Frequently Asked Questions

Pitt Shuttle traveling down Fifth Ave.

Find answers to frequently asked questions regarding Pitt Mobility below: 

Car & Vanpools

Am I eligible to register as a Pitt carpool?

If you are a Pitt staff or faculty member, possess a University parking permit, and carpool with others, you can register your carpool, even if some members of your carpool are not affiliated with the University. Eligible carpools must be commuting to Oakland at least three days per week to qualify. For additional information, or to join a Pitt carpool, view our Join a Carpool page.

Can my group register as a Pitt carpool if no one in my group has a Pitt parking permit?

Yes, you can register as a carpool through our partner CommuteInfo, even if you do not have a Pitt parking permit! As a CommuteInfo carpool, you will receive a roadside safety kit and be eligible for the Emergency Ride Home Reimbursement Program.

What are the benefits of registering an eligible carpool with Pitt?

Benefits of registering your carpool with Pitt include but are not limited to:

  • Monthly discount on your University of Pittsburgh parking permit.
  • Two temporary permits per rider each semester.
  • Roadside Safety Kit provided by CommuteInfo.
  • Access to the Emergency Ride Home Reimbursement Program through CommuteInfo.

Learn more about the benefits of registering as a Pitt carpool. 

What does it cost to ride in a carpool?

Carpool costs are decided by the members of the carpool group. Some carpools encourage each member to take a turn driving instead of sharing the cost while others may opt to share the cost and one member drives.

How much money can I save by carpooling?

Since each commute is different, we recommend using CommuteInfo’s Commute Cost Calculator to determine how much you could save by carpooling.

Can we alternate vehicles as a Pitt carpool?

Yes, you can alternate vehicles as a Pitt carpool so long as your carpool hangtag is always prominent in whichever vehicle you and your group take to campus. Additionally, each vehicle must be registered with the Parking Office. Carpool members can register their vehicle by bringing a copy of their vehicle’s registration to the Parking Office at 127 North Bellefield Avenue, or by emailing a copy of their registration and their request to parking@bc.pitt.edu.

What should I do if a member of my carpool leaves the group or my group decides to no longer carpool?

If you are a Pitt carpool, notify the Parking Office that your carpool would like to pursue other commuting alternatives or that you lost a rider.

If you are the only remaining member of your carpool, then the Parking Office will provide a grace period of one month (30 calendar days) for you to find another carpool rider. If a new rider is not found, the carpool will be canceled, and you will no longer receive the monthly parking permit discount. If you have a key sticker for parking in a carpool-designated space, the sticker must be returned upon cancellation.

Please work with CommuteInfo if you are canceling or adjusting your CommuteInfo carpool.

You may register a new carpool at any time if a new rider is found.

I am the permit holder in my carpool but am leaving the University or no longer need my parking permit. Can I transfer my permit to someone else in my carpool?

Yes, you can choose to transfer your permit to another member of your carpool. Carpool members must be officially registered through the University of Pittsburgh Parking Office for at least one calendar year before the permit can be transferred from one member to another member of the carpool. To determine if your carpool qualifies for a permit transfer, contact the Parking Office at parking@bc.pitt.edu.

Am I eligible to join a vanpool?

All Pitt employees and students are eligible to join a vanpool through our partners at CommuteInfo and Commute with Enterprise. Visit our Join a Vanpool page to get started.

What is it like to commute in a vanpool?

Here is the perspective from one of Pitt’s long-standing vanpool riders:

“I’ll admit, when I first committed to vanpooling, I was a bit skeptical. Will the people be nice? Will I get car sick? Lots of what if’s! But, after putting over 10,000 miles on my car in 3 months, I had to do something. Since joining 20+ years ago, my vanpool has become more than just a way to commute. We are the best of friends – joining each other for shopping trips, happy hours, trips to the beach, retirement parties, and much more. Vanpooling has provided countless hours of shared experiences and knowledge, venting about our day, and laughing constantly. It got to the point where I’d do anything NOT to have to drive my own car. It has been a great experience and has saved me a ton of money.”

-Lynne Welshons (University of Pittsburgh, Vanpool Coordinator)

What does it cost to ride in a vanpool and what is included?

Vanpool costs vary based on the length of the commute, the number of individuals riding in the van, the type of vehicle, the cost of gasoline, and other factors.  

As an example, a vanpool that commutes from the Latrobe area to Oakland in a 12-passenger economy van with 10 riders would pay around $100/month per rider (subject to change). This includes the cost of the van rental, insurance, maintenance, and gasoline.

What are the different vanpool sizes and vehicle types?

There are three different types of vehicles used in a vanpool: SUVs, minivans, and economy vans.

  • SUVs – 5 to 7 passengers
  • Minivans – 5 to 8 passengers
  • Economy Van – 7 to 12 passengers

Who can be a vanpool driver?

