New permit options, parking spaces on the horizon for MSU students

Mississippi State students wait to get on a bus at the Montgomery Hall bus stop, part of the Starkville-MSU Area Rapid Transit system. More students and community members than ever before are using the SMART bus system, while the university is currently adding more than 1,000 parking spaces to meet growing parking demand. (Photo by Marco Lopez)

Contact: James Carskadon

STARKVILLE, Miss.—As Mississippi State continues to strive to meet growing parking demands, MSU Parking and Transit Services is offering a new parking permit option for students this fall.

Commuter students will be able to purchase an “any valid permit” zone permit that allows for parking in the outlying Any Valid Permit areas of campus. The permits will be less expensive than other commuter permits designated for specific zones.

Parking permits for the upcoming school year will go on sale July 10 for staff, July 17 for commuters and July 24 for residents. 

“This new permit option for outlying areas not only gives a lower priced permit option, but it will help ensure that students with permits for more centrally-located commuter lots are able to find parking in their designated zone,” said Director of Parking and Transit Services Jeremiah Dumas. “Also, the outlying parking spots are convenient to SMART shuttle stops, giving students the option to ride into the center of campus.”

A new parking lot between Critz Hall and the new Baptist Student Union is under construction, with work expected to be complete in September. Once opened, the lot will add 225 parking spaces available to anyone with a commuter permit.

Construction is expected to begin this summer on a new 500-space parking garage on the north side of campus, between Deavenport Hall and the Howell Building. Additionally, MSU plans to add 400 spaces to the Commuter West parking area near Fresh Foods Company.

“We have over 1,000 spaces that are in the hopper right now,” Dumas said. “Along with these projects, we’ll build additional parking at the new music building when it is constructed. We want to balance the high costs of building new lots with the reality of parking. We take pride in the fact that we are one of the lowest, if not the lowest, on cost of permits in the SEC. Whether it’s a residential, staff or commuter permit, our demand and capacity issues are much better than we see elsewhere in the SEC. Even as we add spaces using additional resources, our goal is to continue to remain in a very favorable position in terms of permit cost.”

With Starkville-MSU Area Rapid Transit connecting the city of Starkville and MSU with free shuttles, Dumas encourages all commuters to consider how the convenient system can ease their travel to and from campus, as well as around campus. Additionally, traveling to campus on bicycle is becoming easier as the city and MSU continue to improve pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure.

“I have found that those who fully familiarize themselves with SMART and understand the routes have a much better experience getting to campus every day,” Dumas said. “Most student housing areas of any density are within easy walking distance to a shuttle stop.”

Parking permits for students, faculty and staff can be purchased through the MyState portal. For additional information, visit For more on SMART, including schedules and routes, visit or visit the Parking and Transit Services office in the Roberts Building on Lee Blvd.

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Tuesday, July 9, 2019 - 9:39 am