Before begin your search for off-campus housing, you should consider your future means of transportation. If you will be primarily using public transportation, you will want to find off-campus housing within walking distance of bus stops or Bart stations. If you will be driving to campus, you should consider where you will be parking your vehicle.
An important message concerning Off Campus parking:
The San Francisco Metropolitan Transit Authority (SFMTA) has initiated a plan to change parking limits along various streets surrounding the University of San Francisco. This plan is intended to be implemented along with the new 1-hour parking time limit for the University Terrace "BB" residential permit parking area. The goal of the plan is to further the University Terrace's traffic calming goals, improve parking availability for the USF community and further the City of San Francisco's Transit First objectives.
We want the community to understand that this plan is being developed and executed by the City of San Francisco, not by the University. We think, however, that it is important for us to inform you of this activity and to let you know that, while a hearing date has not yet be set, there will be an opportunity for public comment. We will inform the community of the hearing date once it is made public.
Currently, the perimeter of the USF campus is unregulated and open parking spaces are very scarce, leading visitors to circle for an open parking space, and sometimes leading to poor behavior (e.g., speeding to find the rare open space more quickly).
The SFMTA is proposing a combination of parking meters and parking time limits on streets near USF that currently have no time limits. The SFMTA is including parking meters in the plan to address something that time limits alone cannot provide: parking availability.
The current situation with Residential Parking Permit (RPP) time limits illustrates the shortcoming of time-limit only regulations. Parking spaces are often not available. Visitors circulate amongst neighborhood streets and hunt for the elusive vacant parking spot. With active parking meter management, the introduction of pricing to parking management can ensure that spaces are available and affordable.
The draft SFMTA plan for the neighborhood is as follows:
Parking meters with either no time-limit or a 4-hour time limit for the following streets:
- Turk Street, north side, between Parker Street and Masonic Avenue
- Parker Street, west side, between McAllister and Turk streets
- Parker Street, east side, between McAllister Street and Golden Gate Avenue
- Golden Gate Avenue, south side, between Parker Street and Masonic Avenue
Two-hour time limits are recommended for:
- Parker Street, east side, between Turk and Anza streets
- Fulton Street, north side, between Parker and Clayton streets
- Fulton Street, south side, between Shrader and Cole streets
There are additional unregulated streets around the campus that could potentially benefit from parking management, which are not included in this proposal (e.g., Anza). The SFMTA decided to begin with a proposal that addresses parking on the busiest frontages (Turk, Golden Gate, and Parker near the Koret Gym), as these areas tend to have more traffic problems. The SFMTA would evaluate the effectiveness of these changes once implemented, and adjustments, including evaluating changes to other streets that surround the campus, could be considered in the future.
The parking meter rate would initially be proposed to be $1.00 per hour, which is the typical rate for areas outside of the City's downtown area. This rate also corresponds somewhat closely to the USF off-street parking rate structure, which charges $15 per day for parking.
The SFMTA also recommends some on-street car sharing spaces around the campus, to provide car share access for students, faculty, staff, and neighbors. On-street car share pods could help discourage future USF students from bringing their vehicles to the neighborhood, and compliment the efforts of the University to encourage transit, biking, and walking among students. On-street bike corrals are also recommended where sensible and complimentary to USF’s work on bicycle infrastructure.
Lastly, some crosswalk improvements on Golden Gate have been suggested. The SFMTA will includes this in a more detailed feasibility analysis to be conducted over the next month. This feasibility study will also include looking into details regarding how this parking proposal interfaces with the University/UTA traffic-calming plan and the USF Institutional Master Plan.
Currently the proposed change, if approved, would go into effect by fall 2013. This is subject to change. A hearing for pubic comment on this draft proposal has not yet be set. We will inform the community of the hearing date once it is made public. If you wish to contact SFMTA directly, please contact Lauren Mattern at email@example.com and 415-701-4540.
University of San Francisco
Visit www.511.org to find complete information on all of the public transportation options, traffic alerts, and green transportation alternatives in San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area.
MUNI (San Francisco Municipal Railway) operates San Francisco's buses, subways, streetcars, and historic cable cars.
Popular bus routes for USF students include:
- Stops within 1 block of USF: 5 Fulton (runs 24/7), 31 Balboa, 43 Masonic.
- Stops within 1-3 blocks of USF: 38 Geary (runs 24/7), 21 Hayes, 33 Stanyan.
Wheelchair access varies per route, but all Metro (underground) stations are fully accessible.
For more information:
Tel: (415) 673-6864, Web: www.sfmuni.com
BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) rail lines link San Francisco with the East Bay and Colma. In San Francisco, trains run under Market Street with stops at the Embarcadero, Montgomery Street, Powell Street, and the Civic Center Stations.
Monday-Friday, 4:00 a.m. - midnight
Saturday, 6:00 a.m. - midnight
Sunday, 8:00 a.m. - midnight
All BART stations and cars are wheelchair accessible.
For more information:
Tel: (415) 989-2278, Web: www.bart.gov
AC Transit buses connect San Francisco with East Bay cities in the counties of Alameda and west Contra Costa, including the cities of Oakland and Berkeley. In San Francisco, AC Transit buses depart daily from Transbay Terminal located at First and Mission Streets.
For more information:
Tel: (510) 817-1717, Web: www.actransit.org
Caltrain provides rail service daily between San Francisco and San Jose. Trains are scheduled to accommodate commuter travel.
