August 27, 2010


Parking & Transportation Update Fall 2010

As the beginning of the fall semester rapidly approaches, Mason students, faculty and staff are reminded that traffic on and around campus greatly increases, especially during the first few weeks. The following information is intended to serve as a campus parking and transportation guide and help minimize potential parking and traffic delays.  A valid parking permit is required to park outside of visitor areas.

During the first few weeks of the semester, we suggest allowing an extra 30-45 minutes to arrive on campus. Though some parking spaces are more convenient than others, the campus has more than enough total spaces to accommodate all vehicles. However, many lots are still expected to fill at peak class times.

Arriving to campus between 10 am and 11am:
Parking in Lot K is recommended, as most other lots on the east campus tend to fill early. If “Lot Full” signs are posted at the entrances to Lot K please proceed directly to the general permit area of Rappahannock River Deck or the Field House (see below).

Arriving to campus between 11am and 3pm (especially on Tuesdays and Thursdays): The best option is to head directly to the back of Lot K or general parking lots by the Field House (Lots M,O,& P) on the west side of Ox Rd. Several hundred spaces are usually available in these lots. See information about the West Campus Express shuttle below.

Visitor Parking: Sandy Creek and Mason Pond parking decks provide most of the campus’ visitor parking. These decks tend to fill in the mornings and early evenings during the first few weeks of the semester. Additional visitor parking is available utilizing our Pay by Space machines in the 1st level of Rappahannock River Parking Deck (a separate visitor entrance is located off Patriot Circle). As well, one can park in the Field House lots and utilize the Pay & Display machine located across from the front door of the Field House to purchase a $3 daily permit(only valid in Lots M,O,P).

Updates:  Receive timely updates by joining our Facebook and Twitter pages.  The parking web page is updated periodically (see below).

Shuttle Services:
Check the Mason Shuttles website, for the new fall semester shuttle schedules. Many of the schedules have changed slightly as new stops have been added around campus. Check schedules for stop locations.

The “West Campus Express” shuttle will be running on a continuous loop with no set schedule from West Campus lot to Presidents Park, with stops at the Field House and Rappahannock River Lane in between. Freshman residents are required to park in the 900-space West Campus Lot (unless they have purchased a reserved Rappahannock River Parking Deck permit). This semester, the West Campus Express shuttle will operate 7am-1am M-F and 2pm-1am on Sundays. This shuttle is an easy way to park at the Field House and get back and forth to the east campus.

Note: The average walk time from the Field House to the Johnson Center is about 12 to 15 minutes.

The Mason to Metro shuttle from the Fairfax campus to the Vienna Metro station runs continuously from 6 am to11:30 pm, Monday through Friday, with late night service on Fridays and Saturdays until 3:30 am. Sunday night service will be from 5:30 to 11:30 pm. For more info go to:

Commuters also have the option to park at the Prince William Campus with a valid parking permit or using Pay by Space visitor parking and ride the Fairfax-Prince William shuttle to the Fairfax Campus.

The new Campus Circulator provides shuttle service around Patriot Circle from 6am-11pm M-F. For information go to

Driving Alternatives: To avoid the worries of parking and traffic, consider the many alternatives to driving. Students and employees may ride any of the four Fairfax City CUE buses for free simply by presenting their Mason ID. More than 80 bicycle racks have been added in the past year for those who bike to campus. Bike lanes have also been added around most of Patriot Circle.

For carpooling options, go to Zimride is a new ridesharing software program that allows Mason students and employees to find a ride or carpool partner as it helps match people with similar commutes to and from campus. Stay tuned to Zimride for info on the Commuter Challenge against the University of Maryland in September.

Motorcycle Parking:
Additional motorcycle parking spaces have been added in the past year around campus, including in front of the Aquatics Center, by the Northeast Modules next to the Spur Road, Lot J, and near the Finley building. Additional deck parking for motorcycles has been added in the Sandy Creek Parking Deck (parking deck motorcycle permit required).

Additional Parking Spaces:

 Rappahannock River Parking Deck – Over half of the 1st level, the entire 2nd level and the ramps up/down to/from the 3rd level are available for those with general permits. The 3rd level has over 60 parking spaces for faculty/staff General permits and several hundred spaces requiring a reserved faculty/staff deck permit. The 4th and 5th levels are reserved for student reserved parking deck permit holders. No overnight parking is allowed in the General permit area (levels 1-2) Monday through Friday (after 2am and before 5am).

Faculty/Staff Lot H is open to General permit holders from 6pm to 7am, Monday through Friday, and all day on the weekend.

The Patriots Village Lot behind the RAC (former PE Building) provides overflow parking. The northern (right side) of the lot is open to those with student permits and the southern (left side) is open for faculty/staff. Please note that until late September 2010, the southern (left side) of the lot is closed and faculty, staff, and students may park on the northern (right side). A new entrance/exit to the lot off of Mason Pond Drive will be in place when the remainder of the lot re-opens.

At times, campus police and parking officials will be directing traffic around campus. Please be alert and follow the instructions given.

To assist you in planning your commute, information regarding construction updates and changes to parking and traffic patterns on and round campus will be emailed to you periodically throughout the semester.

For more information, go to the parking website: or email

For more information on transportation options, go to or email

For information on Mason Shuttles and the different routes and schedules, go to: or email
You can also follow Parking & Transportation on Twitter and Facebook at: