Navigating Indiana University Bloomington...WITHOUT A CAR

Yes, we all know that having a car on campus is great. We all know that it makes life easier. But trust me, it is possible to get around IU and Bloomington without a car! Bloomington has consistently been given high ratings and awards for the public transportation system and bike friendliness. In this post I will focus on 3 main forms of transportation while on IU's campus: biking, busing, and walking. 

Biking: Bloomington has been nationally recognized as a silver "Bicycle Friendly Community." Bloomington received this honor for a longstanding commitment to providing safe accomodations and facilities for cyclists along with the promotion of biking as a form of regular transportation. Many streets in Bloomington have designated bike lanes (including almost all main streets that run through campus). All buildings on campus have bike racks to lock your bikes up. And trust me, BUY A GOOD BIKE LOCK. The best choice for bike locks are the metal u-bar locks. They are extremely hard to break off so your bike is sure to be safe. Bloomington also has a very cool bike recycling program. It is called the Bloomington Bike Project. They have 2 locations, one at 7th & Madison and one at Grimes & the B-Line trail. The BBP is a place where you can build your own bike for very cheap. And haven't heard of the B-Line? Many haven't! It is an awesome bike and running trail that goes through Bloomington. It is one of several great bike paths that can be found throughout Bloomington and the surrounding area. Another reason why cycling is so big in Bloomington is because of Little 500. But I don't think I need to explain what that is and why it influences biking. But anyways, biking around campus and Bloomington is typically the fastest way to get places. When biking around campus, you must be very careful to obey traffic signals and watch for cars and people. While you may feel invincible on a bike, cars are much bigger and harder to handle than bikes and they might not see you! Just watch out...be smart...be careful.

 

Busing: While at IU, there are two types of buses to choose from. The red IU buses, and the green Bloomington Transit Buses. Both of which are completely free to use for IU students.

 

IU Buses: These are buses that run all over campus. All the information you need regarding these buses can be found at http://www.iubus.indiana.edu. These will take you all the way from 3rd street to Assembly Hall, the Wells Library to Kirkwood, and anywhere else on campus you might need to be. Another great thing about these buses is that if you have a smart phone, you can download an IU Mobile app that allows you to track these buses in real time so you know if you just missed a bus or if you can wait inside rather than waiting out in the cold. One thing to be aware of with campus buses...TIME. It is often faster to walk or bike rather than use the bus at certain times of day. Traffic on campus can be HORRIFIC, and the buses can easily get stuck in this traffic. It is especially bad from about 9-11 in the morning and 4-6 in the evening. So warning: if you are in a rush during those times, do NOT take the bus. You WILL be late. On the weekends at night, the A-Bus turns into the Night Owl. Whether going out to a party that night or if you just wanna watch some drunk people make fools of themselves on a bus, take this bus! 

Bloomington Transit: These are the green buses that you will see going around all over Bloomington. These buses are awesome and definitely an underutilized source of transportation. They are free to use as long as you have your student ID and they can take you to the mall, to Walmart, really everywhere in Bloomington. Just make sure to get on the right one, I've gotten on the wrong bus way too many times and ended up in the middle of Bloomington. All the schedules and routes for these buses can be found at  http://www.bloomingtontransit.com

Walking: Mindblowing, I know. Who would have thought that you could actually walk places?! If you come from a place like I do, sidewalks and walking from home to dinner or home to workout was something that just was not possible. You can get virtually anywhere in Bloomington by walking. No matter where you are on campus (or even in Bloomington), walking elsewhere on campus (or Bloomington) is never more than 30 minutes away. I lived in Foster freshman year and could walk to the opposite side of campus (3rd Street) in 15-18 minutes. Kirkwood was about the same distance. The SRSC was 8 minutes. When it all comes down to it, walking is the easiest (and often, the fastest) way of getting around Bloomington. But please remember what you learned in kindergarden. Look both ways, pay attention, etc... People get hit by cars way too often because the drivers aren't paying attention. Take it from me, I got hit (lightly) by a car who wasn't paying attention and pulled out into me. Luckily, I was not hurt but it doesn't mean that it was okay. 

No car? Don't worry. Bloomington is an extremely alternative forms of transportation friendly place. Whether you choose to bike, bus, or walk your destination is never far away. 

And don't forget to follow me: http://www.twitter.com/gregsofly

About The Author
Greg WatsonFinance and Marketing Major, Class of 2014