5 Tips to Take the Ache out of Parking Your Car on Campus

It’s a common pain in the neck that many of us know all too well. For someone like me who always seems to be running late, I feel anxious when I arrive on campus and the fight for a parking spot feels similar to snagging the last TV at Target during Black Friday. Here are five tips to make your commute to campus a little bit easier.

 

First come, first served

The best parking spots are snatched before 9 a.m., so save yourself the stress and arrive early! It may seem a little daunting to those of us who aren’t morning people, but it will give you more time to prep before you first class of the day, to catch up on homework or go the gym. But if for some reason life gets the best of you, the parking along Campus Drive – the stretch near the Grizzly Gateway arch – might be your best bet. It may seem far at the time, but it will most likely take just as much time circling the other parking lots.

Avoid hourly parking

Avoid hourly parking spots even if you only have one class. Chances are, by the time you park and walk to and from your car, you may be a little over an hour. Save yourself the $50 ticket and park elsewhere! The same goes for the Quick Stop parking: Don’t test the waters— you will most likely get caught.

 

Hop on the bus, Gus

The Associated Students of UM UDASH bus has four scheduled routes for students and that run about every 20 minutes 7 a.m.-midnight Monday through Wednesday and, conveniently, 7-2:27 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.

Additionally, Missoula’s local bus system the Mountain Line is free and runs until 9:50 p.m. on some routes and even has a mobile app.

 

Happy trails to you

Walking, long boarding or biking throughout the streets of Missoula is convenient and good for the environment. The Milwaukee Trail stretches from Russell Street to the Kim Williams Trail along the Clark Fork River. You will share this popular route with dog walkers, runners, aerialists and all sorts of commuters.

Insider Tip: If you have the time, take a second to admire some of the random street art along the way.

Speaking of biking…

The ASUM Office of Transportation has a bike rental program where students can present their Griz Card to the Mansfield Library staff during its regular office hours and rent a bike for up to two days, for FREE. There is also a semester bike rental option offered between $40 and $60. If you’re wanting your own bike but just don’t have the cash to find one, UM students can even take out an interest-free bike loan for up to $1,000.