Transportation and Parking

USF bike student riding her bike downtown and market!

All students, parents and guardians should consider future means of transportation to/from USF when considering off-campus housing. Finding housing within walking distance or adjacent to bus stops and BART stations provide the most accessible means of transportation to the university. Don't forget to use the www.511.org online service to help you determine the commute time to USF.

No Cars

Please note: All freshman students are prohibited from bringing vehicles to campus, and all on-campus residential students are ineligible to receive parking permits from Public Safety. In accordance with San Francisco city planning, sustainability efforts, and in order to reduce the amount of traffic in the residential neighborhood that surrounds the university, USF provides all undergraduate students with MUNI passes each semester, and encourages the use of alternative transportation.

Public Transportation

Visit www.511.org to find complete information on all of the public transportation options, traffic alerts, and green transportation alternatives in San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area.

MUNI

MUNI (San Francisco Municipal Railway) operates San Francisco's buses, subways, streetcars, and historic cable cars.

Popular bus routes for USF students include:

  • Stops within 1 block of USF: 5 Fulton (runs 24/7), 31 Balboa, 43 Masonic.
  • Stops within 1-3 blocks of USF: 38 Geary (runs 24/7), 21 Hayes, 33 Stanyan.

Wheelchair access varies per route, but all Metro (underground) stations are fully accessible.

For more information:
Tel: (415) 673-6864, Web: www.sfmuni.com

BART

BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) rail lines link San Francisco with the East Bay and Colma. In San Francisco, trains run under Market Street with stops at the Embarcadero, Montgomery Street, Powell Street, and the Civic Center Stations.

Train Hours:
Monday-Friday, 4:00 a.m. - midnight
Saturday, 6:00 a.m. - midnight
Sunday, 8:00 a.m. - midnight

All BART stations and cars are wheelchair accessible.

For more information:
Tel: (415) 989-2278, Web: www.bart.gov

AC Transit

AC Transit buses connect San Francisco with East Bay cities in the counties of Alameda and west Contra Costa, including the cities of Oakland and Berkeley. In San Francisco, AC Transit buses depart daily from Transbay Terminal located at First and Mission Streets.

For more information:
Tel: (510) 817-1717, Web: www.actransit.org

Caltrain

Caltrain provides rail service daily between San Francisco and San Jose. Trains are scheduled to accommodate commuter travel.

For more information:
Tel: (800) 660-4287, Web: www.caltrain.com

Golden Gate Bus

Golden Gate Bus transit serves San Francisco and North Bay communities including Sausailto, Mill Valley, and other towns as far north as Santa Rosa.

For more information:
Tel: (415) 455-2000, Web: www.goldengatetransit.org

Golden Gate Ferry

Golden Gate Ferry Service provides daily service between the San Francisco Ferry Building and terminals in Larkspur and Sausalito.

Ferries are wheelchair accessible.

For more information:
Tel: (415) 455-2000, Web: www.goldengateferry.org

Alternative Transportation

Because of the limited parking on and around campus, many students choose to alternative means of transportation.

Bicycling

Bicycling is a popular means of transportation in San Francisco. Many students choose to bicycle for the health benefits as well as for the environmental aspect. Below are some resources for bicycling in San Francisco:

Bike Route Maps:

Bicycle Safety:

Check out the Public Safety website for more information about preventing bicycle theft, University of San Francisco's abandoned bicycle policy, and other alternate means of transportation.

 USF Carpools

Many USF community members carpool from all around the Bay Area. To join or form a carpool with other USF students, sign up for Zimride at zimride.usfca.edu.

Other Carpools/Vanpools

The 511 website offers other options for people seeking a carpool, vanpool, or bicycle partners. The 511 RideMatch service is an interactive system that allows you to create a profile and find commuters who have similar travel routes and patterns with whom you can share a ride.

To find out more information, visit the 511 website at rideshare.511.org.

USF Shuttle
Public Safety operates a shuttle in and around campus during the daytime for students, faculty and staff with disabilities.  At night, the shuttle is used as a night safety shuttle.  For more information, visit the Public Safety website https://www.usfca.edu/Public_Safety/USF_Shuttle_Services/

Parking

Parking around USF and in the city of San Francisco is very limited. Many parking zones are metered, require permits, or have a time limit. Students are encouraged to use public transportation whenever possible. However, for those students who choose to bring a car, the following sections will provide information on parking on- and off-campus.

