Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have questions about transportation and parking at Princeton? We’ve got answers. If you do not find the information you need on our website, please contact us at 609-258-3157 or email ttps@princeton.edu.

Parking

Parking space is very limited at Princeton University. To ensure there are enough parking spaces for commuting faculty, staff and students we require that all vehicles be registered.

If you are affiliated with the University, you should receive a parking permit from TPS which includes a specific lot assignment on campus. Click here for a detailed list of available lots, as well as information for overflow parking in the event your lot is full.

If you are visiting Princeton, please park in visitor Lot 23 on west campus.

No. All members of the Princeton community (faculty, staff, graduate students, contractors, affiliates, etc.) who are eligible for a parking permit on Princeton's campus must be issued a virtual permit. If you are not a faculty member, staff, or graduate student, you may need to reach out to TPS to register for your permit. You can reach us at 609-258-3157. 

Virtual permits provide better and faster services for the entire Princeton community--faculty, staff, students, and visitors. Virtual permits are environmentally friendly, eliminating the need to print and distribute thousands of paper and plastic hang tags each year. Permit holders no longer have to worry about moving a permit between vehicles depending on which car they drive to campus each day. Princeton expects to transition to virtual permits during a campus-wide permit renewal process in January, 2020--please continue to use your hangtags until then.

Under the new parking system, your license plate is your permit. Any person eligible for a Princeton University parking permit must register any vehicle they wish to park on campus. The TPS parking enforcement team will able to verify both a vehicle’s registration status and parking permissions by reading the license plate.

Parking is allocated to allow the maximum number of faculty and staff to access the parking facilities closest to their primary work facility, whenever possible. Unfortunately, there are more staff and faculty requiring access to specific parts of campus than there are available spaces. During peak academic work hours—7am to 5pm weekdays—parking is in your assigned area only. After 5pm on weekdays and during weekends, you may park in any numbered and unrestricted lot on campus.

Yes. If you have a temporary medical condition or mobility issue, please present appropriate documentation to University Health Services (UHS). UHS will review your request and, if necessary, arrange temporary parking with TPS for up to 6 weeks to accommodate your situation.

Individuals with permanent disabilities should register their state-issued HC placard with TPS. Vehicles must be registered with a valid University parking permit along with a HC license plate or placard.

For visitors with HC placards or license plates, parking is available only in the designated spaces in Lot 23 on weekdays from 8 am to 5 pm. Frequent visitors should contact TPS.

Notes on dashboards are not an acceptable form of authorization to park. Email ttps@princeton.edu or call us at 609.258.3157 with any questions or requests BEFORE parking in a lot to which you are not assigned to avoid citations.

In the same way that your vehicle would be cited for either “parking in an unassigned lot” or “parking without a Princeton permit” if you did not register your vehicle and display a permit under the old system, any vehicle that is not registered or associated with your virtual permit and is parked on campus will be cited. You can prevent citations by keeping your vehicle information up to date and parking in your assigned lot.

LPR is a technology used for parking access management. Cameras mounted on parking enforcement vehicles, mobile devices, or at the entry points of a garage or parking facility are used to “read” license plates. License plate reads are fed into the parking database, which verifies a vehicle’s access permissions in a given parking area in real-time.

One of the big benefits to LPR is the use of aggregate data (e.g., number of vehicles parked over time, not which specific vehicles are parked) that TPS can use to make smarter parking management decisions, including parking lot utilization patterns, permit usage statistics, enforcement efficiency studies, general permit compliance reviews, and more. By better understanding how parking facilities are used throughout the day, TPS is looking forward to making parking on campus a better experience for everyone.

The University and TPS appreciate your interest in the privacy and confidentiality of your information. We take protecting your privacy seriously. Please read the LPR terms of use notice to learn more about the data management principles used to manage and safeguard data.

Pay or appeal your citation within 10 days to avoid a $10 late fee. You can pay by credit card online, or with cash, check, credit card, or student charge in person at the TPS office, New South Building, A Floor (M-F, 8am-5pm). If you believe your citation was issued in error or there were extenuating circumstances, you may appeal your citation online. The appeal process takes approximately four weeks. A late fee will NOT be assessed during this time and do not pay your citation if it is under appeal.

During business hours (M-F, 8am-5pm) call Transportation & Parking Services at (609) 258-3157. After hours, weekends and University holidays, call Public Safety at (609) 258-1000. Payment is required prior to release any booted or towed vehicle.

Any vehicle that you bring to campus must be registered and associated with your virtual permit. Even rental cars. Login to the parking portal and use the special rental car option that allows permit holders to set an expiration date for any rented or borrowed vehicle.

TigerTransit

TigerTransit is free and open to the public, no ID or fare is required to ride. However, On-Demand service (10pm-3am) and the peak hour service from Princeton Junction are available only to Princeton staff and students and require a University ID for access.

Passengers should plan their trip by checking the published time table for their desired route. In addition to the timetable, you can use TigerTracker at your desktop or download the TransLoc app (Android & iOS) for your smartphone to see real-time bus locations and next time arrival estimates.

