Parking and transportation guide for 2018
All you need to know to navigate around the Columbia campus
By Koby Padgett, email@example.com, 803-576-6701
The uniqueness of the location of the University of South Carolina limits the availability of parking. Located next to the South Carolina Statehouse and a vibrant downtown Columbia, the historic heart of campus takes some time to learn how to navigate. Here’s a guide, featuring the many offerings of the university's Parking and Transportation Services.
Bring your car, but plan smart
While all students are welcome to bring their car to campus, remember that parking is mostly at the perimeter. You will need your parking pass, which will tell you where you’re allowed to park. Car parking costs vary from $110 a year in surface lots to $400 a year for garages. Motorcycles and mopeds also must be registered for a $60 a year fee. Find more info on the Parking Services site.
And if your car is electric, we’ve got spots for you in the Bull Street Garage. Public garages at Park Street and Main Street operated by Republic Parking also have electric car charging spaces.
Many use meters, but they are smart, too
Around campus and the city of Columbia, there are metered parking spots for use by all. Instead of change, pay with the Passport Parking app (Google Play; Apple). This will make it easier for you not only on campus but also in the Main Street, Vista and Five Points entertainment districts.
Pro tip: if you carpool with friends, add their car information to your profile as well to help out while enjoying the sites of Columbia.
A robust offering of campus shuttles
All faculty, staff and students can ride any USC shuttle for free. And shuttles can be tracked via the TransLoc Rider app (Apple; Google Play). Shuttles are offered for both day (7:30 a.m.-6 p.m.) and night (6 p.m.-12:30 a.m.) classes.
Pro tip: if your class is near the Horseshoe, consider using the AD7 parking lot on Barnwell Street and taking the North Loop shuttle. The bus is scheduled to be there every 20 minutes, and its first two stops are at Close-Hipp buildings, two blocks from the east end of the Horseshoe, and the Williams-Brice Nursing Building, two blocks from the Russell House. The easiest pickup is at the Hollings National Advocacy Center, which should get you back to the Barnwell lot in 10 minutes.
Specialty shuttle offerings:
Five Points shuttle - 10:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays when classes are in session (Drop-off locations).
West Campus weekend - 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m./4-8 p.m. on Sunday and non-home football game Saturdays. That West Campus line will run from Aspyre, Park Place, Main Street Garage and the Horseshoe.
On-call late-night shuttles – dial 803-777-1080 (6:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m.) or 803-777-3351 (12:30-6:30 am).
The University of South Carolina’s Student Government also offers holiday/break shuttles to Columbia Metropolitan Airport. Contact the Student Government office on the second floor of the Russell House to schedule.
Shuttles, shuttles everywhere, pt. 1
Many off-campus apartments offer shuttles to campus that let out near the historic Horseshoe at the center of campus.
Shuttles, shuttles everywhere, pt. 2
In addition to a robust campus shuttle system, the COMET bus system offers access to more parts of Richland County. For first-year students, the COMET offers free freedom passes that may be picked up with your CarolinaCard at the Off-Campus Student Services office in the Russell House University Union or at the Parking Services office in Pendleton Street garage.
Shuttles, shuttles everywhere, pt. 3
Flying through Charlotte to get to school? The Columbia Charlotte Shuttle will deliver you from Charlotte Douglas International Airport to your place here for $55. There’s also SC Shuttle Service that schedules rides to the airports in Charlotte, Columbia, Greenville/Spartanburg and Charleston for a fee.
Biking Columbia is easier now
Two of the city of Columbia’s new public bike-share stations will be located on campus. When launched later this fall, you can get a bike for a small fee at the stations located near Thomas Cooper Library and the Strom Thurmond Wellness and Fitness Center, park at other stations around downtown Columbia and come back with ease.
Football’s a big deal. Get a ride there.
You want to be a part of the masses cheering on the Gamecocks at Williams-Brice Stadium. For all seven home games, fans can catch a shuttle from the Russell House and Coliseum Lot B (AD3 lot on the campus map). Students show their CarolinaCard and get to ride for free. For others, it’s $3 roundtrip. There’s also a shuttle service for Gamecock basketball and baseball games.
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