Campus News

Considering going car-free on campus? Applications open for incentive programs

Someone riding a bike on campus.
Mark Cornelison | UK Photo

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 19, 2023) — If you’ve been considering going car-free on campus, check out University of Kentucky Transportation Services’ incentives programs. Applications for Bike Vouchers, Commute Club and the Cash Out program will open on Wednesday, April 19. These programs reward students and employees for going car-free. One of them may be right for you.

Bike Voucher Program
Now in its ninth year, the Bike Voucher program is open to both students and employees. It offers the first 100 qualified applicants $400 each in vouchers that are valid at any of four participating local bike shops.

Vouchers can be used toward the purchase of a new bike or bicycle gear and accessories. In return, participants sign a car-free commitment for two years, but may purchase up to 40 single-day parking permits per fiscal year if they are needed.

To be eligible, applicants must live off campus and have had a parking permit this past fiscal year (July 1-June 30) or be new to the university with a start date of September 2022 or later.

Those who are interested in the Bike Voucher program but who do not meet the eligibility requirements can consider signing up for Commute Club.

Commute Club
Commute Club is a program that rewards students and employees for making a one-year, car-free commitment. Participants agree to forego purchasing a regular vehicle parking permit for one fiscal year, but they still have access to a limited number of single-day permits for occasional use.

Some of the benefits of Commute Club include:

  • Bird e-scooter credits.
  • Guaranteed Ride program which offers a limited number of reimbursements for taxi and ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft.
  • Ability to still purchase a limited number of single-day parking permits. 

Applicants who apply now will be notified of their status in the club in June and club benefits will begin on July 1. Read more about Commute Club and apply online here.

Cash Out Program
Cash Out is a program designed for UK employees. Participants who choose to forego purchasing a parking permit for one year receive $200 over the one-year period, evenly divided across their paychecks.

To be eligible, employees must have had a parking permit for the 2022-2023 fiscal year (July 1-June 30) or be a new employee with a start date of September 2022 or later. Applicants must also have work assignments that are day shift and based on main campus.

Cash Out is limited to the first 100 qualified applicants. Applications will close after the program is full.

Transportation Services’ staff will begin reviewing applications in June and will notify recipients as they are approved. Interested employees are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

All of these incentives programs — Bike Voucher, Commute Club and Cash Out — are part of an array of alternative transportation incentives and options designed to support multi-modal transportation by helping individuals make a change in their routine. The goal is to reduce campus parking demand and traffic congestion and to support sustainable transportation options.

Additional alternative transportation programs include Big Blue Cycles and the Semester Bike Lottery.

If you’re interested in going car-free, but confused about potential commuting routes, UK Transportation Services also offers personalized commute planning.

For more details about alternative transportation incentives, visit the website or email

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

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