The parking system here at UT can be confusing to some, with several different types of passes and many different areas where students, staff, faculty and the general public can park.
In comparison to other SEC universities, UT’s parking system is quite similar to those at Louisiana State University and Alabama. The parking and transit services at different universities collaborate frequently to discuss any possible changes and how those changes will affect campus life.
Something that does set UT apart from other SEC schools, however, is the fact that UT Parking and Transit Services tries to stay on top of alerting students when garages are full, share newsletters about new lots and install new lighting systems so that drivers can easily see what spots are available.
Additionally, UT is currently testing out the choice to add parking meters on campus as opposed to expanding parking garages, in order not to obstruct views of Knoxville and the Tennessee River.
With the parking system, however, there are a few misconceptions, particularly surrounding parking on campus at night and on the weekends.
As far as the passes go, there are quite a few: non-commuter, commuter, motorcycle, Fraternity Park, Sorority Village, evening and staff.
For those who live in residence halls, drivers must purchase a non-commuter parking pass for $294, valid for both the fall and spring semesters. Certain lots and garages are reserved for non-commuter parking, including those near residence halls such as Laurel, Clement and Vol.
Additionally, commuter students must purchase a commuter parking pass for $188, also valid for both the fall and spring semesters. Commuters can park in several different garages around campus.
Commuter motorcycle passes are $63, and non-commuter motorcycle passes are $78 for both semesters.
Students who park in Fraternity Row or Sorority Village must purchase a pass for $269, good for the fall and spring semesters.
For those who don’t already have a daytime parking pass and wish to park on campus at night, you must purchase an evening parking pass for $20.
If students who do not have a non-commuter pass need to park on campus over the weekend, they can purchase a weekend parking pass or park in lot G17 at Terrace Avenue. However, these options may not be available on weekends during home football games.
Additionally, drivers can transfer passes to their other vehicles, but passes cannot be given from one driver to another because the pass is registered in the driver’s name.
Drivers on campus must always have a parking permit in their vehicles. This is for safety and to prevent students and faculty from getting tickets, which can be given seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day.
Student drivers with parking passes are permitted to park in staff lots after 5 p.m., as long as they are no longer parked there by 6 a.m. the following day.
For faculty and staff, there are four tiers when it comes to pricing — $240, $360, $420 and $600— and the prices of the passes depend on the staff member’s university salary. Those passes are good for twelve months.
For the general public, there are a few options for parking at UT as well. The public can park in Vol Hall’s garage for $1 per half hour. They can also park in Circle Park for 45 minutes for free.
Daily visitor permits can be purchased at the Circle Park Campus Parking Information Booth or the Parking and Transit Services office. The temporary permit will indicate where visitors should park.
Public parking may not be available in certain areas on Saturdays when there are home football games.
When it comes to the passes themselves, there are more of them than there are spots.
Carly Broady, a sophomore studying political science, leadership studies and business, is a member of the parking committee here on campus. She discussed why more parking passes than spots are available, explaining that it is because so many students here at UT are commuters.
“Commuter students are coming and leaving campus all the time, and so there should almost always be spots available,” Broady said.
Another member of the parking committee, junior Ahmon Watkins, stressed the importance of commuters parking only in lots that are designated for commuters. If they don’t, parking is more difficult for everyone else because of fewer available spots.
He also suggested that for students who frequently use the buses on campus, G10 is a fantastic lot to park in. Located between Neyland Stadium and Thompson-Boling Arena, the lot is farther away from many academic buildings than other lots.
However, according to Watkins, the appeal of the close proximity to the buses can make the lot a convenient location for certain students. As an agricultural communications major, Watkins uses the buses frequently to get from UT’s main campus to the Agriculture Campus.
"G10 is underrated. Obviously, people don't want to walk far, but that's where the buses come in," Watkins said.
He added that Parking and Transit also has plans to add a new parking level in G10 in future years.
Additionally, Parking and Transit Services has not made any changes to their policies or permits as of late.
Most passes can be purchased for a reduced price if they are purchased for the second semester of a school year only.