New Parking System
General FAQs (SMU Students, Employees and Visitors)
Updated as of November 21, 2022
Q. When does the new parking system go live?
A. The new parking system is effective August 8, 2022.
Q. Why does SMU need a new parking system?
A. SMU conducts periodic reviews of the parking system on campus and makes any necessary adjustments to account for new building construction or renovation and changes in parking demand. The most recent review recommended a more streamlined system that would maximize parking for students – both residents and commuters – while also making every effort to assign faculty and staff to a specific parking center or parking lot near their school or office.
Q. What are the most significant changes in the new parking system?
A. The All University Parking (AUP) parking areas will no longer exist. Faculty and staff will be assigned to a specific “lettered” parking lot or parking center.
Student residents will be assigned to designated student resident areas, and students who commute will be assigned to designated student commuter areas.
Q. I am an SMU student or employee. How do I get a virtual parking permit?
A. The University issues virtual parking permits to SMU students, faculty and staff. SMU uses license plate recognition software to validate permits in the system. The Parking Portal is your one-stop shop for all things parking, including ordering virtual parking permits, appealing and paying citations and managing your vehicle information.
Q. When is parking enforced on University-owned property?
A. Permit parking will be enforced between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday during the fall and spring semesters. During the summer (through August 8) and break periods, permit parking will be enforced between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. While permit parking will be enforced, vehicles with valid employee permits will also be allowed to park in the designated yellow resident or orange commuter areas on campus during the summer and break periods. Permit parking will not be enforced when the University is officially closed.
Q. Will parking enforcement be eased during the first few weeks of the fall academic term to allow people to adjust to the new parking system?
A. Yes. Parking enforcement will be eased through Monday, September 5, to allow you to adapt to the new parking system. The access gates to the parking centers and lots will be lowered starting on Monday, August 29. We are citing for major violations, including (but not limited to) parking illegally in fire lanes, no parking zones, accessible spaces, and grass or non-parking pavement curbs, ramps, pavers etc.
Q. What after hours parking options during the week are available to SMU faculty, staff and students with valid parking permits?
A. While permit parking is enforced from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday during the fall and spring semesters, SMU faculty, staff and students with valid parking permits may park in any available employee surface lots (blue areas on the parking map) after 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and on weekends (except Lot H adjacent to the Meadows School of the Arts). The employee parking areas in the Meadows and Daniel parking centers are also available after 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, space permitting.
Q. I have a virtual SMU parking permit. What if there is no space available in my assigned lot or parking center? Where do I park?
A. Overflow parking for SMU faculty, staff and students is available on the East Campus. Employees should park in the W4 lot, and students should park in the W6 lot.
Q. I work on the main campus and have several meetings every week across Central Expressway on the East Campus. Will I be able to drive my car and park on the East Campus?
A. No. Due to the high demand for parking, we can no longer accommodate the flexibility to allow SMU students, faculty and staff to park in multiple locations during normal business hours. Employees may only park in their assigned lot or parking center. Faculty and staff who have become accustomed to driving across campus to attend a meeting or event should use the SMU Express shuttle service or walk.
Q. I have questions or concerns about the new parking system. Who do I contact?
A. Questions or concerns regarding the new parking system can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. This email address is monitored regularly.
Q. Where can I find information about the new parking system?
Q. I have a mobility impairment. Where can I park?
A. A map of the accessible parking spaces available on the SMU campus is available online.
Q. Where are the accessible parking options for SMU students and employees?
A. Accessible spaces on campus require an SMU parking permit and a state-issued disabled placard or plate or an SMU temporary handicapped accessible parking permit. Individuals with short-term accessible parking needs should contact their physician for a doctor’s note. The doctor’s note can be emailed to email@example.com or faxed to 214-768-7678 for completion, and the permit can be picked up in the Parking and ID Services office once it is processed. A short-term temporary accessible permit can be obtained from the Parking and ID Services office for a maximum of six (6) weeks for on-campus use only. Drivers with longer than expected recovery periods should file with the state for the state disabled permit.
Q. I like to work out at the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports. How does the new parking system impact my ability to park near that facility?
A. SMU faculty and staff with a virtual parking permit may park in Level One of the Meadows Parking Center after 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, space permitting.
Q. Will the new parking system affect Visitor parking options?
A. Campus visitors should park in designated visitor parking areas only. Visitor parking information is available online.
