Transportation & Parking

Around Madison & the campus area

Five great ways to get around Madison:

  • Walking – Many students walk as their primary method of transportation around the campus area. If you’re needing to walk at night on campus, SAFEwalk will provide you with escorts to make sure you get to your destination safely.
  • Biking Madison is a very bike-friendly city with lots of dedicated bike lanes and bike racks for parking. UW-Madison’s campus is also bike-friendly. If you don’t have a bike or prefer not to bring one, you may want to consider participating in the free Red Bike Project or buying a BCycle bike-sharing program membership.
  • Pick up a bus pass – Associated Students of Madison (ASM) provides free Madison Metro bus passes to registered students. Fall passes are typically available starting in the beginning of August, and Spring/Summer passes are often distributed about a week before classes start in January. Madison Metro Transit offers maps of the bus routes, bus schedules, and an interactive trip planner.
  • Ride the campus circulatorsThere are four routes run by Madison Metro that circulate in the campus area, and these are free to all riders. The route numbers are 80, 81, 82, and 84. The Wisconsin app offers real-time tracking of all the buses that stop at campus stops.
  • Get a ZipCar membership – UW-Madison has partnered with ZipCar to provide student memberships to its car-sharing service at a reduced cost. If you need to transport lots of groceries or go farther than the bus will take you, this is a great option.

Students with disabilities also have additional transportation options available through paratransit services.

Tip:  If you’re living on campus, don’t bring a car. Parking is not available for students who live on campus.

Commuter students:

If you must commute to campus from outside the Madison area, parking options include:

Annual campus permit – available only to students who commute from more than 1 mile beyond the city bus routes, those who work off-campus 3 times a week, or students with special needs. There are several types of permit options for eligible students. The cost for these permits is high.

Monthly city permit – allows you to park in a city lot on a monthly basis. The cost for these permits is high.

Private parking spaces – Large apartment rental companies will often rent parking spaces out to the public.  These may be costly permits. The Campus Area Housing office maintains an updated list of availability of  long-term parking spots for rent that can be helpful in locating options.

Park & Ride –  Madison Metro offers park & ride lots on the outskirts of Madison where you can park for free and ride the bus into campus.  UW Transportation Services also offers park & ride permits for an annual fee.

Getting Out of Madison:

Four bus companies service the UW-Madison campus: Greyhound, Badger Bus, Van Galder, and Megabus all stop outside the Chazen Museum on University Avenue.

The Dane County Regional Airport is the nearest airport.  Direct flights are available to 12 major U.S. cities.