Public Transportation

Rice sits almost directly on the Red Line of the metro, which goes to the museum district, downtown and the performing arts district, and to NRG (home of the Houston Texans and the annual Rodeo). The fares for the bus and metro are quite cheap, but Rice has an awesome deal where you can buy a QCard at a reduced price.

Below is a map (direct link) that shows where current grad students live, access to public transit and biking, etc., all of which is based on grad student survey data.


Rice Transportation

Rice also has a shuttle system and even has Zip Car stations on campus. The shuttles go directly to and from the Rice Graduate and Village Apartments and travel along the loop within campus.  You can even track the shuttle using the Ride Systems app.Rice Shuttle Tracker

If you don’t live conveniently on a bus route, biking and driving are both viable options. We have provided a few resources and need-to-knows about biking and driving in Houston.


Read our fantastic guides on buying a bike, commuting routes to campus, and safe riding strategies at Rice and in Houston, as well as our fun flyer detailing bike tips and safety. Below is also a new bike safety at Rice video!

Bicycling is a very practical means of transportation around the Rice area and a triple-bonus for your pocketbook, your health and the environment. Some students question the condition of the roads, but anyone who has spent a few months biking around a major city can tell you it is no worse than average. As a wise grad said many years ago: “Get a helmet. Get a light if you are out at night. Stay the hell off the wrong side of the road.” It’s also useful (and courteous) to learn the hand signals for breaking and turning as sidewalks are not always available and you will have to share the road. The city of Houston has a system of bike routes around town. Be SURE to get a sturdy lock – bike theft is rampant both in Houston and around campus. RUPD also provides U-locks and bells for a small price, it might be a good idea to get one for your bike.

Rice also has an official Bike Policy in place to guide new riders to stay safe while sharing road with larger vehicles. We suggest that you read the Bike Policy before you hit the road.

Furthermore, view the recent bike safety proposal.

Bicycle Registration

Bicycles can be registered with Rice University. Registration with Rice can be performed at the Rice University Police Department office or you can register online. This service is recommended. In the event that your bicycle is stolen, its serial number will be on record in case of future recovery. RUPD can even engrave your name and driver’s license number on your bicycle.

Cycling Clubs

If you are really into biking, Houston has several clubs for you, amongst them are the Houston Area Bicyclist Alliance and the Greater Houston Off-road Biking Association.

Cycling at Rice

Racers can also check in with the Rice University Cycling and Triathlon Club (RUCT). Lastly, watch the GSA announcements for something called Beer Bike – as the name suggests, it involves biking, and GSA has a great team every year (novices and veterans welcome).


If you are in Houston, more often that not; you will need to drive. Be it a movie theater, a restaurant, a worship place or even driving to school daily.


Graduate students have different parking permits than undergraduate students. They also have different pricing for the same lots. If you are looking for prices of permits, the Parking Rates can be found here and the graduate student rates are designated on this page.

Also consider the BRC Rainy Day Parking Pass, which is an occasional-use parking pass developed by graduate students, for graduate students. The pass is designed for students who only have an occasional need (~1x/week or less on average) to park a vehicle in the BRC Garage. Find out more here.

If you are merely looking for the Permits and Their Rights, this contains the areas where each permit is allowed to park.

For the full website, go to Rice Parking.

Automobile Insurance

The state of Texas requires all automobile drivers to have auto insurance. While the information here is by no means exhaustive, it will give you an idea of some of the popular choices for auto insurance companies and policies. Some popular companies include: GEICO, Allstate, Farmers Insurance, American Automobile Association (AAA), and Progressive.

Types of Coverages

Texas requires some levels of coverage and some coverage is optional. This should be up-to-date, but, as always, make sure you clarify with your insurance company.

Liability (Mandatory)
Other (Optional)
  • Bodily Injury – Bodily Injury covers your liability for a covered accident that involves injury to another person, up to the limit of liability you select. The minimum requirement for state of Texas as of January 2011 is $25,000 per person and $40,000 per accident
  • Property Damage Liability – Property Damage Liability covers your legal liability for a covered accident that involves damage to someone’s property, up to the limit of liability you select. The minimum requirement for state of Texas as of January 2011 is $25,000 per accident.
  • Comprehensive and Collision – Comprehensive and Collision coverages pay to repair or replace your auto if it is stolen or damaged in an accident, regardless of who is at fault.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist – When the person at fault for an accident does not have insurance, Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury will cover injuries and damages you incur that the at-fault party is legally liable for, such as medical treatment and lost wages up to the limits you select.
  • Medical Payments – Medical Payments coverage pays the cost of necessary medical care you receive as a result of an auto accident and can be used regardless of who is at fault.
  • Rental Reimbursement – Rental Reimbursement provides rental car coverage if you have a claim that is covered under comprehensive or collision coverage. Daily rental amounts are subject to the limit purchased.
  • Roadside Assistance – Roadside Assistance coverage provides towing to the nearest qualified repair facility and covers a specified amount of the necessary labor at the place of breakdown when your automobile is disabled.