Q. Can students, faculty, and staff park in designated visitor spaces?
No. Students, faculty, and staff must park in their assigned parking lot or parking center. Violators are subject to ticketing.
Q. Where can retired SMU employees (emeriti) park on campus?
A. SMU Retirees may park in any available commuter (orange) parking lot or center on campus. The updated parking map is online here. Please make note of the designated commuter (orange) levels in the various parking centers as detailed on the parking map.
Q. How will the new parking changes affect event and guest parking?
A. As is the case today, every effort will be made to accommodate event and guest parking requests, space permitting. SMU employees with event and guest parking requests, including for Bishop Blvd., should submit them using STABLE.
Q. What is the University policy related to the use of SCUVs (i.e., golf carts) on campus?
A. Many departments across campus are utilizing Sub-Compact Utility Vehicles (SCUVs) to quickly maneuver around campus. Vehicles such as Gators, Metros, Club Cars, Toros, etc. are relatively inexpensive and take much less room to park than conventional vehicles. While the increased convenience may be time-saving, the SCUVs bring a new risk to occupants, pedestrians, and persons with disabilities. In addition, the cost to repair damage to hardscape and turf areas is considerable. Therefore, to reduce risk and unnecessary cost, the following procedures are to be followed. SCUV’s, unless they are street legal, cannot be used to cross to and from the main campus and East Campus.
SCUV’s should only be parked and stored in designated areas only and NOT be parked in a parking space assigned to students, employees, or visitors, or on sidewalks that are not designated areas. Violators will be subject to ticketing.
Q. If I need to rent a car, or use a different one that’s in the parking system, do I still need to park in my assigned lot?
A. Yes, a driver simply adds the license plate and vehicle description of the rental or loaner vehicle to their current permit by logging in to their Parking Portal and selecting "Permit" and then "View Permits" and double-clicking on the permit and scrolling down to the prompt.
Q. Are there plans for SMU to build additional parking lots or parking centers in the near future?
A. There are no current additional parking lots or centers planned, but SMU will continue to identify and create new parking areas to help meet current and future parking demand when possible.
Q. Is SMU reviewing electric vehicle (EV) options and locations for the SMU campus?
A. Yes. The University is reviewing EV options and locations for our community to use. SMU invites feedback and comments from faculty, staff and students as part of its EV review process. Please send any comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. The review should be complete by Spring 2023.
Q. I am an SMU student or employee and drive an electric vehicle (EV). What EV charging options are currently available on campus?
A. While SMU is reviewing commercial EV charging options on campus, there are no immediate plans to expand charging locations to additional parking centers. Given the limited number of available EV charging options on campus, SMU students and employees should charge their EV at home or use available commercial EV charging stations in the DFW area.
Q. Where can I charge my EV on campus, and are there any rules for using these locations?
A. SMU students and employees with valid parking permits may use the EV charging locations on a first come, first serve basis. You must bring your own charger to plug into the wall outlet, and you are subject to ticketing if your vehicle is fully charged and you do not return the vehicle to your assigned location.
Currently, EV wall outlets (240 volt, 20 amp) are available in the following locations: Binkley Parking Center (level 2, west); Moody Parking Center (level one, south); Hillcrest Parking Center (level 2, south); and Mustang Parking Center (level one, east).
Q. What is the City of University Park ordinance regarding street parking adjacent to the SMU campus?
A. The City of University Park has established residential-only parking districts throughout the neighborhoods adjacent to the SMU campus. Street parking within established residential parking districts is restricted Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. University Park residents are allowed to park on city streets within the established residential parking districts with a displayed resident parking or guest permit issued by the City of University Park. Do no park on residential streets or at commercial establishments in areas surrounding the SMU campus.
NEW: SMU Express Shuttle Service - Red and Blue Routes
Q. What is the SMU Express shuttle service?
A. SMU partners with DART to provide a convenient campus shuttle service for students, faculty, staff, and visitors.
Q. Where can I find the new SMU Express Blue Route shuttle route and map?
Q. What is the new Blue Route of the SMU Express shuttle service?
A. The SMU Express Blue Route offers complimentary transportation around the SMU main and East campuses for SMU faculty, staff, students and guests. The new Blue Route significantly increases the number of stops on the main SMU campus while also serving additional parking areas on the East campus.
Q. When does the new SMU Express Blue Route begin service, and what are its operating hours?
A. The SMU Express Blue Route starts Monday, August 1, 2022, and will run approximately every 30 minutes between 5:30 a.m. and 11:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Check the schedule for weekend hours. The service does not operate on official University holidays.
