Transportation on Campus and in Madison

Click here to visit the UW-Madison Visitor and Information Programs page for maps and other helpful information.
Other helpful maps:

  • Campus maps are handed out during Orientation, and are also available at most campus libraries and the unions.
  • Bus: Maps of bus routes are available during bus pass distribution, and from Madison Metro, 266-4466.
  • Bike: The City of Madison Department of Transportation has put out the Madison Bicycling Resource Guide and Route Map. This is available at local bike stores or call 266-6225.


No doubt about it – parking can be a pain on the Madison campus. As a general rule, don’t think, “no one will notice if I park here.” The parking police will notice. And they will defile your unsuspecting windshield with a nasty yellow envelope telling you that they did indeed notice you, and the fine you must pay for their attention.

If you frequently need to drive your car to school during the day, then your best option is to obtain a parking permit for one of the campus lots, which is explained on the Transportation Services‘ web page.

If you rarely drive to campus during the day, you can try your luck with the meters. Many of the larger buildings (such as Ag Hall) have 2 or 3 metered spots somewhere near to them. However, the meters are usually expensive.

If you wait until after 5 pm (or a weekend), your options are much more numerous. For those of you needing to go to Ag Hall at night, try parking in Lot 38 across from Steenbock Library (until Lot 38 is torn up, sometime during 2004). There is also parking in the Soils lot, which is “above” (to the east) of Lot 34, by the smokestack. The meters on the east side of Ag. Hall are checked until 10 p.m. (which, conveniently enough, is generally when the building is locked for the night). If all else fails, the lots across from the Natatorium are ok to park in after 5 p.m. as well.

Specific details about meters and lots are also available on the Transportation Services‘ web site.


Each student (graduate or undergraduate) is entitled to a free bus pass that is good for the entire semester. The pass may not be used on the L-bus, but can be used on all other routes. Bus passes are distributed at the beginning of the semester in Union South and Memorial Union. After the initial distribution time, they can be picked up at the WARF building, or at the Information Window in Memorial Union.

  • Visit Madison Metro’s site for bus schedules and routes.
  • See more information about students bus passes.


Bikers are welcome all over campus-there are even bike lanes on some of the major roads, such as University Avenue. Bike racks are available around most buildings-be sure to lock your bike securely, as thefts have occurred. A couple of points to make your biking experience a pleasant one: If you take your bike in the Library Mall area, please walk it.

If you have to bike on the sidewalk, please be considerate of pedestrians (and no, this doesn’t mean just yelling “on your right!” as you go whizzing past). Slow down on the sidewalk! Cars are supposed to watching for you, but of course, that’s not always the case. Be careful even in the bike lanes, as some cars forget that some poor soul on a bike may be “in their way” as they cut across your lane to make a right hand turn.


Walking is another great way to get to class, and to get some exercise in the process. Most areas around campus are extremely pedestrian-friendly, with plenty of wide sidewalks. There are the pedestrian bridges to get you across some of the busier streets:

  • Across Campus drive, between the horse barn and the Stock Pavilion; the bridge comes out on Old University, by the big 1848 building (the large silver building)
  • Across Park Street, between Bascom Hill and Library Mall.