Parking & Transportation Update Fall 2018

Parking & Transportation Update Fall 2018

With the start of the Fall 2018 semester, Mason students, faculty and staff are reminded that traffic on and around the Fairfax Campus will increases, especially during the first few weeks of the semester. The following information is intended to serve as a campus parking and transportation guide and help minimize potential parking and traffic delays. A valid parking permit is required to park outside of visitor areas.

During the first few weeks of the semester, we suggest allowing an extra 30-45 minutes to arrive on campus. Though some parking spaces are likely more convenient to your destination than others, the Fairfax Campus has more than enough total parking spaces to accommodate all vehicles. However, many General parking permit areas are still expected to fill at peak class times.

Below is information about parking, shuttles, alternative transportation options, construction and finding parking and transportation information.

At times during the morning, late afternoon and early evenings, campus police cadets will be directing traffic around campus. Please be alert and follow the cadet’s direction.


Arriving to campus between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. on a normal basis: General permit parking in Lots L and K is recommended, as most other parking lots on the East Campus, including Lot A, tend to fill prior. If “Lot Full” signs are posted at the entrance(s) to Lot K please proceed directly to the Field House (see below). Please note that all of Lot J requires a reserved Lot J permit except the designated Faculty/Staff General spaces on the perimeter. The General permit parking area of the Rappahannock River Parking Deck (all of Level 2 and areas of Level 1 not designated as visitor parking) is expected to fill to capacity between 9 a.m.-10 a.m. on a regular basis. The ramps from Level 2 to Level 3 and the non-reserved spaces on Level 3 in the Rappahannock River Deck are restricted to faculty/staff General permit parking.

Arriving to campus between 11a.m. and 3 p.m. (especially on Tuesdays and Thursdays): The best option for General permit parking is Lot L, the back of Lot K, the PV Lot or the General permit parking lots by the Field House on the west side of Ox Road. At peak times, General permit traffic may be directed from East Campus to the West Campus lot, via Campus Drive or Braddock Road. It is highly recommended to consider using the West Campus Lot or the unrestricted parking spaces along Rapidan River Road as a primary option to save time.

The West Campus Shuttle provides service from 7 a.m.-midnight with stops at the Field House, the RAC, Mason Pond (EagleBank Arena side), Presidents Park, Masonvale (Patriot Cir. @ Staffordshire Ln.) and Rappahannock River Ln. - Shelter # 1, then back to the RAC, the Field House and then ends at West Campus. Go to the West Campus Shuttle page for current information on the schedule.

Note: The average walk time from the Field House to the Johnson Center is about 12 to 15 minutes, taking the new pathway parallel to Campus Drive.

Visitor Parking

The Mason Pond, Shenandoah and Rappahannock River Parking Decks provide most of the campus’ visitor parking spaces. The visitor sections of the Mason Pond and Shenandoah Parking Decks tend to fill in the mornings and early evenings during the first few weeks of the semester. Additional visitor parking is available in the Level 1 Visitor parking area of the Rappahannock River Parking Deck (a separate visitor entrance is located off Patriot Circle) by paying in advance utilizing our Pay by Space machines or by using the ParkMobile pay-by-cell service that allows one to pay via their cell phone. You can sign up at Parkmobile or by downloading their mobile app.

Additional visitor parking is available at the Field House utilizing the Pay-and-Display machine (MasterCard and Visa) located across from the front door of the Field House. Parking is available for $4/day with the shuttle service mentioned above to get back and forth to East Campus. ParkMobile pay-by-cell service is also available here.  If the parking spaces in the Field House lots are full, please park in the West Campus lot after payment. The most economical daily parking is at the West Campus lot for $2/day. This option is only available by purchasing a daily printable West Campus parking permit online and displaying the permit.

Printable Visitor Permits

You may now purchase a daily, weekly, or monthly General permit online at My Parking Account and print it, saving you a trip to the Parking Services office to buy it in person. At times, this option may only be available for the Field House parking lots for $4/day, $15/week, or $45/month, or the West Campus lot for $2/day, $8/week, or $30/month. A separate evening permit allowing parking after 4 p.m. Monday-Friday in East Campus General lots such as Lot K is available for $5/day, $25/week, or $60/month. A complimentary Saturday/Sunday permit for Lot K is available online, as well.  At the beginning of the Fall 2018 semester, only West Campus Daily and General Evening permits will be available online.