All participants in each vanpool who have a valid driver’s license can volunteer to be drivers or share the responsibility. Some vans have two or more dedicated drivers, while others may ask everyone to drive a certain number of days each month. Anyone interested in becoming a driver must apply and meet the necessary requirements set forth by CommuteInfo and Commute with Enterprise.

Where can I find additional information regarding car and vanpools at Pitt?

You can find additional information regarding car and vanpools at Pitt by viewing a copy of our slides from our car and vanpool information session. 

 

Parking

Where can I find short-term parking on campus?

Short-term parking is available at meters in the SR visitors lot, BQ, Log Cabin, RA, and Sennott Square Garage lots. Be sure to bring change—your permit is not valid at these meters. View visitor parking for meter and garage locations and rates.

Can I park at the same meter for an extended period of time and just add quarters before the time expires?

No. You will need to move your vehicle once the maximum time expires. 

What should I do if I lock my keys in my car or my car won't start?

Call Pitt's Motorist Assistance Program (MAP) at 412-624-4034 during Parking Services Office business hours, or after hours via the campus police at 412-624-2121, and we'll be happy to get you back in your car and on your way. 

What should I do if I get a parking ticket?

Simply pay the fine or file an appeal within 10 days from the date the citation is issued. 

What should I do if I receive a non-traffic citation from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania?

Arrange your payment directly with the office of the local magistrate (found on the citation notice). 

My car was towed, and I am appealing the ticket—do I still have to pay the towing fees?

Yes. You are responsible for towing, booting, and/or storage fees even if you appeal the citation.

What happens if I forget to pay a parking fine?

Contact the Parking Services Office as soon as you realize you haven't paid. It is important to remember to pay your fines promptly, because the University can withhold grades and transcripts, or even block course registration as long as fines remain outstanding. 

Can I park on campus during "off hours" without a permit?

Although regulations differ from one parking area to another, keep in mind that enforcement is 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Most lots and garages are reserved at all times. Before entering a lot or garage, particularly for the first time, please read the sign at the entrance. Permit regulations are listed on these signs. 

If a "No Parking" sign isn't present, does that mean it's OK to park?

Not necessarily. The absence of a "No Parking" sign in a certain area does not mean that parking is allowed there. To be safe, always park your vehicle only in spaces specifically marked for parking. 

If I don't have a parking permit, can I just leave a note or put my flashers on if I need to load or unload at a campus building?

No—leaving a note or putting on your flashers will not prevent you from receiving a citation. To protect yourself, please be sure a licensed driver is left with your vehicle to move it if necessary. 

Where can I park at the Petersen Events Center?

For information on parking for events at the Petersen Events Center, please visit the Petersen Events Center website.

How can I contact the Parking Services Office?

For hours of operation, phone and fax numbers, and email addresses, visit our contact us page. 

 

Permits

Where should I park if my assigned lot is full or inaccessible due to inclement weather?

You may choose from the Allequippa Street (OC) or Soldiers and Sailors (SO) garages. Then simply notify the Parking Services Office, and we will arrange to temporarily validate your permit. 

Can I park "after hours" in any other lots or garages besides my assigned lot?

As a permit holder, you can use these lots, E, F, FB, G, K, KG, N, OC, P, PK, RA, SC, SO, TH, U, UD, after 4 p.m. weekdays and all day Saturday and Sunday. 

Wesley W. Posvar Hall garage and Public Health are available after 5 p.m. All other lots are restricted to the designated permit for that lot only.

I need to drop something off at a campus building, but don't have a parking permit for the nearest lot. Can I park in a nearby lot?

Here's a tip that should help: Leave your flashers on, and you can park for up to 15 minutes in a lot other than your own. Be sure your permit is displayed properly. 

I will be taking an approved extended leave and don't want to continue paying for my permit while I'm on leave. Can I renew my permit when I return?

Yes—just bring your permit with your keycard (if applicable) to the Parking Services Office by the third working day of the month. When you return from your leave, we'll assign a parking space to you in the same lot you occupied before you left. 

What should I do if I lock my keys in my car or my car won't start?

Call Pitt's Motorist Assistance Program (MAP) at 412-624-4034 during Parking Services Office business hours, or after hours via the campus police at 412-624-2121, and we'll be happy to get you back in your car and on your way. 

I have friends coming to visit me on campus. Where can they park?

Visitors may park in the Soldiers and Sailors Garage, the Panther Hollow Lot, the Sennott Square Garage, and the OC Lot. 

What should I do if I lose my parking permit?

Notify the Parking Services Office as soon as you can. We will be happy to replace your permit for a $15 fee. 

Who should I contact with Pitt permit parking rate questions or feedback, to change my permit parking status or to get more information on alternate transportation options?

