Parking is terrible around the University area. Whether on campus or off campus, it is difficult to find places to park without paying a ridiculous amount of money. Students who bring cars on campus enter the lottery system for parking, where a student chooses a lot or garage in which they want to park. The lottery decides who gets the parking space. The odds are based on how many students apply to get contracted parking. It is expensive to have contract parking, ranging from $65 to $150 a month on campus. Many off-campus apartments have parking options, too, but they are also expensive. There is daily parking available for those who bring their cars up for a weekend or so. Otherwise, there are parking meters on and off campus for temporary parking, but they are very limited, especially when construction is going on around campus. They are risky because of the chances of getting a ticket for expired meters. Students can park on streets in neighborhoods of St. Paul and sometimes in the Dinkytown area for free, but these are limited, as well. Most houses get some parking spaces with them.
All of this hassle is typical in the city environment in which the University is situated. Hence, if it is not necessary, students should consider not bringing their vehicles to school because parking is limited and expensive. Besides, the city transportation is very good around the campus area and takes students anywhere they want to go. Metro Transit bus passes are very popular with students and cost around $100 per semester for unlimited use. And the Campus Connector runs between the three campuses. Thus, bringing a car on campus is not a necessity. Not bringing a vehicle reduces the trouble of finding a spot, paying for parking, and/or getting a parking ticket.