Parking and Traffic Advisory: Transportation Updates for the Fall Semester
As the Fall 2022 semester approaches, Mason students, faculty and staff are reminded that traffic on and around the Fairfax Campus greatly increases during the first few weeks of the semester. The following campus parking and transportation guide will help minimize potential parking and traffic delays.
A valid parking permit is required to park outside of visitor areas. Semester and short-term permits may be purchased online at parking.gmu.edu. Information about permit sales is posted on the Parking and Transportation website.
During the first few weeks of the semester, we suggest allowing an extra 30-45 minutes to arrive on campus. The Fairfax Campus has more than enough spaces to accommodate all vehicles. However, many General parking permit areas fill at peak class times.
A new ridesharing program called Mason Commutes is now available to help the Mason community find and share rides and to find carpool partners.
At times during the morning, late afternoon, and early evenings, campus police cadets will direct traffic around campus. Please be alert and follow the cadets’ directions.
Below is information about parking, shuttles, alternative transportation options, construction, and finding parking and transportation information.
Arriving on campus between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.:
- 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 early.
- If “Lot Full” signs are posted at Lot K, please proceed to the Field House (see below). Please note that Lots I and J require a reserved permit except in the designated Faculty/Staff General spaces on the perimeter.
- The General permit parking area of the Rappahannock Parking Deck (Level 1 and Level 2 spaces not designated as visitor parking) generally fills to capacity between 9–10 a.m.
- The ramps from Levels 2– 3 and the non-reserved spaces on Level 3 in Rappahannock Deck are restricted to Faculty/Staff General permit parking.
Arriving on campus between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. (especially Tuesdays and Thursdays):
- The best option for General permit parking is Lot L, the back of Lot K, the PV Lot (behind the RAC) and the General permit 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.
The West Campus shuttle provides service from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., Monday–Friday, with stops at Rapidan River Road, the Field House, the RAC, Ángel Cabrera Global Center, Mason Pond Drive (EagleBank Arena side), Presidents Park, Masonvale (Patriot Circle at Staffordshire Lane) and Rappahannock River Lane (Shelter 3), ending back at West Campus. Between 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday–Thursday, there is service every 20 minutes. From 7–8 a.m. and 8–11 p.m. on Monday–Thursday, and all day on Friday, shuttle service is every 40 minutes. View the West Campus shuttle schedule.
Note: The average walk time from the Field House to the Johnson Center is about 12–15 minutes, and 20 minutes from West Campus, via the pathway parallel to Campus Drive.
Visitor Parking: The Mason Pond, Shenandoah, and Rappahannock River parking decks provide most of the campus’ visitor parking spaces. Garage parking is $5 for the first hour with an $18 daily maximum. MasterCard and Visa are accepted.
- The visitor sections of the Mason Pond and Shenandoah parking decks typically fill in the mornings and early evenings during the first few weeks of the semester.
- Additional visitor parking is available in the first level visitor parking area of the Rappahannock Parking Deck (a separate visitor entrance is located off Patriot Circle).
- At the Rappahannock deck, pay in advance utilizing the pay machines near the elevators. The machines require your license plate to verify payment. You can also use ParkMobile, which allows payment by cell phone. Sign up at https://parkmobile.io/ or by downloading the mobile app.
Daily Parking Options
Purchase a printable daily permit online at parking.gmu.edu or by using the ParkMobile app. Daily rates:
- Lots L and K: $11.
- Lots M, O, and P (Field House Daily): $7. (The pay station is located in Lot O in front of the Field House.)
- Evening General (valid after 4 p.m., valid in Student General areas): $8.
- Science and Technology Campus: $8.
- West Campus: $5.
A complimentary Saturday/Sunday permit for Lot K is also available online.
- Check the Mason Shuttles website at http://shuttle.gmu.edu/ for schedules.
- Click on the route name at the top and select the schedule.
- Some routes may have weekday and weekend schedules.
- Shuttles are free to students and employees. Mason IDs are required.
- 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 website to learn when the next shuttle is arriving. The real-time arrival information for shuttles and local public transportation can also be viewed in the Mobile Mason app.
