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Cornell University

Tiered Permit Parking

How Tiered Parking Works

Cornell’s parking permit rate and privilege tier system match employees with their most cost-effective parking options. Faculty and staff should consider all commuting options—including transit, walking, biking, and carpooling to campus—before committing to an annual permit.

For help making a decision, or to learn more about programs and eligibility requirements, contact Transportation Services.

Getting Started

No-Fee Parking

  • A limited number of no-fee parking permits are available for the North Campus A Lot. Bus service from A Lot to campus is available on TCAT buses; employees pay no fee when using their CU photo ID card at the fare box in TCAT Zone 1.
    • All regular and temporary employees are currently eligible for a no-fee A Lot permit. Access may be reduced in response to demand.
    • Residents are not eligible for A Lot permits.
  • No-Fee E permits are restricted to employees working in the associated permit area. 

Paid Permit Parking

Paid permits offer different levels of privileges based on the parking rate tier.

  • All paid permits allow parking in their designated letter area and Outer-Tier areas. (Outer Permits: A, E)
  • Perimeter-Tier permits are valid in their designated permit area and all Outer-Tier areas. (Perimeter Permits: ME, O, R, WE)
  • Mid-Campus Tier permits add Perimeter and Outer permit areas to their parking privileges. (Mid Permits: C, G, HH)
  • Central Campus-Tier permits are valid in their letter area, Z, Mid, Perimeter, and Outer permit areas, and student residential permit areas (FH, ND, SW, WD).
  • Motorcycles may display vehicle permits in the appropriate lots. A valid M parking permit must be displayed in signed motorcycle spaces.

Specially available permits (AP, BZ, MT, NE, NL, PO, RS) can be issued based on work requirements, employment status, commuter program participation, and accessibility needs.

Eligible faculty and staff with regular appointments can pay for their permit via pre-tax payroll deduction; permits paid by payroll deduction expire each June. When payroll deduction is not an option, payment in full is required at the time of purchase. Payment can be made by cash, check, or Visa and MasterCard.


  • Permits for paid parking areas are issued on a work-in-zone, space-available basis.
  • All commuting employees have the option of requesting a no-fee A Lot parking permit.
  • New and temporary employees should bring their appointment letter or a letter from their supervisor verifying employment. A temporary permit may be issued if employment information is not current.
  • If exchanging or upgrading parking options, you must return the current permit.
  • All outstanding citations must be paid before a permit will be issued.
  • Permits may be transferred between personal vehicles registered with the university, and loaner or rental vehicles.
  • Permit ownership is not transferrable.
  • There are no refunds for payroll-deducted permits, or pre-paid permits returned after March 31.