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Commuter Programs FAQs

FAQs for Commuter Services

  • What options do I have if I do not bring a car to campus?

    • Bike to Campus
    • Carpool
    • Local transit system
    • Vanpool
    • Zipcar
  • Where and when can I purchase a transit pass?

    Parking and Commuter Services offers eligible CSUSM students, faculty, and staff monthly transit passes. Monthly transit passes can be purchased from the 25th of the previous month through the 15th of the current month the pass is valid for. For example, if you wish to purchase the September monthly compass card transit pass, you can purchase it from the 25th of the August through the 15th of September. This pass will only be valid from September 1st to September 30th . Discounted passes can only be purchased at the Parking and Commuter Services office during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM.  

  • Who qualifies for a discounted monthly transit pass?

    Parking and Commuter Services along with North County Transit District subsidize the monthly SPRINTER/BREEZE NCTD transit pass ONLY for students enrolled in two or more classes that have current validated CSUSM ID card.  

    Students, faculty and staff with a validated CSUSM ID card are eligible to purchase the MTS Regional Adult transit pass serving North County San Diego and Metropolitan San Diego region.  

  • How do I validate my CSUSM ID card?

    CSUSM ID cards are validated at CSUSM Media Library located on the 2nd floor of the Kellogg Library.   Open 11:00 am Sunday through 5:00 pm Friday and Saturday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

    More information can be found at: Campus ID Card

  • What is the Compass Card?

    The Compass Card is a plastic card that is reusable and reloadable.  The monthly MTS Regional  transit pass is loaded onto the Plastic Compass Card.
  • What happens if my Compass Card is lost or stolen?

    Report the lost or stolen card to San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS).  If you did not register your Compass Card, you will be responsible for purchasing a new pass.  The pass is not refundable or replaceable if not registered. 

     There are two (2) ways to register your Compass Card: 

    • By phone – call 511 and say “Compass” or you can fill out a registration form and submit it to MTS.
    • Forms are available at the MTS Transit Store and NCTD Customer Service Centers, or can be downloaded from Then, fax, e-mail, or mail the completed form to MTS. 
  • What forms of payment can I use to purchase my transit pass?

    Parking and Commuter Services  accepts cash, check, debit, and credit card (Visa or Mastercard only).
  • If I ride my bike to campus, where can I park it?

    Bike racks are located at Lots E, H, K, L, O, University Hall, by PS1, SBSB, Kellogg Library, Craven Circle.  Bike Lockers are located in Lots E, L, and by PS1.  Bike Lockers can be rented through the Parking and Commuter Services office.
  • Is there a place to store my gear when I ride bike to campus?

    Bike lockers for bikes and gear are available for rent through the Parking and Commuter Services office.   There is a $15 rental fee per semester and a refundable key deposit for $30.  The University Student Union has day-use lockers for gear and books near the Commuter Lounge on the first floor and on the 4th floor of USU.
  • What is Zipcar?

    There are two (2) Zipcar vehicles parked in the 1st floor of PS1 (Parking Structure 1).  Zipcar is a car-sharing company providing automobile reservations to its members, billable by the hour or day.  Employees and Students are eligible to join using their campus emails.

    Drivers must be at least 18 years old and have a valid driver's license in good standing.  International driver licenses are accepted.  There is a small annual fee and reservations can be made hourly, daily, and in advance.

    Gas, insurance and maintenance are included in the reservation fee.  Once you become a member you will receive a Zipcard which is your key to unlock and locked the vehicle.  Vehicles are available 24/7.

    To join or receive more information go to

  • What is WAZE Carpool?

    WAZE Carpool is a mobile phone app that connects riders and driver with nearly identical work/school to home commute routes.   Thanks to Waze advanced mapping capabilities, the platform connects carpool partners from the same local community, making it easy to carpool with neighbors and colleagues you know or haven't met yet.

    For more information go to: 

  • What are the advantages of carpooling to campus?

    Registered carpool groups with a valid CSUSM Carpool groups with a valid CSUSM Carpool parking permit are eligible to park in the reserved, proximity parking spaces found in most general lots and parking structure.  To register your carpool group, at least two (2) people in the carpool group will need to complete the Carpool Application Form at the Parking and Commuter Services Office.  

    The cost of the General Carpool permit  $338.  The carpool permit is also valid in any of the general spaces in the General Lots and structure.

  • How can I find a carpool partner?

    Carpool partners can be found by:  

    • Post a request on the carpool bulletin board in the commuter lounge. The lounge is located on the first floor of the University Student Union (USU).   
    • Use the Waze Carpool App. This is a free app that can be downloaded to your mobile phone (available in both IOS and Android). The app helps you connect with fellow students for rides.  
    • Ask around at your own discretion - there may be someone seated beside you in a class that commutes to and from the same area.  

    The University provides the information above as a means to contact and meet others who may have similar transportation needs. You are ultimately responsible for your safety. The University cannot and does not ensure the lawful behavior of the people who use this service. The University does not screen any postings to this service. You take full responsibility for ensuring your personal safety.   However, by taking some common sense precautions, you can find a ride, make new friends, and reduce your transportation costs.

  • If I don't have a car, how can I get to campus from Riverside County?

    The regional bus route - RTA 217 - starts at Mt. San Jacinto College in riverside County and travels down the 15 freeway to the Escondido Transit Center. This route requires a transfer to the SPRINTER light-rail train to CSUSM. For complete route information, schedules and fares go to
  • What other transit services can help me get to CSUSM?

    CSUSM is only directly served by North County Transit District (NCTD), however connecting transit systems include:  

  • Does the campus have electric vehicle charging stations?

    There are seven (7) electric vehicle charging stations located in the first floor of Parking Structure 1 (PS1). Six (6) of the stations are located along the eastside of PS1 on the first floor. The other electric vehicle charging station is ADA compliant and located on the northwest side of PS1 on the first floor next to the elevators.

  • Do I need a parking permit to charge my vehicle?

    Yes, an active and paid CSUSM parking session is required when parked on campus including at the electric vehicle charging stations.
  • Which electric vehicle charging station network provider serves CSUSM?

    Our stations are networked through ChargePoint. The seven (7) charging stations on campus are ChargePoint level two (2) stations. Level two (2) charging stations take an average of four (4) hours to completely charge a vehicle.

  • Does it cost to use the electric vehicle charging stations?

    Yes, there is a minimal fee of $0.39 which can be paid for through your personal ChargePoint account. Your ChargePoint account can be created for free, for more information on account activation visit: .


    The campus uses a third party vendor to manage the charging stations. This fee covers the cost of maintenance, software system upgrades, and electricity usage.