Sandy Creek – Vienna Metro shuttle
- Operates from Fairfax Campus to the Vienna Metro station and runs continuously with buses every 30 minutes from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday–Friday. Last departure from Sandy Creek is at 10:30 p.m.; last departure from Vienna Metro is at 11 p.m.
- There is no weekend service for the fall semester.
- On-Demand shuttle serves Vienna Metro (among other stops) 3–11 p.m. Saturday–Sunday.
- Read more about this shuttle route.
- The CUE Bus is an alternative and departs from Rappahannock River Lane. All routes end at Vienna Metro. Visit the CUE Bus website for a map and schedules.
Fairfax – Science and Technology Campus shuttle
- Provides service between the Fairfax Campus and the Science and Technology Campus (in Manassas/Prince William County).
- Shuttle service Monday–Friday from 6 a.m. to 11:35 p.m., with departures every 40 minutes Monday-Thursday and every 80 minutes on Friday. Last departure from Sandy Creek (Fairfax) is at 10:15 p.m.; last departure from Colgan (SciTech) is at 11:35 p.m. Monday–Thursday and 10:30 p.m. on Friday from both campuses.
- Weekend service every two hours is also available for the Fairfax–Science and Technology (SciTech) shuttle.
- Manassas Mall shuttle stop is between Doors 3 and 4. Park and ride parking is available at the mall in designated areas only.
- 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 shuttle.
- Get more information about the Fairfax – SciTech shuttle route.
- Provides service between the RAC, Rappahannock River Lane, Masonvale, Sandy Creek Transit Center, Fair Lakes, Fair Lakes Promenade, Fair Oaks Mall, Fairfax Corner, Ridge Top Road, and Whole Foods.
- Shuttle service every 75 minutes from 7:15 a.m. (departing Fair Lakes) to 10:40 p.m. Monday–Friday. Last departure from Sandy Creek is at 10:15 p.m.
- Shuttle service from 12:15-7:45 p.m. on Saturday/Sunday.
- Get more information on the Gunston Go-Bus.
Mason Square (Arlington)/Fairfax
- Provides service between Sandy Creek (Fairfax) and Van Metre Hall (Mason Square) with a stop at Rappahannock River Lane (Fairfax) and off-campus at Fairfax Circle (Old Lee Highway & Circle Woods Drive).
- Operates Monday-Friday only with departures every two hours, starting at 7:15 a.m. from Sandy Creek and 8:15 a.m. from Van Metre Hall. Last departures Monday-Thursday at 9:25 p.m. from Sandy Creek and 10:25 p.m. from Van Metre Hall. Friday service ends at 8:25 p.m. (last departure from Van Metre).
- Read more about the Mason Square–Fairfax shuttle.
Mason Shuttles offers an on-demand shuttle service. This is a shared ride service with designated pick-up and drop-off locations on the Fairfax Campus and at nearby locations off-campus. It does not serve the Mason Square (Arlington) or Science and Technology campuses. Service is 3-11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Rides must be requested by 10 p.m. for pick-ups between 10pm and 11pm
How it works:
- Download the Transloc app and follow the prompts
- On the app, under On-Demand, select from a range of pick-up and drop-off locations to request your ride.
- The app will provide an estimated pick-up time and will adjust the time if conditions change.
- Note: Outside the On-Demand shuttle’s operating hours, the app will indicate that there is no service in your area.
- Find out more about On-Demand shuttles.
Alternative Transportation Options
- Students and employees can ride any of the four Fairfax City CUE buses to and from the Rappahannock River Lane stop throughout Fairfax City and to the Vienna Metro stop for free.
- Check org for schedules.
- You can track the CUE bus using the TransLoc app.
- Recognized as a Bicycle Friendly University, Mason has more than 1,400 bicycle parking spaces around campus.
- Covered bike parking is available under shelters around campus and on Levels 1 and 2 of the Rappahannock Parking Deck.
- A bicycle registration program offers registrants free bike locks and bike lights.
- A bike check-out program called Patriot Bikes is available at the RAC and AFC.
- Go to gmu.edu for more information.
- The Carpool Zone in Lot A, accessed off Mattaponi River Lane, and the Carpool Zone on the first level of the Rappahannock River Deck General permit area.
