Transportation: How to get where you need to go, without a car

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Students board a MTD bus at Transit located at the Illini Union Bookstore.

By Isabella Jackson, Supplements Editor

Parking on campus can be a hassle, and most often it is too expensive to be worth the cost, especially to a freshman. Luckily, there are many ways for students to get around campus and back and forth from school to their hometowns without purchasing a parking pass.

Around Campus:

Walking: Campus is very pedestrian-friendly, and walking is definitely the most popular way of getting around. Even if you have class on opposite sides of campus, there are always sidewalks and crosswalks to make getting there easy. On some of the major intersections, such as the one at Wright Street and Green Street, there are diagonal crosswalks where the stoplights turn red in every direction and pedestrians have the right-of-way to cross diagonally.

Biking: Students who like the commute across campus to be quicker may opt to bike to class. There are bicycle racks outside of both residence halls and academic buildings, so there is always a place to lock up your bike to keep it secure while you are asleep or in class. Bicycle repair stations located across campus allow students to fix broken chains or any other issues they may face. The campus police department offers a bicycle and pedestrian safety class that can teach bikers the rules of the road and proper safety techniques.

Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District: When it is raining or cold, students take advantage of the campus bus system. Bus lines run around campus, to downtown Urbana, and to downtown Champaign. For students without a car, the busses are a great way to get to the grocery store, movie theater or mall. The 22 Illini is the main line that runs around campus and is a great way for freshmen to start using the busses, but the Illini Bus app is also helpful to download to see routes, pickup times and bus stop locations.

Off Campus:

Buses: There are multiple bus lines that run from campus to Chicago, St. Louis and Rockford, to name only a few cities. Peoria Charter Coach, Greyhound and Suburban Express are some of the most commonly seen on campus. Many of these buses come daily, and some provide amenities such as free wi-fi.

Trains: Downtown Champaign has an Amtrak station, so students can catch a train from Champaign to almost any major city in the United States.The train ride to Union Station in downtown Chicago is especially easy and leaves multiple times per day.

Airports: For out-of-state or international students, there is an airport in Champaign. Willard Airport is only a few miles off of campus, and offers flights to over 175 cities. Buses can also take students to O’Hare Airport in Chicago or other airports in Bloomington, Illinois or Indianapolis, Indiana.

Carpool: Don’t forget to look into carpooling with other students from the same area as you. If you are from Illinois, most likely you will meet someone who is driving near your hometown who would not mind you tagging along, especially if you pitch in for gas money or snacks!

Isabella is a junior in LAS.

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