Parking on campus is a game of numbers. Is it cheaper to buy a pass or just park at the Reitz? How long will it be before I can park somewhere without getting a ticket? How long will it take me to find a space on game days?
(Alright, that last one was a trick question. The answer is however long it takes to make your own spot in a tow-away zone like everyone else.)
All decals can be bought for the entire school year for $154, or per semester at $77. Any decal not for a scooter can also be purchased monthly ($35) and weekly ($15).
But if you’re an undergrad planning on living off-campus and are not in a fraternity or sorority, your spot will likely be pretty far from where you’re headed.
You get a Park & Ride decal, which doesn’t really allow for any parking north of Lake Alice or — roughly — east of Fraternity Row. This probably means taking one of several buses to and from your car.
Graduate students in the same situation can get a Green decal, which is a little better, offering spots near the O’Dome and Hume.
Living on campus is another matter. There are basically two decals for undergrads: Red 1 and Red 3. Red 3 is for those who have less than 50 credit hours, and gets you as far as Fraternity Row, Flavet Field and Hume. Red 1 is for those with 50 credit hours or more, and is a little more expansive, giving you access to Keys, Murphree, Beaty Towers and Sorority Row.
If you have an evening class or meeting, your best best is to take note of hour restrictions at areas in which you can’t normally park during the day. Orange lots will get you closest to the Reitz and stadium, and anyone is free to park there after 4:30 p.m. Small areas near Turlington are Gated (Purple) during the day, but open to all at 5:30 p.m. Service drives, however, are always grounds for a ticket or a tow.
What else? Brown 2 is for students in Corry and Maguire Family Housing Villages (near Lake Alice and Southwest Recreation Center, respectively), and Brown 3 is for students in Diamond Family Housing Village (near Beaty Towers).
Motorcycle/scooter is fairly self-explanatory, and disabled students have access to Disabled, Orange, Blue, Green, Red, Brown, and “Any Decal” parking areas.
Got all that? Well, fear not, because if it seems like too much, you could just pony up the $1 for 45 minutes at the Reitz garage.
Or, you know, take the bus.
This story originally ran on page 16 on 8/14/2013 under the headline "The rules of parking at UF"