U is for Understanding the Bus System

Flashback to summer 2010: My soon-to-be roommate and I thought we would save time during orientation by riding the bus from dorms to Central Grounds. Little did we know that ummm…there is more than one bus, each of which goes in a very different route.

We ended up at the basketball stadium over a mile away from where we intended to be. Rookie mistake.

So young wahoos, here are the basics so you can avoid missing your destination.

University Transit Service (UTS):

UVA’s FREE bus system to get you all around Grounds (and off-Grounds too)

Routes you want to know:

  • Northline: Clutch for First Years. The Northline circles all through Central Grounds, around dorms, up to Hereford, down to Lambeth, through North Grounds (the Law school and Darden), and ends at Barracks Shopping Center (prime for all your First Year grocery shopping!)Screen shot 2014-04-27 at 3.27.06 PM
  • The Inner/Outer Loop: This is key to get Off-Grounds. The Inner and Outer Loop, essentially ‘loop’ through Grounds, 14th Street, and Jefferson Park Avenue. The twist: the Inner Loop runs in one direction and the Outer Loop runs in the other.Screen shot 2014-04-27 at 3.29.07 PM Screen shot 2014-04-27 at 3.29.21 PM

Tip: The Inner Loop runs TOWARDS the Chapel, Outer Loop runs TOWARDS Alderman.

  • Central Grounds Shuttle: To be honest I’m not entirely sure where it goes…but it’s always clutch if you need an extra option from getting from dorms to Central Grounds.

Charlottesville Area Transit (CAT):

Charlottesville bus system that is FREE to UVA students! (Be sure to have your student ID on you though)

  • The Trolley: On the list of things to do before you graduate – the trolley is your answer to getting anywhere between Central Grounds and the Downtown Mall. Plus, it makes you feel slightly cooler than riding the bus.05bCharvilleTrolleyBus
  • There are many other routes on the CAT that can get you to places all around Charlottesville, it might take some investigating and planning but it will always make for an adventure.

Other tips and insight:

  • TransLoc: Download this app right now. It will give you a real time maps and timing of buses. Generally reliable, highly recommend.
  • If all else fails and you’re looking for a ride some other options are Yellow Cab (they can charge your student account if you don’t have money on you) and Zipcar if you’re looking to rent a car
  • Bring your bike to school if you feel that will be helpful for you.
  • Check out the Facebook group – Hoo’s Driving? Hoo’s Riding? To see when people might be headed for a weekend jaunt.

 Understanding the transportation system and different options takes time, but pays off. If all else fails, even after four years you won’t get tired of walking around Grounds. There are a lot less beautiful places to be.

Just don’t always rely on the bus to get to class. It is inevitably full at certain times in the morning and nothing is worse than starting off your morning power walking half asleep down McCormick road.

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