Where to park on campus

<p>Ball State's campus has a variety of parking garages and lots for student and staff use with parking passes. <strong>Jaden Whiteman, DN File</strong></p>

Ball State's campus has a variety of parking garages and lots for student and staff use with parking passes. Jaden Whiteman, DN File

Classes that are an hour and 15 minutes long and meters that only last for an hour? Parking Services does what it can to make money — but don’t worry. There are a variety of ways to avoid parking tickets. Below is a list of parking colors, what they mean and enforcement hours, according to the Ball State website.

Know the enforcement hours 

Restricted surface (Red)

  • Garage meters free after 7 p.m. until 7 a.m.
  • Overnight parking is allowed, except in parking garages
  • Coin-operated meters in parking lots are never free
  • Enforcement hours are typically 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Meters are labeled with their enforcement hours.

Parking garages

  • No overnight parking (between 3:30 a.m. and 7 a.m.)
  • Red zones are free after 7 p.m.
  • Metered zones in garages are generally free after 7 p.m., but check signs

Faculty/Staff (Yellow)

  • Not enforced on weekends
  • Free after 5 p.m. (great for evening classes)
  • OK for overnight, but beware, it’s often paired with commuter surface, which does not allow overnight parking

Residence hall (Blue)

  • NOT free on weekday evenings
  • Free from 5 p.m. Friday until 7 p.m. Sunday
  • Good for weekend dorm visitors

Commuter surface (Green)

  • Similar to yellow, but does not allow overnight parking
  • Free on weekends
  • Free after 5 p.m.
  • Convenient locations (Near the Village, L.A. Pittenger Student Center and Duck Pond)

Stadium (Purple) is free on weekends. University Apartments are never free, but those spots aren’t too useful because they are far from the main campus.

Buy a parking pass

Students can purchase a parking pass by visiting bsu.edu/parking and clicking the link to their online account portal. Residence hall students can purchase the following permits:

  • Stadium (purple)
  • Residence Hall (blue) or Restricted (red) Freshmen are allowed to purchase either of these permits if there is space available.
  • Motorcycle
  • Disabled Driver/Special 97 with documentation
  • Temporary permit (offered on a limited basis, contact Parking Services)

Licence Plate Recognition (LPR)

Beginning last year, Ball State started using a license plate recognition system (LPR) instead of window stickers for parking passes. Parking enforcement will scan license plates of vehicles parked on campus. Make sure you’re parked in the right zone, and make sure your vehicle is registered with Parking Services, or you may be issued a ticket. 

Have visiting parents or guardians?

Parents can request a Cardinal Pride (CP) permit free of charge. Only one CP permit will be issued per address at a time, and it cannot be used for a vehicle registered to a student. The permit allows parents to park in commuter and faculty/staff lots, as well as metered parking for free on weekdays. To request a CP permit, parents can either mail an application to the Office of Parking Services or bring their driver’s license and vehicle information to the office in person.

Pay a ticket

Ticket prices vary depending on the type of violation and when they are paid — tickets paid within 10 business days are $10 less than those paid after.

Tickets can be paid online, by mail or in person at the Parking Services office located in the lower level of the L.A. Pittenger Student Center.

If you purchase a parking pass, you receive an “OOPS voucher” that can be used once to pay a ticket.

Know Muncie street parking

Color zones

Red - North of campus and West Bethel Avenue (“The Woods”)

Yellow - East of campus (area around West Neely Avenue)

Green - Southeast of campus (“Frat Row,” area around West University Avenue)

Blue - Southwest of campus (area around North McKinley Avenue and West Jackson Street)

Same colors, different rules

Though the colors are the same, Ball State and Muncie permits are not compatible.

You may park on Muncie streets for two hours without a permit.

If you’re visiting someone off-campus, check the parking rules on their street. The area west of campus is a historic district and generally doesn’t allow street parking.

Park and ride

Of course, out-of-town visitors might also choose to park in a large business lot and take the MITS bus to campus.

Walmart and the Muncie Mall are accessible by a MITS route, according to the MITS website. Check with local businesses about their overnight policy before parking.


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