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Public Transportation

Freshmen often find that the campus is an overwhelming place when they first arrive, but soon they become comfortable with it and want to set out to discover everything else that New Town has to offer. This often means traveling farther than casual walking will allow, and most freshmen don't have their own vehicles. Luckily New Town has a very good public transportation system in place just for such needs.

The New Town Public Bus System is the central piece of the public transportation system that most Central University students will use while living here. It reaches most areas of New Town proper and many of the surrounding suburban and rural areas. New Town also has connections with the larger regional Rapid Rail System put in place by the state and county, which allows for easy transportation to nearly a third of the state, and beyond if you make connections at the major airports or National Rail Systems.

The New Town Public Bus System is currently in the process of refurbishing their entire line, including a new college color themed paintjob. They have also recently started upgrading their fleet to include not only the normal collection of standard busses, but a number of new double-length "accordion" busses for the higher-traffic areas and even two double-decker style busses with observation decks as the second layer, mainly to be used to for special events and tourists.

To help those new to the system, the city has color-coded different groups of routes based on the areas they cover and the distances they go. We are going to go over what some of these colors mean here.

Red Lines are the long range "Express" busses used to get people to most distant areas, usually so they can transfer to another bus that takes them exactly where they want to go or so they transfer to a train to head out of the central area. There are some Red Line busses that head to specific destinations, like those going to the beach in the summer, but most are simply express busses leading to and from different hubs. Central University is one of those hubs, so several Red Line busses stop on campus.

Blue Lines are those that service the central New Town areas, mostly downtown, the campus, and southwestern lakefront communities. These are the most active and abundant of the lines, since they move the majority of the students and active working body of the city on a daily basis.

Green Lines mostly service the north end and the northeast lakefront communities, but does have some longer routes that venture farther east into the rural areas.

Orange Lines cover the entire southern New Town area, consisting mostly of the suburbs and a few business parks. Few students ever need to use these lines.

Purple Lines are the longer range rural lines designed to cover the majority of the farmland and sparse housing communities well to the west of New Town.

Now that you have an idea about how to find the busses you need to get around New Town, we should cover the basics about public transportation etiquette. These are not hard and fast rules, but should still be followed by all those wanting to use the busses.

Please have your transit card, pass, or exact change at the ready when boarding. Nobody likes to be held up while someone tries to dig out and find their payment method at the front of the bus. It is usually good to get it ready while standing at the bus stop well before the bus even stops in front of you.

Speaking of waiting for the bus, please wait at designated bus stops and do not try and flag one down. They are not Taxis and do not normally stop between designated bus stops for their route. Most bus stops will have benches you can rest on and are even covered to keep the sun and rain off you, if you like. Do not stand in the street, however. Please stay on the curb.

When all seats are full, it is acceptable to stand, but do not block doors or bunch of near the front of the bus if others are trying to load on. Try and leave the main isles as open as possible for those trying to get on or off the bus. Also, do not hang from the supports or railings. They are there to hold on to for support while standing, not to actually support all your weight.

If an elderly or handicapped person boards the bus and the front seats are all occupied, it is considered correct etiquette for one of those sitting in the front section to either stand or move farther back to allow those with greater need to sit in the easy access seats up front.

Do not talk loudly or play music/audio of any kind through any kind of external speaker system (radio, boom box, phone, etc.) while on the bus. Not everyone around you may appreciate the noise or disruption. Earphones are best for listening and if you must talk, please keep your voice low so that only those near you can hear what you are saying.

Although some of the busses do enter campus, they are not considered to actually be "on campus" inside them, as many of those riding may just be passing through on their way elsewhere. That means that any special campus rules do not apply on the bus and can not be enforced within it. Please wait until the person exits the bus on campus before questioning them about some potential infraction.

Finally, we have to talk about the larger area public transportation systems available, in case you want to travel outside of New Town proper. This includes county bus lines, regional light rail, Amtrack, Greyhound, and even the airport.

If you are wanting to head to another major population center in the area, such as the capital city or some large port town, then the regional light rail system, known as Rapid Rail, is your best bet. Rapid Rail travels quickly between all the major towns and cities in the region without making any stops between. Most trips are made in less than an hour between these hubs an nowhere in the system is more than two and half hours away from any other point, including waiting time between transfers. The cost is relatively cheap and even works with most of the transit passes for discounts.

If you are more interested in getting somewhere specific that just happens to be outside the range of the New Town Bus System, there is actually a county run bus system. It has far more sparse coverage than a more centralized city bus system, but it does actually go to nearly all the smaller towns and recreational areas around the county. It also is set up to transfer easily with the New Town Bus System for easy payment.

For trips that will take you much farther outside the system you do have several options, depending on your need and what you can afford. And that's not even including the more private options, like rental cars, taxis, or private jets.

There is a Greyhound station in town, where you can catch long-range busses not only to other cities in the area, but several states away if wanted. Several of our new and returning students use this method to get to and from the campus at the start and end of the school year.

There is also a small Amtrack train station on the western end of town, allowing for those wishing to take long-range trains to purchase passage. The destination options are more limited here, but the ride is more comfortable than the long-range busses and the travel is much faster.

And finally there is always taking a Red Line or county bus to the airport to catch a flight. With thousands of possible destinations and high speeds of travel, this is always a good option for long-range travel if you willing to pay the price.

Don't worry if you don't have a car of your own and nobody is around to help you get where you need to go. No matter where you want to go in and around New Town, you have a good and affordable way to get there, thanks to the New Town Public Transportation System.

To get help on other subjects see the Help Guide List.
Last modified on 2014/7/4 by Admin
 
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