If the bus is sitting in place or you do not see a bus actively moving on the online tracker platform, please refer to the timetable or the next available bus at your stop. The stalled bus icon you see may represent a bus that has recently gone out of service, the driver may be taking a very brief restroom break, or there could be severe traffic. Any time a bus is planned to go out of service on a route, it is replaced immediately. If you believe there is a disruption in service and need to speak with someone, please call dispatch at 609-587-1070.

Bikes
  1. Provides record of ownership and helps Public Safety reunite the owner and a lost or stolen bike.
     
  2. Free lock cutting service for registered bikes, if required.
     
  3. Helps the University better manage the need for bike-related infrastructure on campus (i.e. bike racks, pathways, and signage).
     
  4. Indicates to TPS that your bike has not been abandoned during annual cleanup.

Yes. Since the owner has changed, you must re-register the bike under your name. TPS may be able to use the existing decal number.

No. At the end of the academic year, students who are not residing on campus for the summer must remove their bikes from Princeton University bike racks; otherwise, your bike will be confiscated.

The Moving & Storage Agency provides bike pick-up and storage for a fee of $50, with optional $5 insurance. For more information, please visit the Student Agencies page. In addition, please click here for local off-campus storage options.

Each year, well over 100 bicycles are removed from campus because they have been abandoned and have slowly deteriorated in the elements, taking up valuable bike parking spaces that active cyclists require.

As a service to university community members who have registered their bicycles, TPS or Facilities staff will cut your lock for free. Proof of ownership is required prior to lock removal. Please complete the bike lock removal form and make sure your bike is registered with the University BEFORE completing the removal form.

Please note: Bike locks are available for purchase for $30 at the Transportation and Parking office.

Campus Access Via Elm Drive

Vehicular traffic and parking on inner campus is heavily restricted. Visitors to campus are instructed to park in Lot 23 and use the Central Line shuttle, which departs every 10 minutes. Faculty and Staff commuting to campus for meetings and appointments from off-campus locations (such as 701 Carnegie, 100 Overlook, and 693 Alexander) may park in Lot 20 or Lot 21. If you have an extreme circumstance that you believe requires vehicular access to campus via Elm Drive, you must contact TPS at ttps@princeton.edu or 609.258.3157. Public Safety officers at the Elm Drive kiosks will not allow vehicles past the kiosks without prior notification from TPS.

Part of the mission of TPS is to enforce policies that maintain the park-like atmosphere of the historic Princeton campus, particularly its oldest and most walkable areas along Elm Drive. To prevent Elm Drive and other campus roads from becoming congested, Princeton restricts all Uber, Lyft, and taxi access onto campus. Students, faculty, staff, and visitors wishing to use a rideshare provider may be picked up or dropped off at Princeton Station and along any street surrounding campus.

Revise Your Ride & Commuter Services

Parking facilities often impede the mission of the University, usually in terms of land use decisions and its commitment to sustainability. As a result, Princeton seeks to reduce the number of SOV’s on campus through the Revise Your Ride program.

We realize alternative transportation options may not work for everyone. Some faculty and staff may find that their commutes and lifestyles require driving to campus each day, and that’s okay. The more employees participate in the alternative commute benefits program, the more all of us benefit from space and other resources that can be directed to facilities and green spaces directly in support of the University mission.

All Revise Your Ride programs are open to benefits-eligible employees. Full-time graduate students without campus housing assignments are eligible to participate in the NJ Transit Bus Pass and 50% Mass Transit Subsidy program. (Note: some visiting employee and student statuses are not considered eligible for these programs).

Princeton University affiliates and graduate students may participate in University carpools or vanpools but are not eligible to receive the financial incentive payments for those programs. If you have any questions about your eligibility status, please contact commute@princeton.edu.

No. We understand that not every day is the same, and occasionally you may need to drive. For days that you need to bring your own vehicle, single day parking passes are available. These passes are good for select lots (lots 20, 21, or your off-campus location with TPS approval).

If you have already arrived at work and cannot use your alternative commute to return home, you can utilize the Guaranteed Ride Home service in cases of personal/family medical emergencies and unscheduled overtime or borrow an Enterprise Carshare (pre-existing membership needed).

In cases of inclement weather, you are welcome to use a daily parking pass instead of your alternative commute. Essential employees do not need to display a single-use permit when the University is closed to all but essential personnel—the University will issue guidance for parking on these rare occasions.

Participants can also use Zimride, the University’s online carpool matching platform, to form “rainy-day” carpools to stretch the number of daily permits provided through the program.

University employees and students are limited to one Revise Your Ride benefit at a time. Please select the benefit program that best represents your primary commute. If you have any questions, please reach out to commute@princeton.edu.

Revise Your Ride does not provide incentives for drop-offs, parking offsite and walking/biking, or remote working.

