UC Davis is the largest campus in the UC system with 5,300 acres, so it pays to spend a little time figuring out how to get around this beautiful and expansive campus.
One of the primary ways that most UC Davis students, faculty and staff navigate campus is on bicycle. As one of the most bike-friendly campuses in the U.S., UC Davis has tons of bike paths, bike service stations and bike racks and lockers throughout campus, plus a map of bike commuter showers and lockers.
To buy a bike or any biking accessories, or to get your bike serviced, most students visit the ASUCD Bike Barn, which is located in the heart of campus. There also are a slew of bike shops in downtown Davis where you can buy a bike. When buying a bike, consider purchasing a bike that is durable enough to last four years, but isn't so expensive that it is tempting for thieves.
JUMP Bikes are now available at UC Davis. "Bikeshare" is a business model that works like an automated bicycle rental service. Download the app, make an account, associate a credit card with your account, and you're ready to rent a bike.
Since there are so many bikes at UC Davis, all bikes on campus must have a current California Bicycle License. You can get a bicycle license at UC Davis Transportation Services (TAPS), the Bike Barn or other locations in downtown Davis. Bicycle licenses are valid for approximately two years and for a nominal fee you can purchase a new license or renew an old one. If you lost your bike lock key or maybe it just stopped working, TAPS will cut your lock if your bike is registered.
Tip: Rules of the Road
Be sure to brush up on rules of the road for bikes, especially if you are riding through town, because you can get a ticket from Davis traffic police. Also, you'll want to learn how to navigate a bike circle, which are prevalent in the main parts of campus, and read the Bike Barn's Biking 101 article.
Tip: Avoid the "Freshman Stripe"
During the rainy season, invest in a mud guard for your bike to prevent water from flying off your back tire and leaving a wet, grey streak up your back—also known around campus as "the Freshman Stripe."
UC Davis has a great, student-run campus bus system, called Unitrans, that students can use for free (with Student ID card) to travel around campus and also places such as downtown Davis, West Village, the hospital, neighborhood shopping centers, medical offices, theaters and the Davis Farmers Market.
Unitrans has a great website that not only provides information about routes, but also gives predicted arrival times along each route.
The Unitrans bus system, which includes some London-style double-decker buses as part of its fleet, also serves the city of Davis and members of the public can purchase tickets for a minimal fare.
The red Unitrans bus isn't the only bus you'll see around town; the Yolobus can take you around Yolo County and neighboring areas. If you need a ride to Davis, West Sacramento, Winters, Woodland, downtown Sacramento, Sacramento International Airport, Cache Creek Casino Resort, Esparto, Madison, Dunnigan and Knights Landing then hop on a Yolobus.
UC Davis Medical Center Shuttle
The UC Davis/UC Davis Medical Center shuttle will take you from UC Davis' main campus in Davis over to the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento. UC Davis students, faculty, staff, interns, volunteers, patients and visitors can take the bus for a small fare. Drivers can't take cash so you must buy tickets. (See where to buy passes.)
They offer transportation Monday through Friday, excluding university holidays, and all shuttles are ADA accessible and can accommodate bikes. Pick up locations are at the Silo Terminal, Health Sciences Lot 56 and the Mondavi Center. View a schedule of exact departure and arrival times.
UC Davis-UC Berkeley Intercampus Shuttle
There also is an intercampus bus service that provides transportation between the Davis and Berkeley campuses for UC Davis and UC Berkeley faculty, staff and registered students. The intercampus bus service runs year-round, seven days a week, with the exception of some holidays.
Being located in Northern California, UC Davis has wonderful weather most of the year for walking around campus. Much of the campus is closed off to through traffic, so walking to and from class can be a breeze, as long as you watch for bike traffic.
And if you are looking to take a stroll through campus, then you should visit the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden, which is a 100-acre public garden that has a beautiful two-mile paved walking trail running through it.
Another way to navigate campus is using a car, although most students don't choose this mode of transportation since no cars are allowed in the heart of campus. If you do decide to drive, you will need a parking permit, which you can purchase at Transportation Services (TAPS). They sell parking permits in person or online for daily, quarterly or yearly parking.
Roadside Assistance and Carpool
TAPS doesn't just sell permits and hand out parking tickets, they also offer lockout service, tire inflation, jumpstart and will even take you to the gas station. It is also the place to go if you want to register to become part of a carpool or vanpool.
Where to Park
There are a number of parking lots located around campus, but accessibility depends on the type of permit or parking pass that you have. Be sure to view the UC Davis parking lot map to see the best place for you to park when you are on campus. You can get daily permits at kiosks located in many of the parking lots or short-term and long-term permits at TAPS.
Go Green With Your Car
If you have an electric car, you are in luck. As one of the "greenest" campuses in the U.S., UC Davis has a number of electric car charging stations located around campus. The campus also has Zipcars available to rent if you are 18 years or older.
Aggie Hosts Security Service
Aggie Hosts are non-sworn student security officers that will provide rides or walking escorts to students, staff and faculty. Don't hesitate to call if you don't feel safe walking alone on campus, especially since the service is free.
Mobility Assistance Shuttle
If you need help getting around on campus, the Mobility Assistance Shuttle (MAS) gives UC Davis students, faculty and staff with documented disabilities (temporary or permanent) a ride. They only provide on-campus rides to specified locations for academic or work-related purposes year-round.
Tipsy Taxi provides undergraduates with a safe ride home within the Davis area for a nominal fee. Just give Tipsy Taxi a call or request a ride online and wait for the taxi to arrive. You can even save yourself a dollar by buying a Tipsy Taxi ticket in advance from the Unitrans Business Office.
Take a mini-vacation to the Bay Area or maybe visit Sacramento for the day; either way, Amtrak can get you there.
If you're heading to the airport, consider using the Davis Airporter. You will need to make your reservation ahead of time, but they'll pick you up at your door and drop you off at either the Sacramento or San Francisco airport.