope to be able to offer this in the future. One idea to keep carpooling, while also enjoying economical and environmental benefits, is to carpool with a fellow student or employee and just one of you purchases a parking permit. Split the cost internally between the two of you, and whoever drives that day can place the permit on their car’s dashboard. Be sure that you are using a current parking permit and park in the designated area for that permit.