Can you get along at Rice University and in Houston without a car?


Rice University and the City of Houston provide a variety of transportation options that are convenient, and with rising gas costs, more economical than owning a car.

The cost of owning a car while attending Rice (not counting the cost of the car itself): 
  • Parking Rates (as of July 1, 2014) range from $167 - $808 a year. The lower rates are for more remote parking. There are free shuttles available which will bring you to your building. 
  • For first time car owners under the age of 25, car insurance rates in Houston can climb to over $100 a month for liability insurance alone.
  • Gas prices are erratic and currently pushing $3.50/a gallon.
  • Car maintenance can not only be a hassle, but cost you hundreds of dollars every year.  Unexpected repairs often translate into personal debt.
Transportation alternatives while attending Rice:


Zipcars are rental cars available at different locations on the Rice campus.  All students including international drivers 18 and older, with a good driving record, qualify to use this service.

  • $35/year membership standard registration fee. Currently students, faculty, and staff can join for only $25 and get $35 of free driving!
  • Prices vary between $7.50 and $9.50 per hour depending upon the timing of your trip and the car you choose.  Daily rates vary between $69 and $77 per day.  Gas and insurance is included in the price.  
  • Generally, cars such as the Ford Focus are cheaper than the Audi.  Weekday rates are cheaper than weekends.  
  • Check the rate for your rental when you reserve your vehicle.  
  • Only one person needs to reserve a car.  The price stays the same no matter the number of passengers.  Only Zipcar members are approved to drive the vehicles. 

Locate a zipcar near you!


The METRORail redline has a stop directly in front of Rice University, and provides transportation to downtown Houston, Reliant Park, and the museum district.

The METRO Bus system is extensive, and provides access to all major areas of Houston.

Rice University offers discounted METRO cards to undergraduate and graduate students.

  • Graduate students can obtain METRO Q cards valued at $500 for $55.00.
  • Undergraduate information can be found here.

If you have trouble negotiating the METRO system, the METRO website provides a helpful trip planner.  Google also offers an interactive transit map.

Campus Shuttle

Rice University offers a convenient and free shuttle system. Maps found here

  • Inner Loop Route – To and from all bus shelters (A, B, and C) located along the ‘inner loop’ of the Rice University Campus.
  • Graduate Apartments Route – To and from Rice Graduate Apartments
  • Rice Village Apartments/Greenbriar Route – To and from Rice Village Apartments.  On Fridays at 5:30 pm, the service extends to serve the Rice Village until 12:30 am.
  • Friday/Saturday Night Rice Village Route – On Saturday it will be the Rice Village Route only, 5:30 pm to 12:30 am, every 15 minutes.
  • Graduate Apartments Shopping Shuttle – To and from the Rice Graduate Apartments to the Target and Fiesta Shopping Center on Kirby.
  • Undergraduate Shopping Shuttle – To and from Rice campus to the Target and Fiesta Shopping Center on Kirby
  • Night Escort Service - Please call the dispatcher at 713-348-6000 or 713-348-3333. Sunday through Thursday, 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM.

Rice has a useful shuttle tracking system that is available online or as a downloadable app for your phone.


Rice University and the surrounding neighborhoods are bicycle friendly, and the university encourages bicycling as a healthy and environmental alternative to driving a car.  The Graduate Student Association provides information on how to register your bicycle on campus, as well as information about cycling clubs and bike routes around Houston.