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Parking 101: New student edition

By: Bob Browand 

Attending a new college or university can be an overwhelming experience.

There’s school traditions to learn, classes to take and friends to make, but before you dive into any of that, you should first make a plan for how you’ll be getting to and around campus.

That’s where my team and I come in. Whether you’ll be commuting to class or living on campus, you’ll likely utilize at least one of our services during your time here as a Cougar.

We do our best to make ourselves as available as possible to new students during their orientation, but we understand that with a full schedule of events and activities planned throughout the day, we may slip through the cracks, so we thought it would be helpful to compile a “parking 101” list of all that we offer our students.

From parking permits, to public transportation passes and campus shuttle routes, all you need to know about Parking and Transportation Services is available on the following list.


  • Anyone parking on campus is required to have a valid UH parking permit. Click here to learn about your options and how to purchase one.
  • Permits should be purchased as soon as possible after enrolling in classes, as permit sales will be capped this year. This video walks you through the purchasing process.
  • The campus parking map highlights all of the parking lots and garages on campus and can be found here.
  • If you’ve already purchased a permit but have decided you’d like to switch to a different one, simply stop by the Welcome Center parking desk and one of our representatives can walk you through the process.
  • Non-UH residents can earn up to 75% off their permits by carpooling.
  • Financial aid REFUNDS can be applied toward parking permits. Initial aid disbursements do not cover any parking fees or balances on your student fee bill.
  • Students needing a handicapped parking permit should work through the Center for Students with Disabilities.


  • UH students are eligible to receive a discounted METRO fare card. To learn more or get yours, click here.
  • Individuals planning to carpool or ride the bus or light rail line to campus may qualify to join COAST, Parking and Transportation Services’ new alternative and sustainable transportation program. COAST members who have a METRO Q-fare card are eligible to receive a $27/month subsidy for their METRO rides.
  • UH students interested in car-sharing can apply to use one of the four Zipcars available on campus.  


  • Free shuttles transport anyone with a valid Cougar Card ID in and around campus. More information and specific routes and times can be found at


  • Visitor parking is available in all campus garages, as well as in various lots across campus. A list of locations, as well as rates, are available online.  

If after reading through this you find you or your family and friends still have questions, feel free to reach out to us directly at or 832-842-1097, or even just leave a comment here! We’ll be sure to get you some answers as soon as we can.

Welcome to the University of Houston #NewCoogs!

published: Thursday, June 23, 2016