On-Campus Parking

Parking on the USF campus is by permit only. A lottery is held in the summer for student full-time and 3-day semester parking permits for the following academic year. The only permits that will be issued after that are for evening permits (in effect after 3:00 p.m), one-day and motorcycles. Parking passes are also available on a daily basis for $15 at the Main Gate and Lone Mountain gate kiosks.

For more information, please contact Public Safety:
Tel: (415) 422-4222, Web: www.usfca.edu/public_safety

Disability Parking

Students with temporary or permanent disability may be issued a special permit entitling them to park in designated zones marked by blue curb and signs. A valid parking placard issued by the State of California Department of Motor Vehicles and a USF permit are necessary to park in these spaces.

Off-Campus Parking

Parking on the streets surrounding USF is limited. The city requires Residential Parking Permits on most streets, except the campus-side of adjacent streets. Streets that require permits are limited to two-hour parking increments during the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. All-day parking is allowed on few of the streets that immediately border USF. Check parking signs before attempting to park all day and be aware of posted street cleaning days and times.

Other Parking Considerations

Parking on a Hill
When parking on a hill (grade of 3% or more), your wheels must be properly curbed.  

  • On a sloping driveway, turn the wheels so the car will not roll into the street if the brakes fail.
  • Headed downhill, turn your front wheels into the curb or toward the side of the road. Set the parking brake.
  • Headed uphill, turn your front wheels away from the curb and let your vehicle roll back a few inches. The wheel should gently touch the curb. Set the parking brake.
  • Headed either uphill or downhill and there is no curb, turn the wheels so the car will roll away from the center of the road if the brakes fail.
  • Always set your parking brake and leave the vehicle in gear or the "park" position.

Visit the DMV website at www.dmv.ca.gov to learn more about parking.  

Parking at a Meter
Only one car is permitted to park at a meter at any one time. When the meter expires, the car must be moved. If the meter is broken, the car still must be moved after the time limit posted on the meter has expired.

Sidewalk Parking
Sidewalk parking is illegal, even in your own driveway. The entire car must be on private property or properly parked at the curb.

Parking Signs
Most parking areas in San Francisco have parking signs posted limiting parking times or alerting drivers to street cleaning hours. Before you park, make sure to read all posted signs to avoid a ticket or being towed. Street cleaning is generally scheduled once a week in the morning hours. 'No Parking' times often include morning and evening commute times.

Colored Curbs
Before parking, be sure to check the color of a curb to know any restrictions that area may have.

  • White: Passenger loading. Stop only long enough to pick up or drop off passengers or mail.
  • Green: Park for a limited time. Time limit will be displayed on a parking sign or painted on the curb.
  • Yellow: Loading Zone. Stop no longer than the time posted to load or unload passengers or freight. Drivers of noncommercial vehicles are usually required to stay with the vehicle.
  • Red: No stopping, standing, or parking at any time.
  • Blue: Parking zone for the disabled. A valid parking placard issued by the State of California Department of Motor Vehicles is necessary to park in these spaces.

Towed Vehicles
If your car is towed for a parking violation, you must contact AutoReturn, an independent contractor for the city's towing service.

AutoReturn
450 7th Street (between Bryant and Harrison)
San Francisco, CA 94103
Tel: (415) 865-8200
Web: www.autoreturn.com

For more information on towed vehicles, visit the San Francisco Police Department's website at www.sf-police.org/index.aspx?page=1722.

More Information
For more information about parking violations or driving regulations, contact the local Department of Motor Vehicles:

DMV
1377 Fell Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
Tel: (800) 777-0133
Web: www.dmv.ca.gov

International Students

Prior to entering the United States, international students may apply for and receive an international driver's license from their home country. The United States Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and California Police Department are not always consistent in acknowledging or accepting an international driver's license. While some students have success using an international driver's license in the United States, others have been ticketed. Typically, if you are in the country for more than five months, you are advised to obtain a California driver's license.

For more information on obtaining a California driver's license, visit the DMV website at www.dmv.ca.gov.


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