Visitor Payment Methods

The Mason Pond Parking Deck accepts Mason Money, MasterCard, Visa, prepaid validations and cash.  For a quicker exit there are three pay-on-foot machines located on Levels 3, 2 and 1 which accept MasterCard, Visa and prepaid validations only. The Shenandoah Parking Deck accepts MasterCard, Visa, prepaid validations and cash.  For a quicker exit there are two pay-on-foot machines located on Level 1 adjacent to the elevators which accept MasterCard, Visa, prepaid validations and cash. The Rappahannock River Parking Deck Pay-by-Space machines are located adjacent to the elevators and accept MasterCard, Visa, prepaid validation codes and exact parking fee cash (these machines do not provide change).  Avoid the lines by using ParkMobile as your payment option. The Pay-and-Display machine for the Field House accepts MasterCard and Visa. ParkMobile payments are also accepted. You can pay online for Printable Permits using MasterCard, Visa or your checking account.


Check the Mason Shuttles website for fall semester shuttle schedules by clicking on the route name at the top, and then selecting the schedule.  Some schedules may have a weekday and then a separate weekend schedule. All shuttles are free with Mason ID, and every bus is outfitted with a bike rack and Wi-Fi.

Mason Shuttles is using a real-time transit service called RideSystems.  Download the RideSystems app, or visit the Shuttle Tracker to see when the next shuttle is arriving. The real-time arrival info for shuttles and local public transportation can be viewed in the Mobile Mason app as well.

The Sandy Creek - Vienna Metro shuttle operates from the Fairfax Campus to the Vienna Metro station and runs continuously with buses every 15 to 30 minutes from 6 a.m. to 12:15 a.m., Monday through Thursday and until 1:45 a.m. on Friday. Saturday and Sunday service begins at 8 a.m., with weekend stops at the Mason Townhouses on Chain Bridge Road and by Fairfax Circle on Lee Highway. A Mason ID card is required to board the shuttle from the Rappahannock River Lane, Commerce Building and Fairfax Circle stops. The buses leave from the Sandy Creek Transit Center and Rappahannock River Lane (Shelter #1) every 15 minutes during the morning and afternoon peak (rush hours). During non-rush hour they operate every 30 minutes. 

The Global Center - Metro shuttle provides direct service between Mason’s Global Center, the RAC and Rappahannock River Lane (Shelter #1) to Vienna Metro Monday-Thursday and limited hours on Friday. Departures at 10 minutes and 40 minutes after the hour.

Commuters also have the option to park at the Science and Technology Campus with a valid parking permit or use Pay by Space visitor parking and ride the Fairfax-SciTech Campus shuttle to the Fairfax Campus. Shuttle service Monday-Thursday between 6:00 a.m.- 11:10 p.m. with departures every half hour for most of the day. Service is every hour on Fridays. An additional departure at 11:10 p.m. from Sandy Creek Transit Center to SciTech and at 11:40 p.m. from the Occoquan stop (Colgan Hall) back to Sandy Creek has been added Monday-Friday. Weekend service every two hours is also available for the Fairfax-SciTech shuttle. A Mason ID card is required to board the shuttle from the Manassas Mall stop (shuttle stop is located between entrances #3 and #4 at the mall).

The Burke Centre VRE shuttle provides a connection between the VRE and Fairfax Campus. Free parking is located at the Burke Centre VRE garage and may be used as a park’n’ride lot. Also, many students and employees that live in the Burke area can walk or ride a bike to catch the shuttle. Plus, we are now picking up and dropping off on the return trip to campus from Burke Centre VRE at Target, and three new stops along Zion Drive. In addition, we have extended morning and evening hours.

  • Fall 2018 Schedule - Schedule goes into effect on Saturday, August 25 but service, begins on Monday, August 27 (no weekend service on this route).

The Gunstons Go-Bus provides service between the RAC, Sandy Creek Transit Center, Fair Lakes, Fair Oaks Mall, Fairfax Corner, Ridge Top Road, and University Mall. We have added two new trips in the afternoon on the George Route at 3:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Alternative Transportation Options

To avoid the worries of parking and traffic, consider the many alternatives to driving. Besides the Mason Shuttles, students and employees may ride any of the four Fairfax City CUE buses from and to the Rappahannock River Lane stop throughout the City and to Vienna Metro for free simply by presenting their Mason ID. Check for schedules.


Recognized as a Bicycle Friendly University, there are more than 1400 bicycle parking spaces scattered around campus with covered bike parking under shelters around campus and on Levels 1 and 2 of the Rappahannock River Deck. A bicycle registration program exists where registrants receiving free bike u-locks and free bike lights. Go to for more information! A bike rental program is coming soon!