For more information:
Tel: (800) 660-4287, Web: www.caltrain.com
Golden Gate Bus
Golden Gate Bus transit serves San Francisco and North Bay communities including Sausailto, Mill Valley, and other towns as far north as Santa Rosa.
For more information:
Tel: (415) 455-2000, Web: www.goldengatetransit.org
Golden Gate Ferry
Golden Gate Ferry Service provides daily service between the San Francisco Ferry Building and terminals in Larkspur and Sausalito.
Ferries are wheelchair accessible.
For more information:
Tel: (415) 455-2000, Web: www.goldengateferry.org
Because of the limited parking on and around campus, many students choose to alternative means of transportation.
Bicycling is a popular means of transportation in San Francisco. Many students choose to bicycle for the health benefits as well as for the environmental aspect. Below are some resources for bicycling in San Francisco:
Bike Route Maps:
Many USF community members carpool from all around the Bay Area. To join or form a carpool with other USF students, sign up for Zimride at zimride.usfca.edu.
The 511 website offers other options for people seeking a carpool, vanpool, or bicycle partners. The 511 RideMatch service is an interactive system that allows you to create a profile and find commuters who have similar travel routes and patterns with whom you can share a ride.
To find out more information, visit the 511 website at rideshare.511.org.
Public Safety operates a free shuttle to transport members of the University community around campus. For more information, visit the Public Safety website at www.usfca.edu/Public_Safety/USF_Shuttle_Services or call Public Safety at (415) 422-4222.
Parking around USF and in the city of San Francisco is very limited. Many parking zones are metered, require permits, or have a time limit. Students are encouraged to use public transportation whenever possible. However, for those students who choose to bring a car, the following sections will provide information on parking on- and off-campus.
Parking on the USF campus is by permit only. Permits are issued for specific lots. A lottery is held in the Spring semester to assign students parking permits for the following academic year. The only permits that will be issued in the fall are for evening permits (in effect after 3:00 p.m.) and motorcycles. One day parking passes may be obtained for a fee at the Office of Public Safety.
For more information, please contact Public Safety:
Tel: (415) 422-4222, Web: www.usfca.edu/public_safety
Students with temporary or permanent disability may be issued a special permit entitling them to park in designated zones marked by blue curb and signs. A valid parking placard issued by the State of California Department of Motor Vehicles and a USF permit are necessary to park in these spaces.
Parking on the streets surrounding USF is limited. The city requires Residential Parking Permits on most streets, except the campus-side of adjacent streets. Streets that require permits are limited to two-hour parking increments during the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. All-day parking is allowed on few of the streets that immediately border USF. Check parking signs before attempting to park all day and be aware of posted street cleaning days and times.
Other Parking Considerations
Parking on a Hill
When parking on a hill (grade of 3% or more), your wheels must be properly curbed.
- On a sloping driveway, turn the wheels so the car will not roll into the street if the brakes fail.
- Headed downhill, turn your front wheels into the curb or toward the side of the road. Set the parking brake.
- Headed uphill, turn your front wheels away from the curb and let your vehicle roll back a few inches. The wheel should gently touch the curb. Set the parking brake.
- Headed either uphill or downhill and there is no curb, turn the wheels so the car will roll away from the center of the road if the brakes fail.
- Always set your parking brake and leave the vehicle in gear or the "park" position.
Visit the DMV website at www.dmv.ca.gov to learn more about parking.
Parking at a Meter
Only one car is permitted to park at a meter at any one time. When the meter expires, the car must be moved. If the meter is broken, the car still must be moved after the time limit posted on the meter has expired.
Sidewalk parking is illegal, even in your own driveway. The entire car must be on private property or properly parked at the curb.
Most parking areas in San Francisco have parking signs posted limiting parking times or alerting drivers to street cleaning hours. Before you park, make sure to read all posted signs to avoid a ticket or being towed. Street cleaning is generally scheduled once a week in the morning hours. 'No Parking' times often include morning and evening commute times.
Before parking, be sure to check the color of a curb to know any restrictions that area may have.
- White: Passenger loading. Stop only long enough to pick up or drop off passengers or mail.
- Green: Park for a limited time. Time limit will be displayed on a parking sign or painted on the curb.
- Yellow: Loading Zone. Stop no longer than the time posted to load or unload passengers or freight. Drivers of noncommercial vehicles are usually required to stay with the vehicle.
- Red: No stopping, standing, or parking at any time.
- Blue: Parking zone for the disabled. A valid parking placard issued by the State of California Department of Motor Vehicles is necessary to park in these spaces.
If your car is towed for a parking violation, you must contact AutoReturn, an independent contractor for the city's towing service.
450 7th Street (between Bryant and Harrison)
San Francisco, CA 94103
Tel: (415) 865-8200
For more information on towed vehicles, visit the San Francisco Police Department's website at www.sf-police.org/index.aspx?page=1722.
For more information about parking violations or driving regulations, contact the local Department of Motor Vehicles:
1377 Fell Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
Tel: (800) 777-0133
Prior to entering the United States, international students may apply for and receive an international driver's license from their home country. The United States Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and California Police Department are not always consistent in acknowledging or accepting an international driver's license. While some students have success using an international driver's license in the United States, others have been ticketed. Typically, if you are in the country for more than five months, you are advised to obtain a California driver's license.
For more information on obtaining a California driver's license, visit the DMV website at www.dmv.ca.gov.
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