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Getting around campus

Campus transportation

Michigan State University covers more than 5,000 acres and is one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation. Besides walking, students have many options for getting around campus, including green transportation options. 


With more than half of its roads equipped with bike lanes and more than 20,000 bicycle parking spaces, MSU has been named a Bicycle Friendly University by the League of American Bicyclists.

Additionally, MSU has installed several bike repair stations across campus, providing cyclists with a place to fix flats and make minor adjustments. MSU’s Bikes Service Center also offers a range of services for individuals or campus departments looking to rent, repair, buy or equip a bike.

Students who bring a bike to campus must obtain a free bicycle permit from the MSU Police Department.

Campus bus system

The Capital Area Transportation Authority (CATA) bus system is free for all students during fall and spring semesters along all on-campus routes. These routes serve all university apartments, residence halls, commuter lots and main campus facilities. Most on-campus routes run until 2:30 a.m. after which the Night Owl service provides late night transportation at a discounted student rate. In addition to the free on-campus routes, there are also routes that extend to the surrounding off-campus areas of East Lansing, Lansing, Okemos and Haslett. For off-campus routes, students can pay per ride or purchase passes.


MSU offers seven Zipcar parking locations on campus. Students 18 years and older, including drivers with an international license, can rent a car to use by the hour or day.

Students who want to bring their own car to campus must follow these criteria:

  • An MSU student not residing on campus property may register a vehicle as a commuter.
  • An MSU student who resides on campus must have at least 28 credits in order to register their vehicle to park on campus. These 28 credits can be AP credits earned while in high school, credits transferred from another two- or four-year institution or earned while at MSU.

When eligible, students may purchase a parking permit on campus and register their vehicle through the MSU Police Department.


Mopeds are another popular form of transportation on campus. MSU has numerous moped-designated parking spaces across campus for your convenience. To see where moped spaces are located, zoom in on the MSU interactive map to see the small purple squares marking the spaces. In order to use a moped on campus, you must purchase a parking permit after having registered your moped with the Secretary of State Office.

One advantage over cars is that MSU allows students to use mopeds starting their first year on campus. Students wishing to drive a car on campus must either be a commuter student or in at least their second year at MSU. More information about mopeds can be found on the MSU police website.

Getting to campus


The MSU campus is a 15-minute drive from Capital Regional International Airport. Taxicab service costs approximately $15.

It is a 75-minute drive to Detroit Metro Airport. The Michigan Flyer Airport Shuttle offers bus transportation to East Lansing for approximately $30. Buses run several times a day, and travel takes approximately two hours.

Public transportation

The Capital Area Multimodal Gateway on campus houses the Amtrak Blue Water train stop and three intercity bus services: MegaBus, Greyhound and Indian Trails.

Local CATA bus routes stop at the station, and the facility also offers taxicab and bike-sharing services.

Maps and directions