Adventure on wheels or foot

Three images showing a bus rider, walker and bike riders

Will I want to have a car at college?

This is a big question most incoming students ask themselves as they pick out classes and residence hall décor and sort out college finances. The answer is: maybe. Like a lot of things at college, it comes down to your personal and financial circumstances. Keep in mind, a parking permit for the academic year is $155 and students can only park their cars in designated lots.

Iowa State is a major university, but with a centralized campus that's easy to navigate. And on top of that, there are a ton of alternate transportation options. In Ames, you can easily get to class, dining halls, residence halls, and even local shopping on a variety of wheels. Here's how:

  • Motorcycles/Mopeds: If you already have your license, this is a nimbler and cheaper transportation option on campus. An annual permit to park is around $60.
  • Bikes: The great news about using your bicycle is that you don't need a parking permit. It's all free. Iowa State does require you to fill out the online registration form -- just in case the bike is lost or stolen. Bonus: There are tons of bike racks on campus for storage and parking.
  • Skateboards/Longboards: No parking permit or registration required. That's good news for the cost conscious. And you can cruise on your own schedule. Just keep in mind that for safety, Iowa State encourages you to "Walk Your Wheels" on campus sidewalks.
  • CyRide: This is an incredible resource. CyRide is fare free for all Iowa State students. There are 13 fixed routes that weave through campus and the city of Ames between 6:30 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. Visit to look up routes and times.

And when the weather is gorgeous, take the time to walk or roll. Campus is so beautiful, it's worth the extra few minutes of commute time. Want to learn more about how to adventure across campus at Iowa State? Ready to apply or enroll? Visit