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Campus & Community

Smarter Commuting Pays Off

New DOTS Program Rewards Employees for Giving Up Parking

By Annie Krakower

Parking lot

Photo by John T. Consoli

Photo by John T. Consoli

The University of Maryland wants you to leave your car at home so much, it’ll pay you.

The Department of Transportation Services is piloting a new program that will offer $425 to the first 50 eligible employees who give up their parking registration and commit to a sustainable commute for the 2018–19 academic year.

The Employee Parking Registration Cash-Out Program is designed to reduce parking demand and meet the university’s Climate Action Plan goals.

The registration period runs from 11 a.m. Aug. 1 to 4 p.m. Aug. 10 in the DOTS lobby in the Regents Drive Garage or at

Here’s what else you need to know about this new initiative:

Who’s eligible?

  • Full-time UMD faculty or staff with an active annual parking registration for the 2017–18 academic year.

Who’s not?

  • Carpool permit holders, vanpool subsidy recipients and 142 Columbia Pay-to-Ride bus passengers.
  • Employees who work in off-campus offices that do not require a parking registration.

What are you required to do?

  • Give up parking registration for one academic year.
  • Log 75 percent of your commute trips in the Smart Commute Program.
  • Attend an in-person Parking Cash-Out Orientation meeting prior to Aug. 17.

What will you get in return?

  • $425 distributed in June 2019. You are responsible for income reporting and taxes if applicable. If you drop out of the program before May 24, 2019, you won’t get the money.
  • mBike annual membership.
  • 10 full-day parking passes in designated campus lots.
  • Registration in the Guaranteed Ride Home program, which provides free transportation home from work in the event of an emergency.

If you have questions about the program, email

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