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The commuter question: Stanford Transportation’s guide for returning to campus

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As Stanford welcomes students back to campus, many will return to an unfamiliar slate of transportation options with shifting COVID-19-related precautions.

To prepare community members for their commutes to and from campus, Stanford Transportation compiled a list of relevant resources. Here is everything you need to know about the current transportation options on and around Stanford’s campus and their public health policies.

Public transportation

For public travel options, COVID-19 regulations vary by transit agency. While the Caltrain is maintaining its face-covering requirement for all passengers regardless of vaccination status, it has also expanded its weekday service schedule for the convenience of students and workers. Eligible University employees, hospital employees, graduate students and postdoctoral scholars can ride the Caltrain for free by requesting a Stanford Go Pass.

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) is also keeping its previous COVID-19 requirements. Beginning on Aug. 1, BART weekday service hours will be from 5 a.m. to 12 a.m.

Stanford Transportation recommends that community members practice physical distancing, cover coughs with sleeves or tissues and continue to wear a face-covering to prevent the spread of COVID-19 when riding public transportation.

Eligible community members who wish to use public transportation can also request transit passes from Stanford. Students can check their eligibility using the Transit Pass Eligibility and Status Checker.

Parking and sharing rides

Stanford offers on-campus parking permits with daily and monthly rates: a daily parking permit costs $5.45, while a monthly permit costs $35 per month ($5.25 per day). Frosh are not eligible to purchase a parking permit.

While many commuters may choose to share rides, there is no formal Stanford carpooling program. Commuters may split the price of parking permits, as long as they wear masks and maintain physical distance during their commute whenever possible.

Parking permits are required on campus only from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays, unless otherwise posted. Stanford affiliates can purchase a permit using Stanford Transportation’s virtual system, which enables drivers to link their license plate to a parking permit.

Marguerite shuttle

The Marguerite shuttle is a free transportation service offered to Stanford students both on and off campus. The shuttle connects students to the Caltrain station and downtown Palo Alto and makes stops across campus.

Marguerite passengers are still required to wear face coverings, but as of July 19 physical distancing protocols have been lifted. Shuttle guidelines will continue to be updated as more students return for on-campus learning in the fall.

Zipcar

Students needing an on-demand car during the day may use Zipcar. The process involves applying through Stanford’s Zipcar webpage, reserving by the hour or day and returning the Zipcar to the designated parking space.

Zipcar service is available 24/7 at a rate of $8.50 per hour. Zipcar is taking COVID-19 precautions, including updating cleaning protocols and asking passengers to wear masks, disinfect surfaces and wash their hands.

Biking

Of course, biking remains a popular commuter option for students and community members. Students can rent a bike at the Campus Bike Shop, and repair stations remain open throughout campus.

Stanford Transportation offers bike routes and maps for travel on and off campus, as well as COVID-19-related bicycle resources. Bike registration managed by the Stanford Department of Public Safety is also now offered online free of charge.

This article has been corrected to show the correct price of a daily parking permit. The Daily regrets this error.

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Isabelle Nunes is a high schooler writing as part of The Daily’s Summer Journalism Workshop. Contact them at workshop 'at' stanforddaily.com.