Metered and Pre Pay Parking


There are multiple locations for which you can pay for a limited time to park on campus, if you do not have a permit. There are also meters in several of the lots on campus. Hours of enforcement and time limits are clearly posted on each meter. Acceptable forms of payment are cash coins, ParkMobile or Smart Card. See the green areas on the Campus map.

Pay Lots on Campus are Now Cashless

 Please visit for more information and to download the ParkMobile app for your mobile device. To learn more about how ParkMobile works on ISU Campus, click here

Lot 21:

West side of campus, next to Armory Building.

East Campus Parking Deck:

Located on Union Drive, near Forker Building and across from East and Heady Halls.

Lot 100:

East side of Campus near the Lied Recreation Center.

Memorial Union Ramp:

The Memorial Union manages a gated parking ramp East of the Building. Entrances are from the south off of Lincoln Way and from the North off of Union Drive.

Ames Intermodal Facility:

Reserved parking and pre pay area enforced all hours of everyday on the west side of campustown.


How to Pay

Effective July 1, 2023

Meters and pay areas will increase to $1.50 per hour beginning July 1, 2023.


Meters and Pre Pay spaces accept US coins dollar, quarter, nickel and dimes. Pennies, Half-dollars and other coins or objects are not accepted and will not give any time.

Parkmobile- Mobile Payment System

Scan the sticker and pay through the online portal or download the ParkMobile App on your phone and you pay for your parking from your phone.  This is valid for Pre Pay lots and parking meters on campus.  

Smart Cards

We will begin phasing out smart cards May 2023 as the pre-pay lots and metered spaces transition to Contactless payment only. 

Smart Cards are available at the Parking Division 2519 Osborn Drive Room 27 Armory Building. Cardholders can put cash up to $150 cash on a card. There is a $5.00 one time fee to purchase the Smart Card and you can add money at anytime by stopping by the Parking Division Office. The cards are valid at all pre pay lots and metered spaces on Iowa State University Campus and some City of Ames meters.

This card is not valid at the Memorial Union Parking Ramp.

If the card is lost or broken, we cannot retrieve any money that was on the card.

Smart cards are non-refundable. 

Issues with Meters and Pay Machine Kiosk

View troubleshooting options and report a meter or pay machine kiosk as broken

Hours of Enforcement


Meters are located in select lots throughout ISU Campus. Some required payment all hours of every day and others are only enforced 7:00am- 5:30pm. Read signs and stickers on individual meters for enforcement hours.

Push Button Loading Zones

These meters have green tops and allow free 30 minute parking when the button is pushed. They are near residence halls and buildings with limited parking to allow people to park briefly to drop off or pick up. They are not designed for all day parking. They are all enforced all hours of everyday even if located in a staff lot.

Pre Pay Lots

The Ames Intermodal Facility Pre Pay area requires payment all hours of everyday. Campus Pre Pay lots 21, East Campus Pay Area and Lot 100 require payment Monday-Friday 7:00am-5:30pm.