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Transportation & Parking

Need to figure out how to get to campus?  You can choose to park on campus yourself, or consider other alternative options.

Parking on Campus

Parking on campus is enforced by Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS).  The TAPS website has a page about parking information for graduate students, which will have the prominent info listed below.  For more detailed information please check the Transportation and Parking Services website.


Where Can I Park?

The type of permit you purchase determines where you can park on campus.  Currently, graduate students have a few options for what permits they can purchase.  Parking permits operate on a tiered system.  This means that buying a more expensive permit allows access to more lots, which include those lots at your own tier, and all lots on lower tiers.  For example, buying a blue permit will allow you to park in the blue and green tiered lots, but not the slate or gold tiered lots.  The location of the lots in each tier are determined by how close they are to the heart of the main campus, where higher tiered lots are closer to the main campus.

View the parking map to see which lots are available.


Buying a Permit

TAPS uses the virtual License Plate Recognition (LPR) permitting system.  This means your vehicle's license plate is used to verify if you have purchased a parking permit.  No semester physical permits are issued.

It is very important that your license plate number matches what you enter in the application, and that your license plate is visible to TAPS officers when parked in your designated lot.  Failure to consider any of these factors may result in a parking ticket!

For graduate students, permits can be purchased online through NuPark or at the TAPS office.  Graduate Students are eligible for Faculty/Staff paid parking via monthly payroll deductions if applicable. Graduate Students on fellowships or not eligible for payroll deductions are required to visit the Parking Office to pay the permit rate in full or by the semester.

Keep in mind there are a limited number of parking permits available, and they will be distributed on a first-come first-serve basis.  Be sure to check periodically to see if parking permits are available in case you need one!  


Monthly Permit Prices

If you plan on going to campus more than 12 days each month, then you should consider purchasing a monthly permit.  For graduate students, the following permit prices are valid between July 1st, 2020 and June 30, 2021.  For information on where each parking lot is located, see the following campus map.

Permit Type

Valid Lots



Library Lot 2, Le Grand Lot

Solar Covered: North Bowl 1 & 2

P3, Scholar's Lot, ECEC Lot

Bellevue Lot

$74 per month

Solar Covered: North Bowl 1 & 2

P3, Scholar's Lot, ECEC Lot

Bellevue Lot

$50 per month

P3, Scholar's Lot, ECEC Lot

Bellevue Lot

$38 per month
Green Bellevue Lot $38 per month
Accessible Parking All zones except reserved spaces $38 per month
Motorcycle All motorcycle spaces $30 per month


Daily Permit Prices

If you are commuting to campus 12 days or less each month, TAPS will have a daily paid parking option available for graduate students.  The rates below will be made available for purchase through the Flowbird app.

  • Gold: $6 per day
  • Slate: $4 per day
  • Blue/Green: $3 per day

Download Flowbird Google Play or the App Store.  More information about how to purchase daily parking can be found here.


Hourly Parking

The Way to Park logo           

Commuters and visitors have an an option to pay for hourly parking using the Way to Park app.  Users of this app will be able to pay for metered parking spaces in the Bellevue lot (Zone 1111).

Download Way to Park: (Google Play) (App Store)

Note: This service is not available to on-campus residents.

For any other questions or comments regarding the Graduate Student parking permit renewal process, please contact Transportation and Parking Services at or (209) 228-8277.


Don't have a car, or don't like carpooling?  There are a few other options you can consider.



Logo of Merced's TheBus           Logo of the Merced County Association of Governments               Logo of Merced's TheBus as seen on the app

TheBus has a partnership with UC Merced which provides one route (the UC Route) connecting UC Merced with the downtown Merced area.  All routes on TheBus are free to all students with a valid CatCard.  Click here for information on the other schedules in the system.

You can also track the bus on your phone through TheBus Live app.

Download TheBus Live: (Google Play) (App Store)

Note: The UC Route runs weekdays only from 6:10am to 8:02pm.  At this time the bus system does not service the campus on weekends.



A CatTracks bus          The Ride Systems logo as seen on the app

All students are able to utilize the CatTracks bus service for free with a valid CatCard.  Click here to see the routes and schedules for this semester.  At this time TAPS is utilizing the Bobcat express route for essential services only Monday-Friday from 11:00am-7:35pm.  All other CatTracks routes will not be in service until further notice.  View the live map on the TAPS website for the location of the Bobcat Express route, or view the location on the Ride Systems app.

Download Ride Systems: (Google Play) (App Store)


Bike Trails

If neither of the above options work for you, another option is to ride your bike to campus.  There is a bike path on Lake Road which connects to the neighborhoods on Yosemite Ave and the rest of the city.  It's a 20-minute trek to traverse the entire stretch of Lake Road, making this an excellent workout for the day.  Once you reach UC Merced, there are several locations that allow students, faculty, and staff to secure their bikes while working.

To see what bike trails are in the city, click here.

Bike trail at the entrance to campus