The Sherrerd, Louis Simpson, and Andlinger (requires card access) facilities all have showers available for use by cyclists. Dillon Gym has expansive shower and changing room facilities with lockers that are free for students and available with gym membership to faculty and staff (shower-only Dillon gym access available to RYR Bike/Walk participants - please email commute@princeton.edu for details).

Coach USA does not sell monthly passes for trips that do not end in NY. Without a monthly pass, we haven’t been able to incorporate this route into our pre-purchased bus program. Instead, we offer a 50% reimbursement for 20+ one-way tickets through the Mass Transit Subsidy program.

Tickets are available for purchase at the kiosk at Palmer Square, which is also right where the bus would pick/drop you off, and after the reimbursement.

The reimbursement covers all legs of your transit commute to your Princeton office, even if your commute spans multiple transit agencies. Approved transit agencies include: NJ Transit, MTA (New York City subway), LIRR, SEPTA, CoachUSA/Suburban Transit, and MegaBus.

Eligible purchases must be either monthly transit pass(es) or two 10 packs or equivalent (10 packs must both be for the same month). Equivalent purchases to two 10-packs are 20 single-way tickets or a $55 addition to an MTA subway fare card.

The Revise Your Ride mass transit benefit is a 50% reimbursement on monthly transit tickets, in lieu of a University parking permit. The Pre-Tax Commuter Benefit provided through Human Resources, allows all benefits-eligible employees to set aside up funds for transit tickets or parking at transit stations, pre-income tax (essentially a 25-30% savings).

University employees looking to use public transit as their primary commute can use both the Revise Your Ride and Pre-Tax benefits to maximize savings. Employees looking to retain their University parking permit but also commute using public transit can receive just the Pre-Tax benefit.   

For subsidy requests submitted by the 10th of the month, your reimbursement will be added onto your paycheck the following month.

To receive a mass transit subsidies, you must be already enrolled in the Mass Transit Subsidy program. We are not able to provide reimbursements for employees or students prior to their enrollment in the benefit program.

Princeton hosts an exclusive carpool database – Zimride – for faculty, staff, and students. Accessing this platform requires your University single-service login credentials and allows you and potential carpool partners to message each other directly while keeping your personal information safe.

If there is not a good match currently on Zimride with either carpools or our now forming vanpools, it is highly recommended that you post your own ride for other employees to find.

If you already have yourself and at least three other potential participants (group must include at least one vanpool driver), please email commute@princeton.edu to begin the vanpool application process.

If you are interested in finding fellow employees to form a new vanpool, please check out  Zimride, the University’s online carpool matching platform. You can also contact commute@princeton.edu for help.

Carpool/Vanpool parking permits are valid for a general space in a participants’ originally assigned lot or one of the specialty-marked carpool/vanpool spaces on campus.

We understand that commute needs change. If you would like to opt out of your existing Revise Your Ride program and receive a standard University parking permit, please stop by the TPS office in New South. If you would like to switch RYR benefits, please submit an online application for the new program of your choice.

Free electric vehicle charging stations are available installed in the West and North Garages. More detailed information is available on Faculty and Staff Parking under “Elective Vehicle Charging”.

NJ Transit Student Discount Program

This program is provided in partnership with NJ Transit to provide a 25% discount for full-time undergraduate and graduate students commuting to Princeton campus by NJ TRANSIT bus, rail and light rail systems.

Students looking to use NJ Transit to commute to internships may purchase a student monthly pass as long as the internship is through the school as part of the program to obtain a degree, and it is an unpaid internship.

Mobile passes offer the convenience of purchasing and displaying your student monthly pass on your mobile device.  No need to pre-pay or wait for a paper ticket in the mail.  Buy at your leisure. 

Monthly passes are available to purchase on the NJ Transit mobile app from the 19th of the previous month through the 10th of the month the pass is valid. However, the student pass will not be displayed in the app until the  1st of the month your student pass. If it is after the first of the month the pass is valid for, please contact NJ Transit app support.

No. NJ TRANSIT suspends every Student Pass account at the end of May. Students who want to buy a Student Pass during the summer months or want to reactivate their Student Pass account in the fall will need to reactivate their student account using the Princeton University Access Page.

If you are an existing Mobile Student Monthly customer, you need to reactivate your account at the start of each semester. Here's how:

  1. Login to Princeton University Access Page to reactivate your account
  2. Login to NJ TRANSIT with your student (.edu) email and the password
  3. Verify your full-time status and student email address
  4. Buy your Mobile Student Monthly Pass
Enterprise Carshare

No. Princeton University’ carshare program is open to any student, faculty, or staff member 18 or over with a US or international driver’s license. Some international licenses may require additional information. For more information, please contact Enterprise Carshare.

Please allow up to ten days for the entire approval process and for the arrival of your member card.

The hourly rental fee covers fuel (up to 200 miles); physical damage/liability protection, and 24/7 member services & roadside assistance.

Only you or another driver approved on your Enterprise CarShare account can drive the vehicle during your reservation. To add a driver to your account, please contact Enterprise Carshare.