How to Park on Campus: A Guide to Driving to FSU

Sometimes don’t you wish you could just do a good old Peter Griffin move?


Courtesy: Giphy​

Probably the easiest thing to relate to as an FSU student is the struggle of parking here. We've all been there, stalking random pedestrians in the hopes that they're walking to their cars, parking where we're not supposed to and risking tickets, and at our worst, stealing a spot someone's been waiting on (no? Just me? Oh.) It's a dog eat dog world out there. I know it firsthand. So I did some research on the dark web of FSU and combined it with my own learned experiences for the best advice I can give as a commuter. At the end of the day, if this article helps at least one person not get towed, I’ll be pretty satisfied.

1. Get the FSU Parking app

Parking Garage Availability, Announcements, Parking Map, Nole Cab

Courtesy: FSU Tranz  


This app, called FSU Tranz, is free on both Androids and iPhones and shows the availability for parking in every garage on campus (not the lots, though). It also features a map of all the parking garages, which is pretty helpful if you don't quite know your way around campus yet.

The app also has announcements, and those are super important to pay attention to because you'll know when lots or garages are reserved. I can't tell you how many times I've driven to St. Augustine and over half of it has been reserved for an event. Skipping checking the announcements can really mess up your day so don’t do it!

Nole Cab is a last resort. It's advertised as $5 for up to 4 students and you just have to call the number on the app, but it's only that price between 10 pm and 4 am. It's around $15 during the day, so you might be better off getting an Uber if you're running late for a class. This option is only good for a late night when you don't want to walk but is only worth it if it's a weekend when the S.A.F.E. bus and Nite Nole aren't running (which are both free).

2. Get your Parking Permit (the most important step TBH)

This tip should be a no-brainer, but there's actually a surprising number of students who don't think about/ know how to get a parking permit. It's really quick, easy, and free. The permits are online and valid for one school year, so don't forget to renew it!

3. Know Your Terrain

If you head to FSU's transportation webpage, there's a whole list of maps with all the parking options that are available on campus. The best thing to do is get yourself acquainted with these. Know where your classes are and which lots are closest to you. The most popular lots and garages are in the center of campus, though, so your best bet is to go for the less used garages and lots on the outskirts of campus (like at the stadium or the Pensacola garage). Know the difference between where you can park as a student (white lines only) and what is considered a staff spot. You can park in red-bordered (faculty) spaces and faculty lots after 4:30 on weekdays, but luckily it's a free-for-all on the weekends. Overnight parking is only available on certain floors of the garages: the top floor of the Call Street, Spirit Way, St. Augustine Street, and Woodward garages, on floors 2 - 7 of the Pensacola garage, and the top two floors of the Traditions garage.

4. Last-Minute, Crunched-For-Time Options

Despite all the planning in the world, you’re still going to have those days when you’re running late and need a quick spot for your car if you’re already on campus (it’s ok, we’re all right there with ya.) These are some alternatives to student parking on campus on a day that you’re okay with paying.

Short Term Parking

There isn’t always a guaranteed spot, but it’s worth a shot to look for one. You can park for up to two hours at most spaces, so I highly recommend only doing this if you’re certain you’ll be back in time. FSU transportation will not let you go ticket-free. Meters are free after 4:30, but by that time you won’t have much trouble finding parking anywhere.

Tennessee Street

There are a good number of lots off Tenn Street across from campus that allows you to park if you pay. It’s often a church and they’re pretty easy to spot. I’ve seen advertisements for parking between $30 and $4, so if you have the time, you could easily find a lot that’s less than 10 bucks.

Valet Parking

 If you have a class near the Dirac Library, there’s FSU-led valet parking at the roundabout right in front of the Woodward Garage. It’s between $6 and $10 dollars depending on how long you’re on campus which is honestly not that bad considering the alternatives.

Peak Panic-Mode: Faculty Spots

Worst comes worst, parking in a faculty spot will cost you a $30 ticket. If you have a

final or something you can’t miss for the life of you and you’re short for time, this is the last resort but definitely an option.

The Stadium-Bus Option

This is my favorite option because you don’t actually have to pay. The stadium almost always has an open parking space in the student lot (right between Center A and B) and if your class is across campus, the buses stop right in front of it and can take you to the center of campus.

Final Notes

-Don’t try parking in any of the tow-away zones: churches, restaurants, etc. They will actually tow.

-Try to always type up a note or take a mental note on where exactly you park including floor number, section, etc. It’s pretty easy to forget when you’re in a rush, and some of the garages are so big that you could spend way too long trying to find your car.

Follow these tips and tricks, and you’ll definitely be able to find parking on campus. If it still doesn’t work out for you…. You should probably take the bus.