Carpooling Options

The Carpool Zone in Lot A accessed off of Mattaponi River Lane and the Carpool Zone on Level 1 of the Rappahannock River Deck General permit area will resume on Monday, August 28. To park in a carpool zone, show up between 6 a.m.-11 a.m., Monday-Friday with a total of twp or more people in your car, a General student or faculty/staff parking permit and you can park in a carpool space set aside each morning. No special permit is required as we will have a parking officer screening all vehicles. It's first come first served. Visit the Carpool Zone Program page for more info.

Students and employees may qualify for a 20- to 40-percent rebate on their reserved parking permits by carpooling. Go to Carpool and Vanpool page for information on the student and employee carpool programs.

To find a carpool partner you can use Zimride, a ridesharing network that helps match people with similar commutes to and from campus. Sign up with your Mason Net ID and password at Zimride.  Carpooling can save thousands of dollars per year!

Zipcar-wheels when you want them. Two cars located on Mason Pond Drive, one car on Level 1 of the Rappahannock River Deck, and another Zipcar in Lot R behind Taylor Hall is available for rental by the hour. For more info and to sign up for Mason discounts, go to Zipcar.

Motorcycle Parking

Motorcycle parking spaces are available in various locations around campus, including in front of the Aquatics and Fitness Center, by the Northeast Modules, Lot J, Lot C, on Level 1 of the Rappahannock River Parking Deck inside the General permit area and in the Finley Lot (permit required). Additional reserved deck parking for motorcycles is also available in the Mason Pond, Shenandoah and Rappahannock River Parking Decks (deck motorcycle reserved permit required).

Moped Parking: Please note that scooters and mopeds are required to purchase motorcycle permits and use motorcycle parking areas. Mopeds and scooters may not park at bike racks or in other areas around campus.

Science and Technology (SciTech) Campus Parking

Fairfax-SciTech General area, Lot I, Lot J, Lot R, and reserved parking deck parking permits are valid in the Occoquan, King, Discovery, Hylton, and the Tower parking lots at the SciTech Campus. Please follow signage in these parking lots as parking spaces may be designated for various uses or permits. Beacon Hall resident parking permit holders may only park in the Beacon Hall resident lot or the Tower Lot. The Shops parking lot in front of Beacon Hall has faculty/staff, event permit and 30-minute parking on the northwest side of the lot. The southeast side of the lot (left side facing the building) is for retail parking only.

Visitor parking is available in the Occoquan and Discovery parking lots utilizing the Pay-by-Space machine in the kiosk located in the front of the Occoquan lot. Visitor parking is also available in the Tower lot utilizing a Pay-by-Space machine located at the entrance. The Pay-by-Space machines accept MasterCard and Visa. Visitor rates are $2 for the 1st hour and $1 for each additional hour, with a $6 maximum for the day. Printable daily permits for the SciTech Campus may be purchased online or at the SciTech Parking Services office for $6/day. For more information, go to the Science and Technology Campus Transportation Services page.

Arlington Campus Parking

One must work or be attending class at the Arlington Campus to be eligible to purchase an Arlington Campus parking permit. Fairfax-SciTech Campus permits are not valid at the Arlington Campus without authorization from Parking Services. All the Arlington Campus General permit parking is in the Vernon Smith Building Garage (formerly known as the Metropolitan Building garage located at 3434 N. Washington Blvd.). Faculty/Staff and Student parking is available on levels B3 thru P1 and on level B-4 after 6 p.m. There is no guarantee of space in the General permit parking area. Please pay careful attention to signage as some spaces are designated for retail use only. Reserved and visitor parking is available in the Founders Hall garage, including discounted daytime-only permits (5A – 6P) and evening-only permits (2P - 2A).  Permit parking in the Founders Hall Garage does guarantee one a parking space.  For more information, go to the  Arlington Campus Transportation Services page.

Construction Impacts

The Core Campus project includes the demolition and replacement of Robinson A on the Fairfax Campus, along with upgrades to the campus’ utility infrastructure. Pedestrian and road impacts will occur across campus throughout the coming year. For more information, visit

To improve service to customers, Fairfax Water is replacing the existing water storage tank located on the Fairfax Campus. The project is scheduled to begin in September. The Child Development Center (CDC) access road will be closed to traffic, and the parking lot will be modified during the first part of September. Construction vehicles may be staged on the roads between the CDC and Northeast Modules. Use caution when driving in this area.

For information on other construction projects as well as large event impacts, go to Building Patriot Pride.

Parking and Transportation Information

For questions, please feel free to Contact Us.

You can also follow Parking and Transportation on Twitter on @MasonParking or @MasonShuttles and Facebook