- To park in a carpool zone, show up from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., Monday-Friday with two or more people in your car and a General student or faculty/staff parking permit.
- No special permit is required. It’s first come, first served.
- Available now: Students and employees may qualify for a 20- to 40-percent rebate on reserved parking permits by carpooling.
- Read more information about the different carpool programs.
- Use com to find or share a ride!
- There is a car on the first level of the Rappahannock River Deck.
- For more info and to sign up for Mason discounts for Zipcar, go to https://www.zipcar.com/universities/george-mason-university
Motorcycle parking spaces are available in various locations around campus. A motorcycle permit is required to park in these spaces:
- Located in front of the Aquatic and Fitness Center, by the Northeast Modules, Lot J, Lot C, on the first level of the Rappahannock River Parking Deck inside the General permit area, and in the Finley Lot.
- Reserved deck parking for motorcycles is also available in the Mason Pond, Shenandoah and Rappahannock River parking decks (motorcycle reserved permit required).
- Users of scooters and mopeds are required to purchase motorcycle permits and use motorcycle parking areas.
- Mopeds and scooters may not be parked at bike racks or in other areas around campus.
Shared Mobility Devices (e-scooters)
Mason is collaborating with the City of Fairfax in its pilot shared mobility program. If using an e-scooter from one of the participating vendors, be aware of your personal responsibility as outlined in your agreement with the vendor.
Please Note: Use shared mobility e-scooters in the pilot area only, which includes Mason’s Fairfax Campus and in the City of Fairfax.
Science and Technology (SciTech) Campus Parking
- Fairfax-SciTech General permits, Lot I, Lot J, Lot R, and reserved parking deck permits are valid in the Occoquan, King, Discovery, Hylton, and Tower parking lots at the SciTech Campus.
- Please follow signage in these lots as parking spaces may be designated for various uses or permits.
- The Hylton Lot may be partially or entirely closed at times for construction of the Life Sciences and Engineering Building.
- Beacon Hall resident parking permit holders may park only in the Beacon Hall resident lot or the Tower Lot.
- The southeast side (left side facing the building) of the Shops parking lot at Beacon Hall is for retail parking only.
- Visitor parking is available in the Occoquan, Discovery and Tower parking lots utilizing ParkMobile.
- Visitor rates are $3 for the first hour, with an $8 daily maximum.
- Printable daily permits for the SciTech Campus may be purchased.
- Read more information about parking at the SciTech Campus.
Mason Square (formerly the Arlington Campus) Parking
One must work or be attending class at Mason Square to be eligible to purchase a Mason Square parking permit.
- Fairfax and SciTech permits are not valid at Mason Square without authorization from Parking Services.
- Mason Square General permit parking is located in the Vernon Smith Hall Garage located at 3434 N. Washington Blvd.
- Faculty/Staff and student parking is available on levels B3-P1 and on level B4 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 Van Metre Hall Garage, including discounted daytime only permits (5 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and evening only permits (2 p.m. to 2 a.m.).
- Permit parking in the Van Metre Garage guarantees you a parking space.
- Read more about parking at Mason Square
Parking and Transportation Information
For more information on parking, shuttles, biking, and other transportation options, go to the Transportation website at transportation.gmu.edu.
Fall 2022 Parking and Transportation Updates and Permit Sales
Fall 2022 semester parking permits will go on sale ONLINE ONLY on Monday, August 1, at parking.gmu.edu. Parking permits will only be sold on a per-semester basis. Semester and daily/weekly/monthly parking permit rates are posted on the Parking and Transportation website.
Permits will automatically renew in September for employees who pay via payroll deduction, and no action is required.
Permit Options and Rates
Use the links below to view parking permit rates for each classification:
- Off-Campus Student Parking
- Resident Student Parking (Sophomores-Seniors)
- Mason Square (Arlington) Campus Parking
- Freshmen Resident Parking
- Faculty and Staff Parking
- Adjunct Faculty/Non-Student Wage Employees: See Faculty/Staff permit rates sheet for special options.
- Go to parking.gmu.edu and click on “Purchase Your Permit”
- Log in with your Mason ID and password and then click “Purchase Your Permit”
- Verify and/or edit your mailing address. Resident students must have an active Postal Box number in Patriot Web to use their university address.