Q. What is the Red Route of the SMU Express shuttle service?
A. The SMU Express Red Route offers complimentary service for SMU faculty, staff, students and guests and provides regular service between the SMU main and East campuses, DART’s SMU/Mockingbird Station and the surrounding neighborhood along Greenville Avenue to Southwestern and Amesbury.
Q. Where can I find the new SMU Express Red Route shuttle route and map?
A. The SMU Express Red Route map and schedule are posted online.
Q. What are the operating hours for the SMU Express Red Route?
A. The SMU Express Red Route will run approximately every 20 minutes between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. Monday through Friday. Check the schedule for weekend and holiday hours.
Q. Can we track the location of the SMU Express shuttles in real-time?
A. SMU is in the process of upgrading the shuttle tracking app software and hopes to have a new solution in place as soon as possible. We will notify the University community once the new app is available.
Q. What happened to the former Museum Express route and service?
A. The Museum Express route service will end on July 31, 2022. The SMU Express Red Route will continue to provide the campus community and visitors with connections between DART’s SMU/Mockingbird Station and the George W. Bush Presidential Center and the Meadows Museum.
Q. What SMU Express routes should I take to travel between the main and East campuses?
A. Both the Blue and Red routes connect the main and East campuses and stop at different locations at various times throughout the day and evening hours. Check the route maps schedules for more information.
Q. Will I need a DART Go Pass to ride the SMU Express shuttle?
Q. In addition to the SMU Express shuttle, what other transportation options are available?
A. SMU participates in a DART Higher Education Pass Program and all currently enrolled students are eligible to receive an annual DART transit pass through the Parking and ID Card Services Office. With a DART GoPass transit pass, riders are able to commute to campus by bus and rail with public transportation that is reliable and economical. Use your DART GoPass for your daily commute and forget the traffic hassles and the fuel and parking costs.
The University will subsidize the cost of a DART local or regional pass by $400 on a prorated basis for employees who do not have an SMU parking permit. To help further offset the cost of DART transit passes, benefits-eligible SMU employees may choose to pay for their annual DART transit pass through payroll deduction on a pre-tax basis. Current full-time, benefits-eligible SMU employees can request their annual GoPass Phone App.
More information about the DART GoPass transit pass is available online.
Additional transportation alternatives can be reviewed on the Parking and ID Services website.
Q. I use the University’s Zipcar program. Where do I park?
A. ZipCar locations on campus can be viewed online.
NEW: Parking Gate Access and TollTag Information
Q. How do I access the gate at my assigned parking center or lot?
A. You will need to have a valid virtual SMU parking permit and use your SMU ID card or registered TollTag to enter the parking areas. Enroll your TollTag for hands-free access to the gated parking lots and centers on campus. Your TollTag will not be charged - the information is used only to identify your vehicle when you approach the gate. You must still have a valid SMU ID card and a current SMU virtual parking permit to register and use your TollTag for parking access.
For those drivers who do not enroll their TollTag, please keep your SMU ID card with you. You will need it to enter and exit the parking centers and lots on campus.
TollTags from Dallas or Houston are supported (with prefixes DNT, DFW, or HOU).
To present your ID card to the gate access reader, hold your card flat against the face of the reader and hold it still for two to three seconds. The reader will beep once, letting you know the card was detected, then either give you a red light (access denied) or alternating green/red light (access granted) and the gate will open.
Why is the access gate to the Airline Parking Center open in the early morning hours, and why is there no access gate to the entrance of the Daniel Parking Center?
A. The City of University Park asked that we keep the access gate to the Airline Parking Center open until 9 a.m. Monday through Friday so it does not interrupt traffic patterns on Airline Road or Daniel Ave. There is no access gate to the Daniel Parking Center due to the disruption it would cause to the traffic patterns on Daniel Ave.
Q. When will students who purchase a virtual parking permit receive their parking assignment?
Q. I am a student living on campus. How does the new parking system affect me?
A. Students who reside in University-owned housing will park in any available residential spaces designated in yellow on the parking map.
In addition to the student resident parking surface lots, three (3) parking centers include designated spaces for student residents: Mustang Parking Center (all levels); Hillcrest Parking Center (levels 3-4); and Airline Parking Center (levels 4-5).
