McMaster Carpool Policy

Traffic and Parking Regulations 2009/2010

3.03 CARPOOL PERMITS – Two or more applicants travelling to and from the University at one time may be eligible to apply for a carpool permit. Persons registered as travelling in a carpool may use the carpool permit to park one of their vehicles. Each driver must complete an application identifying their carpool partner(s). Carpooling is only recognized with Security & Parking Services if formally preregistered. All members of a carpool must return to their original parking zone once the carpool dissolves.

Carpool Policy - January 2009/2010


McMaster is actively supporting more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable forms of transportation. As one component of a comprehensive Transportation Demand Management strategy, Parking Services and the Office of Sustainability have developed this policy to regulate and recognize carpooling by members of the campus community.

Carpooling offers financial and mental health benefits, since individuals share the costs and stress of driving. That being said, McMaster recognizes that carpooling is a significant commitment. It requires extra effort to arrange and maintain a carpool, and may occasionally result in inconvenience to one or more of the carpool partners. In recognition of the important contribution this commitment makes to the campus and larger community, Parking Services and the Office of Sustainability have made efforts to support and reward those who register carpools.

Our ultimate goal is to reduce the number of single occupancy vehicle trips to/from campus resulting in lower demand for parking and increased campus sustainability. Carpooling is defined as a formal commitment to regular travel to and from McMaster University in a group of two or more rather than the casual and occasional sharing of rides. Carpooling is not to be confused with permit sharing, which allows immediate family members living at the same address to use the same parking permit.

This carpooling policy applies to faculty, staff, students and members of approved external agencies wishing to park in University administered lots (not including off-campus lots or satellite campuses).

In the development of this carpooling policy, it is the intention to be consistent with the University Traffic and Parking Regulations wherever possible.

Campus lot availability:

  • Lots A (Divinity) and Q - No carpool applications permitted.
  • Lots B, C, E, F, G, H, I, K and L -  At least one applicant MUST have an existing parking permit for one of these parking lots to hand in.
  • Lot M – No carpool applications permitted.
  • Lot O – No restrictions for carpool applications.


2.01 Parking Services defines a carpool as a group of two or more people:

  • who travel together a minimum of three times a week
  • who have made a commitment to carpool for a minimum of 3 months
  • who live beyond a 1.5 km radius of Main Campus
  • who meet along a common route
  • who do not take a break from carpooling any longer than 4 consecutive weeks
  • who have registered with Parking Services
  • whose members do not possess any other McMaster parking permit

2.02 Carpooling is different from ridesharing. A rideshare occurs when a faculty or staff member, graduate student or undergraduate makes a personal arrangement with a driver to be driven to campus on a regular basis. Ridesharing does not require a formal commitment, nor does it receive the special privileges of a registered carpool.


McMaster University provides an internet-based ride-matching service for use by faculty, staff and students that can be found on the Office of Sustainability website,


4.01 To register as a carpool, all those wishing to participate in the carpool must first fill out and submit a Carpool Application Form and a Carpool Agreement Form, along with a $40.00 transponder fee, to the Parking Services office. Additional carpool members can be added to the carpool at any time, provided that the new m.mbers submit their application and agreement forms to Parking Services. Members of the Carpool can split the transponder fees if desired or can pay individually to acquire a transponder their own.


5.01 A carpool permit is defined as: one carpool transponder for each member. Carpool transponders must be renewed each year.

5.02. Each member will have their own transponder to affix to their vehicle. Additional transponders may be acquired for the standard fee of $40.00.

5.03 If more than one member of the carpool requires a vehicle on campus at the same time, an individual carpooler can use the carpool transponder to park his/her vehicle. The other member(s) of the carpool must use a parking voucher (see section 7.0)

5.04 No member of a registered carpool can concurrently hold a non-carpool parking permit.

5.05 Rules and charges for lost or stolen carpool transponders are the same as for other parking permits. There is no charge for replacing a damaged hang tag. The cost for replacing a damaged, lost or stolen transponder is $40.00. See the Traffic & Parking Regulations for further details.


6.01 Carpool permits are the same price as regular parking permits (for that lot) but the cost of the permit is divided equally among all members of the carpool. Payment methods and frequency are the same as for non-carpool permits. Each member of a carpool must make their payment to Parking Services. Parking Services is not responsible for payments made between carpool and/or other rideshare members.

6.02 New members can be added to an existing carpool at any time. The new member will be required to pay his/her portion of the carpool permit pro-rated to the permit’s expiry date along with their $40.00 transponder fee. Existing members of the carpool will then receive a refund equal to the new member’s contribution divided by the number of carpool members. This refund will be in the form of a cheque or a reduction in the amount that is deducted through payroll.

6.03 If a carpool member leaves the carpool, they will receive a pro-rated refund or adjustment. If the carpool remains a registered carpool, the remaining members are responsible for the total amount of the carpool permit. If arrangements have not been made for payment with the parking office within 30 days, parking privileges may be suspended.

6.04 An individual can opt out of a carpool at any time. Because carpoolers are required to commit to carpooling for a minimum of 3 months, an individual who leaves a carpool before the 3 month mark will receive a refund only on money paid after the 3 month anniversary. Refunds are given in accordance with the Traffic & Parking Regulations.


7.01 Each carpool has the opportunity to purchase a limited number of parking vouchers to a maximum of that equal to the number of months that the carpool is registered. Each voucher allows a driver unlimited in and out parking for one day. A parking voucher enables a member of a carpool to park in his/her carpool lot, but not in a carpool spot.

7.02 Once their voucher quota has been used up, a carpooler must pay the daily parking rate if they wish to park an additional carpool vehicle on campus without the carpool permit. A new parking voucher will be given out each year when the carpool permit is renewed.

7.03 The parking voucher is not transferable to individuals outside of the carpool.

7.04 Parking Services is not responsible for the use of a lost or stolen parking voucher prior to it being reported.

7.05 If a carpooler does not have their parking voucher on a day when they wish to park an additional carpool vehicle, s/he must pay full price for a daily permit.


8.01 Carpool parking spaces are reserved for registered carpools as outlined in the Traffic & Parking Regulations.


9.01 A carpool is considered dissolved when sufficient members of the carpool are no longer interested in carpooling or are no longer considered eligible to belong to a carpool according to the criteria set out in Section 2.01.

9.02 A carpool can be dissolved at any time. Refunds will be given in accordance with the policy outlined in Section 6.03

9.03 Those who did not surrender a non-carpool permit to join the carpool can obtain a parking permit in any lot they are eligible for, subject to availability.


10.01 Violations, fines, and penalties are consistent with those noted in the Traffic and Parking Regulations. Fines are ascribed to a particular vehicle and/or transponder and are therefore payable by the owner of that vehicle and/or transponder. Transferring a violation from one person to another requires the consent of both parties.

10.02 Unauthorized use of a carpool parking permit could result in the suspension of parking privileges in accordance with McMaster’s Traffic and Parking Regulations.


January 23, 2012