- Select the parking permit you would like to purchase.
- Please read all the rules and regulations associated with the parking permit you intend to purchase and if you agree, click the Accept button. You are responsible for adhering to the posted rules, so please make sure you understand and agree before making a purchase.
- Verify permit type and information listed prior to inputting payment information.
- Once the purchase is complete, you will receive a link via email. Click the link and print out the parking permit. The link is temporary, so please save and print the parking permit within 10 days.
- See where your chosen parking permit is valid, as well as the rules and regulations at: https://transportation.gmu.edu/policies/#ParkingPermitRegulations
Reserved Parking Deck/Garage Permits:
Reserved Parking Deck/Garage parking permits (except Shenandoah Deck) require an access device that will allow you to enter/exit your reserved area of the parking deck/garage. If you are purchasing the same reserved Parking Deck/Garage parking permit for the fall 2022 semester that you had for the spring 2022 semester, your current access device will be reactivated. However, current access cards will be replaced this August/September as the parking systems are being upgraded. Please pay attention to your Mason email, as more information will be shared in the coming weeks.
To obtain or exchange an access device, visit the Parking Services Office on your campus. (Access devices are not required at the SciTech Campus.)
Fairfax Parking Office
Located next to the Shenandoah Parking Deck
Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Mason Square Parking Office
Van Metre Hall, Room 219
Hours: Monday – Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Note: Please allow two business days to obtain an access device after permit purchase.
Also new this year, parking deck permit holders will be issued a QR code as an alternate access device, which can be printed out or used directly from a mobile phone. Parking Services will provide information about this option via email.
For off-Campus students-Bundle and earn when you buy a Lot J or Rappahannock Deck reserved permit and then a Freedom 350 or Freedom 500 Dining plan, you will receive up to $50 in extra Freedom Rewards and $25 in Bookstore Credit. For more info, visit Park & Dine page.
Parking Changes for the Fall Semester:
West Campus Shuttle Updates
West Campus shuttle service will be adjusted for the fall semester, with buses every 20 minutes throughout most of the day, but every 40 minutes after 8 p.m. Monday to Thursday and all day on Fridays. Additionally, a new stop is being added to the route at the Ángel Cabrera Global Center.
There is no shuttle service on Saturday/Sunday. Regular fall service starts begins on Monday, August 22. There will be special one-time only Sunday service on the West Campus route on Sunday, August 21, from noon to 10 p.m.
Freshmen Resident Students
Freshmen resident students may purchase any parking permit except the General and Lot M/P parking permits. Freshmen residents may purchase the “Resident Lite” parking permit option, which is valid in Lots K, M, O, and P.
Off-campus freshmen may purchase the “Fairfax/SciTech General Lot” parking permit option in addition to other options normally available to them.
The “Fairfax/SciTech General Lot” parking permit option is available for purchase for Sophomore Residents in addition to other options normally available to them.
A Townhouse parking permit is available to Townhouse residents at a discounted price, but is not valid on the Fairfax East Campus or the SciTech Campus.
Payroll Deduction Permits
Permits will automatically renew in September for employees who pay via payroll deduction, and no action is required. Any employees wishing to stop payroll deduction must return their parking permit to the Parking Services office at MS 1G4. Parking permits must be received by August 10 in order to stop deductions for the September 1 paycheck. Parking permits may be returned at any time to stop future deductions. The process to end your parking payroll deduction will be initiated upon receipt of your parking permit.
Short Term Parking
Students, faculty, and staff who do not require parking on campus on a regular basis may consider daily, weekly, and monthly options available online. Hourly visitor parking is available in all parking garages with a $18 daily maximum.
Daily parking options are available for Lots L/K for $11/day, Lots M, O, and P at the Field House for $7/day, and at the West Campus lot for $5/day. Daily permits for these options are available online at parking.gmu.edu and require drivers to print out and display the permit on their dashboards. Each of these locations also have mobile payment options through the ParkMobile app. A pay-by-license-plate pay station is located in Lot O at the Field House as an additional payment option for Lots M, O, and P.