Q. I am a commuter student. How does the new parking system affect me?
A. Students who commute to and from campus will park in any available student commuter spaces designated in orange on the parking map.
In addition to the student commuter parking surface lots, four (4) parking centers include designated spaces for student commuters: Moody Parking Center (levels 3-5); Binkley Parking Center (levels 3-5); Meadows Parking Center (level 2); and Daniel Parking Center (levels 3-5).
SMU Employee FAQs
Q. I am a faculty or staff member currently assigned to a “lettered” parking lot or center. Will I continue parking in the same location?
A. Yes. Faculty and staff currently assigned to a “lettered” lot will continue parking in the same location.
Q. I am a faculty or staff member currently assigned to All University Parking (AUP). Where will my parking assignment be in the new parking system?
A. Faculty and staff currently assigned to All University Parking (AUP) will be re-assigned to a “lettered” parking lot or parking center. Every effort will be made to assign faculty and staff to a location near their primary office or school as space allows.
Q. I am employed by a University contractor (i.e., Aramark, ABM, Siemens, Kelly Services, construction, etc.). Where do I park?
A. Employees who are permanent vendors (i.e., employed by Aramark, ABM, Siemens, Kelly Services, construction) will be assigned to park on the East Campus and will use the SMU Express shuttle service to transit to and from the main campus. Permanent vendor employees should direct any questions regarding their new assigned parking location to their supervisors.
Q. Will faculty and staff be able to request a new parking assignment that he or she feels is more convenient to their primary office or school?
A. Yes. The Parking and ID Services Office will continue to maintain a waitlist for SMU employee parking areas.
Q. How do SMU faculty and staff get on the waitlist for a parking lot or parking center?
A. Employees can place themselves on up to two waitlist locations using the SMU online Parking Portal. Select the "Add/Edit Waitlist" option near the bottom of the main menu page.
Q. When will the employee parking surface lots adjacent to the new Moody School of Graduate and Advanced Studies open?
A. The employee surface lot adjacent to new Moody School of Graduate and Advanced Studies is scheduled to be open by August 1 in time for the start of the fall term. SMU faculty and staff members will be assigned to park in this new lot.
Q. When will faculty and staff who purchase a virtual parking permit receive their parking assignment?
A. The Parking and ID Office will begin notifying employees previously assigned to All University Parking (AUP) of their new parking assignment during the week of July 25, 2022. Faculty and staff currently assigned to a “lettered” lot will continue parking in the same location.
Q. I am a new faculty or staff member. Where will I be assigned to park?
A. New faculty and staff may be assigned to park on the East Campus due to high demand. New employees should use the waitlist option available on the online Parking Portal to be reassigned to another location as space allows. New employees who participate in the mandatory Human Resources orientation in Expressway Tower will be provided a parking pass to attend the session.
Q. I am an SMU employee and I already elected to park on campus during the previous enrollment period. I’d like to receive the $400 credit for an annual DART GoPass instead. How do I switch?
A. The DART GoPass option for SMU benefits-eligible employees is available during the benefits open enrollment period in October.
SMU Employee FAQs regarding Waitlist Process
Q. How does SMU manage the waitlist?
A. Employees from the waitlist are given their preferred parking assignment when space becomes available based on the date they were originally placed on our list. Parking assignments are made based on the waitlist preference of individual employees purchasing parking through our office. SMU employees can review their waitlist preferences via the SMU Parking Portal website.
Q. What is the waitlist process for parking assignments?
A. Benefits-eligible SMU employees who currently pay for parking annually using payroll deduction or purchase a permit annually can be placed on a waitlist of their choosing. Employees who pay for parking can be placed on two waitlists as they desire but when a placement is accepted, their name will be removed from all waitlists. If an employee accepts a placement and would like to remain on a waitlist for another location, they are moved to the bottom of the waitlist location for the parking location they prefer. An employee can stay on the waitlist if the permit is purchased outright and maintained each year. Employees who do not currently pay for parking cannot be placed on a waitlist.
Q. How does SMU manage capacity in the parking centers and lots?
A. SMU has established a maximum assignments capacity for each managed employee parking location on campus based on standards established by the professional parking industry for colleges and universities.
The standard used is that no more than 1.5 full-time employee parking permits are issued for every available employee parking space in a given location. Until the assignment capacity for a location is reached, assignments are made on a first-come, first-served basis. Once the assignment capacity is reached for a location, individuals are given the opportunity to be placed on a waitlist.