14.15 Transportation

Last Revised Date
Friday, October 20, 2017 - 11:33 am
Purpose: To provide guidelines and procedures for travel for The University of Arizona employees, students and affiliates.
Policy Owner: FSO Operations - Travel

 Public transportationPrivately owned vehiclesRental vehicles
Commercial airlinesPrivate, rental & chartered airplanesReporting accidents


  1. Reimbursement will be for the most direct and economical means of transportation to and from the traveler's destination. Explain any exceptions in an attached memo.
  2. Insurance - See Non-Reimbursable expenses.

Public transportation

  1. See the Receipt Requirement section for reimbursement requirements

Privately owned vehicles and mileage

  1. Reimbursement for transportation expenses in and around Tucson may be claimed on a Travel Expense Report when it is a necessary function of an employee's position and approved by the department. This needs to be claimed on a Travel Expense Report and by initiating a Disbursement Voucher using the 6140 Object Code. A traveler driving a privately owned vehicle on university business must have current vehicle insurance and a valid driver's license and meet Risk Management Fleet Safety requirements.
  2. Reimbursement for mileage is computed at  44.5 cents per mile based on the most direct route between two points computed by official highway maps. If claiming mileage in excess of map mileage, state odometer readings on the Travel Expense Report.
    1. A traveler using their privately owned vehicle for university business may receive mileage reimbursement regardless of eligibility for lodging or per diem reimbursement, as long as, the travel is not to a permanent duty post. 
    2. A traveler assigned to multiple duty posts is eligible for mileage reimbursement for travel between duty posts.
  3. A traveler may receive mileage reimbursement or gasoline reimbursement, but not both.
  4. If business travel begins during normal (8-5 Monday through Friday) business hours and includes travel to and from Tucson International airport, reimbursement mileage will be based upon 20 miles round trip (to and from the airport from the university). If travel begins before 8am or after 5pm, on holidays or weekends, a traveler will be reimbursed for total miles to and from the airport from their place of residence, if odometer readings are provided with the Travel Expense Report. If odometer readings are not provided, the traveler will be reimbursed for 20 miles.
  5. If a traveler is being dropped off at the airport, parking is not reimbursable. When the traveler is picked up at the airport, one hour of parking may be reimbursed.
  6. Private vehicle mileage reimbursement, when approved, is allowed for in-state/out-of-state travel by way of the most direct regularly traveled route computed by online mileage calculators (such as Mapquest) or odometer readings.
  7. Exception:  Mileage to go to or from your job is not an accountable expense and will be considered to be income.  It must be approved, in advance, by the department head and will be reported to payroll so that taxes can be withheld on it. This must be paid on a Disbursement Voucher through FSO-Operations.

Rental Vehicles

  1. Rented or chartered vehicles may be used where other means of travel cannot be economically used if approved in advance by the department head. The use of such means must be explained on the Travel Authorization. 
  2. Rented vehicles may be used when it is advantageous to the State and not for the travelers convenience. 
  3. The University of Arizona Motor Pool rents vehicles, at a reasonable cost, to the University community. The Motor Pool follows UA Risk Management fleet safety policy, http://risk.arizona.edu/fleetsafetypolicy-2#section2_0, on minimum age and experience requirements. Motor Pool vehicles can be taken into Mexico with prior authorization and proper insurance which can be obtained thru Risk Management, http://risk.arizona.edu/fleetsafetypolicy-d. For additional information as well as prices go to the Motor Pool's home page. (When comparing rates, please remember that the cost of gasoline and insurance are included. Taxes are not applicable.)
  4. The University is a member of the Educational & Institutional Cooperative Service (E&I) a purchasing cooperative that provides discounts on many products and services including car rental. Discounts are available from Avis, Budget, Hertz and Enterprise and vary depending on location, date and time of arrival/return and vehicle type. Contact a Procurement and Contracting Services Buyer for additional information.
  5. Decline the collision damage insurance waiver (CDW) unless you are under 25 years old or are on foreign travel status. Losses below the deductible will be covered by State of Arizona self insurance. In the event of an accident follow Risk Management policies. Do not pay for the damages.
  6. For receipt information see the Receipt Requirement section.
  7. Gasoline: Travelers using rented vehicles may claim the actual cost of gasoline with receipts, but cannot claim mileage.  See the Receipt Requirement section for reimbursement requirements.

Commercial Airlines

  1. Reimbursement for airline travel is limited to expenses of travel by the most direct and economical route at a minimum expense. Travelers traveling by an indirect route or with a more expensive ticket for their own pleasure and convenience, or to take advantage of airline incentive, will not be reimbursed for subsistence and travel expenses in excess of those which would have been required for travel for the more direct route or less expensive ticket. The University also requires a traveler to charge such travel time as vacation time. Refer to the Research Gateway Travel section for guidance when federally sponsored funds are involved.
  2. See the Receipt Requirements section for appropriate supporting documentation for airline ticket reimbursements.  In cases where airline seats are not assigned at the time of booking, early bird check-in or priority boarding may be allowed and no additional justification is required.  When airline seats are assigned at the time of booking, the employee must provide a written explanation to the business office to be signed by an authorized approver for booking any additional check-in or priority boarding charges or any type of upgrade (including seating, meal, coach upgrades).   This explanation must be included in the supporting documentation to justify the expense and included on the Travel Authorization Form, Travel Expense Report or PCard supporting documentation depending on the method of payment utilized.

Private, Rental & Chartered Airplanes

  1. If a University employee will be piloting an aircraft, it must be explained on the Travel Authorization and approved by Risk Management and Financial Services - Operations prior to travel.  Pilots must have a current pilot history and evidence of insurance on file with Risk Management. The department is responsible for paying the annual underwriting charge each fiscal year to the State of Arizona Department of Administration for flights on University business. Contact Risk Management for the amount and additional information.
  2. Chartered aircraft travel is allowed providing common carrier is not feasible or in the best interest of the University. The traveler's supervisor, not the traveler, determines if such travel is justified and in the best interest of the University. Chartered air service may be obtained only by completing a Requisition, and only from FAA licensed commercial flight operators.  Refer to Purchasing Policy 6.17 for further details.
  3. Privately owned aircraft will be reimbursed at 42 cents per mile, based on the shortest air route from origin to destination, using airways wherever possible. When the trip is limited solely to state business and the "air miles" cannot be accurately computed from origin to destination, Financial Services - Operations may authorize reimbursement for the actual cost of renting a plane.
  4. For Rental Aircraft see the Receipt Requirements section for what receipts are required.

Reporting accidents

  1. Risk Management has established programs to handle all claims for property damage, public liability and workers' compensation involving the State, its property and employees. 
  2. If a traveler is involved in an accident that results in damage to University property, damage to property of others, bodily injury or some other form of damage to an individual or organization, report the situation immediately to the Insurance Manager, Risk Management.