Forget the Car: 6 Transportation Alternatives On-Campus and Around Town

Indiana University bus

There are many reasons not to drive in Bloomington. Want free or inexpensive transportation options? Love the environment? Hate car exhaust? Want exercise? Don’t want the hassle of maintaining a car, paying for, and finding parking? And we’ve all been caught in a typical Bloomington traffic jam! If any of these reasons resonate with you, check out IU’s alternatives:


  1. Walk

As a recognized pedestrian-friendly campus, IU has miles of walking paths connecting campus buildings, downtown areas, and nearby housing. It’s also really easy to walk to a nearby bus stop, which can take you anywhere you need to go. Bonus: IU’s campus is gorgeous! We’re consistently ranked among the most beautiful campuses in the country, so why not take time to enjoy it while getting some exercise?


IU's campus on a summer day


  1. Bike

IU is recognized as a bronze-level Bicycle Friendly University. Biking is often faster than driving here, and you get secondary exercise benefits. IU also provides resources for bikers – outdoor bike repair stations with tire pumps, repair rack, and tools are hidden behind the shrubs across 7th Street from Ernie Pyle Hall and just south of Wells Library. They are also available at each of the five IU Parking Garages. Use this Bike Racks Parking Map to find where you can securely park your bike while on campus.


bikes in a bike rack


  1. Zipcar

For just $25/year, you can join Zipcar, a ride sharing service for anyone affiliated with IU. To use a Zipcar, all you have to do is register as a member, reserve a car online or by phone, use your Zipcard to enter the car at the appointed time, and drive away. When you’re done, just return the car to where you picked it up, lock the doors, and walk away. A car whenever you want it for up to 7 days! Rates start as low as $7.50 per hour including gas and insurance. Seven Zipcars are stationed around campus and can be reserved and unlocked with a smart phone.


IU zipcar


  1. Zimride

Zimride is a private carpool community that helps you offer or request rides for commutes, road trips, or popular events with other people at IU. The Zimride service is free for any IU Bloomington student or employee. You will need your Central Authentication Service (CAS) login information. Zimride will send you matches based on your offer or request, and you decide whether or not to accept.


  1. Local Bus

There are two options for getting around campus and town via bus – Campus Bus and Bloomington Transit – both of which are free to IU students and employees. Anyone, including visitors, can ride Campus Bus for free. Students are required to show their ID to ride Bloomington Transit, and IU employees must show their IU bus pass. You can even track the buses in real-time with DoubleMap if you don’t have time to look at the schedules.

Indiana University Bus


  1. Bus outside of Bloomington

Need to get out of town? Starting around $18, shuttles will pick you up at several locations on campus (including the IMU) and take you to the airport, downtown Indianapolis, or Chicago. You can make reservations online or on the bus. They even load and unload your luggage for you!


Go Express Travel bus

Jennifer Teson

Active Transportation Intern

Jenn Teson is a second year graduate student working towards Master’s degrees in both Public Affairs and Environmental Science, concentrationing in Sustainability and Applied Ecology. In 2014, she graduated from Millersville University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. Environmental Biology. Her primary areas of interest are natural resource conservation and community sustainability, and she has worked on the east coast to promote urban greening and threatened species conservation. This academic year, Jenn currently interns with the Transportation Working group to assist with research, analysis, and planning of potential bike sharing and active transportation programs.

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