Resource Guide for Parents

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Quick Reference: Student Life

Public Transportation

We encourage students to use public transportation once they arrive in Berkeley. Several AC Transit bus lines run directly to campus and to most residence halls. Berkeley students are eligible for “Class Passes,” which allow them unlimited AC Transit bus service around the East Bay and to San Francisco.

The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station is located one block from campus, and Amtrak service is also available in Oakland and Emeryville.


One of the most popular forms of transportation at Cal is the bicycle. Berkeley is hilly, so students should choose their bicycles accordingly.
All bicycles should be equipped with a high-quality U-lock and should be licensed through the UC Police Department.


Public transportation in the Bay Area is very good, and there is regular shuttle service around the perimeter of the campus. Even so, some students elect to bring their cars. Students must purchase special parking permits each year for every vehicle, including motorcycles, from Parking and Transportation Services.

Note: Many car insurance companies give discounts to parents of students who are away from home and not driving the family car and to parents of students with GPAs of 3.0 or above. If your student qualifies for the good-grade discount, ask your insurance agent for the appropriate application form. Your student can take it to the Office of the Registrar for verification and return it to you.


On Campus
Limited all-day parking is available at student lots. Registered students residing beyond a two-mile radius of campus are eligible for campus student permits. Street parking near campus is very limited, and competition for spaces is stiff.

The few parking spaces available to students in the residence halls are allocated on the basis of demonstrated compelling need. Permits will be issued at the sole discretion of the university, based on medical or academic needs, job requirements, or other extenuating circumstances.

Students living in the residence halls who do not qualify for a parking space may apply to the Parking and Transportation Office for a parking space in a satellite location. Spaces are limited and assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. The lot has an alarm system and is accessible by public transportation.

Residential Permit Parking
The city of Berkeley limits street parking to one or two hours. Residents of neighboring campus areas are required to obtain a special permit for parking on city streets. Only residential permit holders may leave their cars on the street longer than two hours. Students living in the residence halls are not eligible for these city permits.

Fees are required for any permit, whether issued by the city, the campus, or the residence halls. Both the city of Berkeley and the UC Berkeley campus enforce all parking hours and regulations. Violators are subject to citations and fines.

Next article: Other Things Your Students Should Know (or, return to the complete Table of Contents)


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