Transportation FAQ

Mason has a Transportation Master Plan that was created in 2011 and acts as our guiding vision. With over 14,300 spaces on three campuses, Mason is focusing on maximizing utilization of existing parking and reducing single occupancy vehicle (SOV) use by offering sustainable and cost effective alternatives, instead of expanding space quantity.  Mason may consider building more parking in the future as supply is near capacity at peak times at the Fairfax Campus. The Transportation Master Plan is available on Transportation website.

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Transportation receives no tuition dollars or general funds to operate at Mason. All aspects of transportation at Mason must be paid for by parking fees and a small portion of the student fee. These fees go toward services that maintain parking facilities/service and also include building up alternative transportation options available to Mason students, faculty, and staff such as expanding routes and creating infrastructure to improve bus and shuttle capacity for the free Mason Shuttles and CUE buses that move over 1 million people a year. It also covers rebate programs, operations, and maintenance. The list goes on toward widening and improving sidewalks, trails, and wayfinding signage.

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The 750 spaces on the West Campus lot and adjacent Rapidan River Road provide a lower cost opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to park as well as reduce the number of cars on the east campus. Throughout most of the year, there is shuttle service from the West Campus to East Campus every 15 minutes, Monday-Friday.

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Yes, Mason offers multiple ways for faculty, staff, and students to save money or time by not driving alone to campus including:

  • Commonwealth Commuter Choice: Mason offers full-time employees up to $260 per month of tax-free financial support to cover the cost of commuting to Mason via public transportation or vanpool.
  • Bike Commuter Choice: Mason also offers faculty and staff a Bike Commuter Choice option. If you bike to work 8 times per month, you will receive two complimentary parking passes per month. You also have access to shower facilities on campus. For more visit Transportation Bikeshare Commuter Program website.
  • Both Commuter Choice programs above also offer access to the Guaranteed Ride Home (GRH) Program. The GRH provides peace of mind in case an emergency arises or you cannot find a ride home. It is designed for employees who rideshare (carpool/vanpool), use mass transit (bus, train), bicycle, or walk to work at least two times a week. It is absolutely free to sign-up for and free to use. Once you register you can use the GRH service up to four times a year. For more visit Commuter Connections Guaranteed Ride Home website.
  • Additionally, all students, faculty, and staff can receive a complimentary U-lock and bike light for registering their bike with the Parking and Transportation Office. For more visit their website.
  • If you have any questions about your transit benefit, please feel free to contact Parking and Transportation at transpo@gmu.edu or 703-993-2828.

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As stated in the transportation master plan, the goal is to fully utilize existing parking supply before building more parking. Mason is working on its ParkSmart certification, which is the green parking garage certification that is overseen by the U.S. Green Building.

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Besides 16 dedicated parking spaces for EV’s (and others for carpool) and celebrating those who choose alternative transportation with Bike to Mason and Alternative Transportation days:

  • Mason has committed to a green future by investing in the infrastructure necessary to support electric vehicles (EV). Multiple EV charging stations are located throughout campus in each of the parking decks.
  • Preferred parking spaces for fuel-efficient cars are available at the Arlington, Fairfax, and SciTech campuses for faculty and staff; students can participate on the Arlington campus.

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Arlington: Mason currently sponsors a Capital Bikeshare station on the Founders Hall Plaza. To learn more about bike share in Arlington County, please visit Bike Arlington Capital Bikeshare.

Fairfax: Mason does not currently have a bike share program on the Fairfax campus however the University is in discussions with the City of Fairfax, Fairfax County, and the Town of Vienna to work collaboratively to bring more bike share opportunities to the region. To learn more about bike share in Fairfax County, please visit their Transportation website.

SciTech: Mason does not currently have a bike share program on the SciTech campus.

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Your best bet is to understand your comfort zone and do a little research on trails in the area to see what is right for you. Below is a sample of the bike trails available in the area by county/city as well as trails within the Commonwealth of Virginia.

  • Arlington: Bike Arlington has materials to help bicyclists plan safe routes, including a comfort map.
  • City of Fairfax: City of Fairfax trails are shared by bicyclists, pedestrians, runners, dog walkers and other users.
  • Fairfax County: Bike Fairfax Interactive map has comfort ratings to help bicyclists choose their routes.
  • Loudoun: For more visit Loudon County Bicycle and Pedestrian Information page.
  • Prince William: For more visit Prince William County Trails and Blueways Directory page.
  • Commonwealth of Virginia: For more visit Virginia Bicycling Federation Virginia Bike Routes page.

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Mason offers 6 shuttle routes including free shuttles from campus to the Vienna metro (one from Sandy Creek Transit Center; the other from the Global Center), to/from the Burke VRE train station, between the Fairfax and the SciTech campuses, between the Fairfax Campus and area shopping centers and to/from the West Campus. Shuttle schedules are available on GMU Shuttles website. Please note that during holidays, school breaks, and over the summer the shuttle schedule is adjusted.

  • You can track the shuttles in real time by downloading the RideSystems app or visiting Mason Ryde System page to see when the next shuttle is arriving. For an overview of the RideSystems app, please see GMU Shuttle website.

The CUE Bus is a bus service operated by the City of Fairfax, which Mason subsidizes so that with your Mason ID, you can ride free. There are two routes – the green and the gold. In addition to destinations around the City of Fairfax, both routes also travel to the Vienna Metro. There is a CUE bus stop on the Mason Fairfax Campus next to Rappahannock River Parking Deck.

  • You can track the CUE buses in real time by visiting the Fairfax City website and searching for “city apps”. You can also download Transit App for Android.
  • For additional information on alternatives, please see our Transportation Guide.

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Started in Fall 2014, the Patriot Lift program provides limited campus transportation service to those students, faculty and staff requiring long- or short-term assistance getting around campus. All students must receive prior approval from the Office of Disability Services or Student Health Services. All faculty and staff must receive prior approval from the Office of Compliance, Diversity and Ethics. This program is a partnership between Parking & Transportation, Office of Disability Services, Student Health Services, and Compliance, Diversity and Ethics.

Note: Patriot Lift is not provided for off-campus locations, and is staffed by students so services are only available when school is in session. For more information, visit Parking and Transportation Services Patriot Lift page.

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  • Charter Bus: Mason has contracted with Reston Limousine to provide shuttle services for the University. They can also be contacted to provide charter bus service for your Mason department or organization.
  • Motor Pool: Mason no longer has a motor pool comprised of Mason-owned vehicles. The University has contracted with Enterprise to provide vehicles for faculty, staff, and students who are on state/university business. Conditions apply and training may be required. Please call the Motor Pool at 703.993.2442 with any questions.

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We appreciate and value your feedback. Please contact Parking and Transportation at 703-993-2828 or via email at transpo@gmu.edu.

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