Please contact the Pitt Parking, Transportation and Services team at 412-624-4034, parking@bc.pitt.edu or 127 N. Bellefield Avenue on campus. 

What other transportation options are available to commute to/from campus?

The University continues to offer fare-free Port Authority services for Pitt faculty, staff members and students. In our commitment to sustainability and healthy lifestyles, we also encourage commuters to consider walking, bicycling and carpooling where ever possible. Additionally, we continue to progress on a comprehensive mobility plan that will evolve and strengthen the transportation infrastructure for University community members. The plan includes pursuing new and expanded mobility solutions through partnerships including the Port Authority, Waze Carpooling and other transportation partners, potential Park and Ride shuttle options, in addition to enhanced cycling and pedestrian pathways, expanded electric vehicle charging stations and new campus parking facilities detailed in the Campus Master Plan. View available transportation options. 

 

Shuttle Services

What do I need to ride the University Shuttles and SafeRider?

In order to ride the shuttles and SafeRider, you will need to present your valid Panther Card each time you board a University vehicle. Without proper identification, you may be refused a ride. You need this card for many things on campus, so showing your Panther Card should not be a problem. This policy is for your safety.

Can I bring a guest onto the buses and shuttles?

Yes, you can bring one non-University guest with you onto the buses and shuttles. You are responsible for the conduct of your guest.

What if my Panther Card does not work on the Port Authority Transit?

The customer will be required to pay for that ride. The customer should come to Panther Central with the 4-digit bus number and route number to complete a Port Authority Refund Request form. Panther Central will review the claim and if warranted, refunds will be given in the form of Panther Funds. Refunds may take 5-7 business days. NO Cash Refunds will be issued.

What time will the bus arrive at my stop?

Check the times and locations of the key stops on the route before and after your stop.

For example, if your stop is halfway between a 10:25 a.m. stop and a 10:35 a.m. stop, you can expect the bus or shuttle to arrive at 10:30 a.m. Please note that some of the stops are very close together in both distance and time. In these cases, it is a good idea to look at the time for the key stop that comes right before your own and to be at your stop at that time.

Will my bus arrive on time?

While it is our goal to provide on-time service, service may vary somewhat from published times due to severe weather, construction, traffic detours, traffic congestion, or other unforeseen conditions. We regret any inconvenience to our riders when emergencies prevent advance notice of schedule changes.

How do I know if my bus is operating today?

Schedule changes are posted on the buses and shuttles home page. In general, the buses and shuttles operate on weekdays and on reduced schedules during the weekends and holidays during the fall and spring terms.

Do the buses, shuttles, and SafeRider travel outside of the Oakland area?

The University's buses, shuttles, and SafeRider operate only in the Oakland area.

For transportation to Shadyside, Squirrel Hill, downtown, and other parts of the city and county, students, staff, and faculty may ride Port Authority buses fare free by presenting a current and valid Panther Card (Pitt ID).

Is transportation provided for the disabled?

For passengers with disabilities, the University operates a van with a wheelchair lift between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday when classes are in session during the fall and spring terms. Request the shuttle here

In addition, the University operates buses and shuttles with wheelchair lifts on all routes except the 50A and 10C.

Service is available on the weekends after 7 p.m. by calling SafeRider at 412-648-CALL(2255).

Will the bus driver stop at stops not listed?

The bus driver will stop only at the stops listed for each route during the daylight hours.

After 7 p.m., the driver will stop at locations other than the listed stops, upon your request, as long as the driver determines that it is safe. You must make your request at least one block before the desired stop. Note that this service is for drop-off only, not pick-up.

Am I allowed to bring a bike on the buses and shuttles?

The University does not permit riders to bring bikes onto the buses and shuttles.

There's a lot of traffic in Oakland. How can I stay safe?

Your safety is our main concern! The University of Pittsburgh bus drivers take pride in operating the buses and shuttles in a safe manner. You can help prevent injury by following these safety tips:

  • Stay back from the curb until the bus comes to a complete stop. 
  • Cross the street behind the bus. This helps you see and be seen by other motorists. 
  • Do not walk between two stopped buses. The buses sometimes roll back slightly when the brakes are released. 
  • When driving a vehicle, DO NOT pass a stopped bus unless you are in a passing zone. 
  • Bikes are not permitted on the buses and shuttles.
What are some rules I should be aware of?

While you are on the buses and shuttles, please observe the following:

  • No open food or beverage containers. 
  • No pets.
  • No smoking. 
  • On-request drop-off will be honored only after 7 p.m. 
  • Do not obstruct the driver's vision. 
  • Remain behind the white line while the bus is moving.

Please note that the bus will not stop and open the doors for you once it has left the curb.

Can Pitt students use Carnegie Mellon shuttles?

Pitt students are eligible to ride the CMU shuttles, at no cost with a valid Panther Card, after 7 p.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends and holidays.