Employee Carpool Preferred Program

The PREFERRED carpool program includes an application process, which among other things, asks you to list the members of the carpool.  Once completed, you can park in designated carpool spaces (as available) in any lot(s)/deck(s) for which your primary driver’s permit is valid.  Details below.

How to Apply

To apply for a carpool permit, complete the  Employee Carpool Program Application.


Application Deadlines

  • Fall: last Friday in September
  • Spring: the Friday in the last week of February

The Carpool preferred permit is valid for one year

Application Process

  • Have each member in the carpool sign the form
  • Drop off the form along with a copy of everyone’s Mason ID and any permits that have already been bought at the Transportation Office (located in Nottoway Annex in Lot C).
  • You must carpool together at least 3 days per week and there must be at least 2 people in the car for half of your commute and at least 2 people when you arrive at the carpool space.
  • Everyone in the carpool can receive an access device (if in Van Metre Hall, Mason Pond or Rappahannock parking deck) with a refundable deposit of $25 per access device. For those parking in Shenandoah, no device is needed.
  • The group is responsible for transferring the permit among the participants, as well as reconciling all financial issues.
  • Each carpool vehicle must be registered with the carpool group.
  • A carpool permit in the preferred program is valid for one year.

Please note: 

At least one participant in the group must own a valid faculty/staff permit and consequently be responsible for its payment and use. The carpool group will designate a primary permit holder if more than one member owns a permit. The group is responsible for transferring the permit among the participants, as well as reconciling all financial issues. Each carpool vehicle must be registered with the carpool group.

There are no rebates on permits in general lots but the PREFERRED parking spots will remain available to carpools based on availability. Faculty/Staff carpools can park in designated carpool spots in the general lots or decks if one member has the appropriate deck permit and provided that they have registered as a carpool with Parking and Transportation

The Transportation Office will process your application and you will receive an email or a phone call within three business days to pick up your carpool permit from the Transportation Office.

What’s next?

  • Upon approval of the application, a supplemental carpool permit will be issued to the primary permit holder.
  • Both the primary person’s permit and the supplemental permit must be displayed in the carpool vehicle.
  • Hang the regular permit on the rear view mirror and place the supplemental permit on the dashboard.
  • More than one vehicle can be registered for use by the carpool.
  • If a citation is issued, it will be assigned to the primary permit holder. Upon request, a citation can be reassigned to another carpool member's registered vehicle.

Where you can park

You can park in any lot or deck for which your primary permit is valid.  There are designated carpool spaces located conveniently in lots and decks as outlined below.  If they are all full, you are free to park anywhere your primary permit is valid. For example, if you have a general lot permit, you cannot park in Shenandoah Deck carpool spaces because your permit is not valid there. Preferred carpool members can park in the Mason Pond Drive and Lot A carpool spaces with a general lot permit.

Fairfax Campus:

  • Mason Pond Drive – 7 spaces
  • Lot A – 4 spaces
  • Finley Lot - 5 spaces
  • Mason Pond Deck (3rd level )- 2 spaces
  • Mason Global Center - 10 spaces
  • Shenandoah Parking Deck (3rd level) – 3 spaces
  • Rappahannock River Deck(southeast corner of Level 1) – 6 spaces

SciTech Campus:

  • Occoquan Lot:  2 spaces
  • King Lot: 2 spaces
  • Discovery A Lot: 2 spaces

Arlington Campus:

  • Smith Building Garage at 3434 Washington Boulevard (P1 level next to Founders Hall bridge): 2 spaces
  • Van Metre Hall Garage: 17 spaces

Additional Benefits

  • Non-permit holders can receive from the Transportation Office (Nottoway Annex in Lot C):
    1. 2 FREE Daily Parking Passes per Month: The two free daily passes cannot be shared among the group or given to another person for use.
    2. Additional Discounted Parking Passes: Carpoolers have the option of buying an additional half-priced pack of 5 daily passes per semester for $22.50 or half-priced pack of 5 deck validations for $37.50.
  • Guaranteed Ride Home: provides up to 4 FREE rides home per year in case of emergency. Sign up at:  https://www.commuterconnections.org/commuters/guaranteed-ride-home/
  • Payroll Deduction:  In addition to the PREFERRED parking spaces, those permits paid through payroll deduction can be turned in and deductions will cease immediately.
  • Financial Savings:  Sharing the cost of one parking permit and gas helps save money on your commute.
  • Less stressful commute:  Carpools can take advantage of HOV lanes and arrive to campus faster.
  • Go Green: Make your contribution to our environment by carpooling and helping to reduce CO2 emissions.

If Your Carpool Changes

If a member of the carpool chooses to leave the carpool, the primary permit holder needs to promptly notify the Transportation Office. If only one member remains in the group, the Transportation Office must be notified and all alternative transportation programs will be cancelled.