First Year Students

No Car? No Problem!

Welcome to the University of Virginia! As you may know, first year students aren't permitted to bring a vehicle to Grounds (see policy below). While some look at this as an inconvenience, we're here to tell you it's a relief! Instead of worrying about car payments, permit prices, gas and maintenance you can enjoy your stay at U.Va and use the various transportation options in our area that are available to you!

Zipcar at the University of Virginia

Zipcar at U.Va

Zipcars now live at U.Va! All U.Va students 18 years of age and older can apply to have wheels when they want them! Click here for more information.


Getting Here

Many students will arrive on Opening Day (Move-In). Parking and traffic information will be made available on our Major Event Parking Information page as it comes available each year.

International First Year Students flying into the Dulles International Airport or the Charlottesville airport can take advantage of the UVaExpress, a free shuttle service coordinated by the Office of Engagement. Please visit the UVaExpress website for available dates.


Getting Around


Students at U.Va have several transportation options available to them. The University Transit Service (UTS) and Charlottesville Area Transit (CAT) form a network of bus routes that cover virtually all areas of Grounds and the City of Charlottesville. Students can ride any UTS or CAT bus for free with a valid U.Va ID. Click here for the UTS New Student Guide.

In addition to a reliable bus transit system, students 18 years and above also have "wheels when they want them" with the Zipcar program at U.Va. Zipcar, the world's largest car-sharing service, enables members to reserve cars by the hour or by the day. Click here for more information about Zipcar at U.Va.

  UTS: University Transit Service CAT:  Charlottesville Area Transit  
  University Transit Service Charlottesville Area Transit  

SafeRide is a late night on-demand van shuttle service intended to provide UVa students safe transportation home in lieu of walking alone after UTS has gone our of service.



Getting Home

  Whether its a quick weekend trip, a holiday break, or the end of the semester there are plenty of options to find a ride home.
Official Rideboard
Zimride Zimride is U. Va.’s private social network for ridesharing. Have a car? Split the costs by driving fellow U. Va. community members. Don't have a car? Find a ride where you need to go. You save money, protect the environment and have more fun when you ride. Add your ride today:
Mass Transit
The Charlottesville Amtrak Train Station is served by three major Amtrak routes with destinations as far as New Orleans, Chicago, and New York City. The Amtrak Station is located near downtown and is accessible from several CAT routes. Students can apply for the Amtrak Student Advantage Discount Card to be eligible to receive a 15% discount on the best available adult rail fare on most Amtrak trains all year long. Click here for more information about Amtrak. Amtrak Virginia

Charlottesville is also served by Greyhound Bus Lines, the largest intercity bus transportation provider. Students can ride the bus from the 310 West Main Street station to various locations in Virginia and beyond. Click here for more information about Greyhound.

Starlight Express is a non-stop bus service that provides transportation between Charlottesville and New York City. Click here for more information about the Starlight Express.

Home Ride of VA

Home Ride of Virginia provides weekend and holiday bus service from U.Va, VT, Radford, and JMU to many areas of Virginia including Northern Virginia, Richmond, Harrisonburg, and Charlottesville. For U.Va students, Home Ride offers convenient service between the Student Activities Building and Northern Virginia, Richmond, and Hampton. Click here for more information about Home Ride.


Homebound students don't always have to rely on someone else to get them home. With Zipcar students can reserve cars by the hour or by the day, for as much as 4 days at a time. Each reservation includes 180 free miles for every 24 hour period. Daily rates start as low as $66 per day. Click here to learn more about Zipcar at U.Va.


Bicycling at U.Va

Biking Riding Resources at U.Va

Cycling is a great way to get around Grounds and is environmentally friendly! Students planning to bring their bikes to Grounds should register their bikes with the University Police Department and should also familiarize themselves with the U.Va Bike Policy.

U.Va Police offers online and in-person bicycle registration for all U.Va students, faculty, and staff. If your bicycle is stolen or lost, U.Va Police will have all the necessary information for a police report and enter in NCIC & VCIN computer systems allowing the U.Va Police to be notified if the bicycle is located by another police department anywhere in the United States. Click here to register your bike online.

Please visit our TDM Bike Riding Resources section for more information about biking at U.Va, including information about bike racks on buses, bicycle equipment at the U.Va Bookstore, and the SMART Transportation Map.

Visits from Friends and Family

Parking on Grounds near first-year residence areas is very limited, especially during the weekdays. Many lots on Grounds become available for open parking on weekends and after 5:00pm on weekdays. Some lots are designated as "all times" lots meaning that a permit is required to park in that lot 24/7 without exception. Signs are posted at the entrance of every parking lot and will indicate whether a lot is considered "all times". Visitors are also not permitted to park along yellow or red curbs, even for loading/unloading purposes.

Friends and family members making a visit to Grounds before 5:00pm on a weekday may park at the Central Grounds Garage (hourly rate applies), at meter spaces around Grounds (fees apply), or may purchase a temporary Blue permit to park in the lots at University Hall (U-Hall). UTS bus service is free to all visitors.

Click here for more Visitor Parking Information.

Central Grounds Garage

Bringing Your Own Car To Grounds

As of 2003, University policy prohibits undergraduate first-year students from having vehicles on-Grounds during their first-year (fall & spring semesters). The policy governing use of vehicles by first-year students can be found in the Undergraduate Record (  Students should contact Andy Petters, Assistant Dean of Students, at if they wish to request a first-year parking exception.  First-year parking exceptions are only granted in extraordinary circumstances. 

Students should include the following information in their email to Dean Petters:  their name, where they live on-Grounds, the reason for the request, and the length of time for the request (full academic year or for a certain period of time).  First-year student athletes with regular practices away from Grounds should notify their coaches, and the Athletic Department will contact Dean Petters. Students who receive an exception are eligible to purchase an S6 parking permit (as space allows) or a Storage Permit for the Emmet/Ivy Garage.