Daily parking permits are also available for the SciTech Campus for $8/day, with hourly options available via the ParkMobile app.
Weekly and monthly permits are also available online for Lots L/K and West Campus lot.
Reserved Parking Permit Rules and Regulations
Student reserved parking permits: Mason Pond Deck, Shenandoah Deck, Rappahannock River Deck, Van Metre Garage, Lot R, Lot I and Lot J reserved permits are only allowed to park in the General permit areas of the Fairfax Campus from 5–11 p.m. Monday through Friday, and all day on the weekends. At all other times, these parking permit holders must park in their designated permit areas. Any Faculty/Staff members who have purchased a Lot I or Lot J parking permit are held to the same rules as stated above.
Reserved parking permits are sold in limited quantities to ensure space availability to permit holders under normal conditions. Reserved areas may be used as overflow parking on occasion, but reserved parking permit holders will still be assured a parking space.
The only exceptions to these rules are Mason Pond and Shenandoah Evening parking permits, which are valid in the General permit areas at all times.
Fairfax/SciTech General, Mason Square, or any Fairfax reserved lot (I, J, R) or parking deck permit is valid in the SciTech Campus General lots (Occoquan, Discovery, King, and Tower). The Hylton Lot will be completely or partially closed at times as construction begins on a new academic building. Mason parking permits are not allowed in the Freedom Center parking lot.
Beacon Hall residents must purchase a Beacon Hall reserved parking permit, which is valid in the Beacon Hall resident lot, Tower lot, and in the General parking areas at the Fairfax Campus.
Mason Square (formerly the Arlington Campus)
In order to purchase a Mason Square parking permit, you must be working or taking a class there. Each parking permit type at Mason Square is valid in Fairfax and SciTech Campus General parking areas.
Free parking and alternative transportation options are also available (Mason Shuttles, biking, or public transportation). Visit transportation.gmu.edu for more information.
- Free Mason Shuttles run regularly between Fairfax Campus and Vienna Metro, Science and Technology Campus, Mason Square, and area shopping centers (Gunston’s Go Bus). Many routes have schedule changes from this past spring, including reduced service levels on Fridays. Check shuttle.gmu.edu for details. Fall shuttle schedules will be posted by the first week in August.
- CUE Bus is free with Mason ID. Travel through City of Fairfax and to/from Vienna Metro. Check CUE Bus website for details.
Motorcycles, Mopeds, and Motorized Scooters All motorcycles, mopeds, and motorized scooters will be required to have a parking permit displayed when parking on any of George Mason University’s campuses. Motorcycles, mopeds, and motorized scooters will no longer be allowed to park at bike racks/shelters. Parking will only be permitted in dedicated motorcycle parking areas with a motorcycle permit, or in a regular vehicle space with a valid parking permit (lockable parking permit holders can be purchased at the Fairfax Parking Services Office for $25). A dedicated motorcycle/moped/scooter parking permit can be purchased individually or as a discounted supplemental parking permit when purchased with a regular vehicle parking permit. Motorcycle parking permits are sold in the Parking Services Office. To purchase a parking permit, please make an appointment with the Parking Services Office.
Please note that personally owned e-scooters similar to the rental ones available around campus may be parked at bike racks.
Using the City of Fairfax CUE Bus
A reminder that the CUE Bus is available to take you to many locations in the City of Fairfax and to the Vienna Metro station. CUE is free and you don’t need to show an ID. Just board and go!
CUE stops on the Fairfax Campus on Rappahannock River Lane. The schedule is available at cuebus.org
If you have any questions, please contact us at 703-993-2828 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Effective immediately, masks are now optional on Mason Shuttles. The CDC’s order requiring masks on public transit is no longer in effect.
Mason Shuttles encourages its passengers to make decisions that are in their best interests.
The Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling, the City of Fairfax, Fairfax County, the Coalition for Smarter Growth, and Mason’s Department of Parking and Transportation held a 3-part Active Transportation Seminar Series in June and July. Below are the presentations and recordings from each of the three webinars.
June 17 Session: Active Transportation Virginia Legislative Update (Slides)
July 15 Session: Active Transportation During COVID-19 (Slides)
July 29 Session: Safe Streets for All (Slides)