Parking Impacts: Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to some frequently asked questions that have come up as a result of the ongoing parking challenges on campus.

What is Transportation Services doing to ease parking challenges?

We are exploring a variety of options to improve parking. We are opening new lots and structures over the next two years as well as looking for innovative ways to create additional parking spaces. Some of these plans include:

  • Restriction of paystation permits in B and S spaces (Effective July 1, 2016)
  • Creating a valet and on-demand car service for faculty” (Effective September 2016)
  • Adding parking spaces in these areas:
    • Along Voigt Drive (34 B spaces added)
    • Along Rupertus Lane (9 A spaces added)
    • Expedition Way (95 S spaces added)
    • Along RIMAC Field
    • Along Athena Circle in East Campus
    • Reconfiguring the Spanos Loop area in North Campus
  • Reducing the number of reserved spaces for events throughout campus (Effective Spring 2016)
  • Reducing the number of permits sold to contractors (Effective Spring 2016)
  • First-year students will no longer be able to purchase annual or fall, winter and spring quarterly S parking permits (Effective July 1, 2016) 

We are also returning lots and spaces that have been temporarily closed due to construction as soon as possible.

What new lots/structures are being planned and when will they open?

Following are the proposed new lots and structures along with their approximate timeframe for opening:

  • Torrey Pines Gliderport – 300 spaces  available for A, B and S permit holders. Due to restrictions from the California Coastal Commission, we are unable to provide a shuttle directly to the lot, but shuttle service to campus is available nearby at Torrey Pines Center South using the Campus Loop shuttle. (Opened Feb. 2016)
  • Science Research Park/Lot P785 (East Campus) – 392 spaces (384 B spaces and 8 ADA compliant) (Opened March 2016)
  • Athena Parking Structure (East Campus/Shiley Eye Center) – 1,279 spaces available with 466 spaces for patients/visitors, 447 A spaces and 336 B spaces (Opened June 2016)
  • Gilman Drive/Osler Lane Lot P610 – 115 A spaces (Opened Aug. 2016)
  • Science Research Park Lot (East Campus) – Approximately 184 spaces (Expected 2017)
  • West Campus/Osler Parking Structure (Osler Lane/School of Medicine) – Approximately 1,400 spaces (Expected May/June 2018))
  • Voigt Parking Structure (Voigt Drive/Jacobs School of Engineering) – Approximately 800-900 spaces (Expected 2018/2019)

Building more parking lots/structures is nice, but where can I park now?

Spaces are generally available all day at P703 and P704 in the East Campus with convenient  shuttle service offered nearby. We have also worked with the California Coastal Commission to open a 300-space lot at the Torrey Pines Gliderport. See Parking Alternatives for more information about these lots and other options.

Is the campus giving any consideration to alternative work schedules?

Yes, due to the impact of construction on parking over the next few years, campus leadership is currently considering the use of alternative work schedules.

Why does the university continue to build and take away parking?

Ongoing construction of buildings has always been part of UC San Diego’s  Long Range Development Plan, which guides the physical development of the La Jolla campus to support its teaching, research and public service mission. The plan takes into account academic, enrichment, sustainability and growth goals with many areas of campus participating in shaping the long range development plan.

A variety of regional transportation projects are also underway that affect parking on campus. These include projects such as the Gilman Drive Realignment as well as the extension of the MTS Trolley Blue Line. Once completed, the projects will help ease street traffic and parking demands, improve air quality and better connect the university with the greater San Diego community. In the short term, however, construction of these projects can have a considerable impact on parking.

Why can’t you just build more underground parking?

Underground parking is cost-prohibitive as it is much more expensive to build than above ground parking. For example, in the planned West Campus/Osler Parking Structure near the School of Medicine, the approximate cost to build will be $23,000 per space. A subterranean structure would cost nearly double that amount.

Why can’t you use our parking fees to build more parking on campus?

As a self-sustaining auxiliary department, parking fees cover not only debt service on parking structures and surface lots, but also the expenses associated with campus transit, shuttle and alternative transportation programs. Building more parking structures or lots would require an increase in debt service, which would require an increase in parking rates/permits.

Can we get rid of the A/B/S system of parking?

We are looking at transitioning from the A/B/S system to using proximity parking instead. However, this is not a change that could be implemented right away as we have contractual obligations with unions to provide parking under the current system.

What about restricting first-year students from parking on campus?

As of July 1, 2016, incoming first-year students are no longer able to purchase annual or fall, winter and spring quarterly S parking permits. Many colleges and universities are following this trend. As there are typically 800 to 1,000 first year students on campus with these types of parking permits, Transportation Services expects this change to make a significant difference . Exceptions are being granted on a case-by-case basis with requests for exceptions evaluated by a panel comprising staff and students.

Are there other ways I can get to campus rather than driving?

UC San Diego offers a variety of alternative transportation programs that can help you avoid driving and parking on campus.

If you have any questions or comments, contact us at