Tag Archives: transportation

Freshman Boot Camp: How to Get Around Campus at Purdue

8 Aug

After arriving on campus and getting settled into your new place, you’ll inevitably get a little antsy to check out the new community you live in. While the West Lafayette area is quite walk-able, there are many times where your destination is beyond what you can reasonably travel by foot. So if the Tippecanoe Mall is calling you, or there’s a cool place in Lafayette you want to check out here are some tips for each method of transportation!

Driving your own car

The main issue to get out of the way if you’re bringing your own car to campus is where are you going to park it? If you live off-campus, it’s good to know if you’ll have your own parking lot and how plowing will work with that in the winter. If you are parking on the street, you’ll want to know the applicable plowing rules as well!

For freshmen living on campus there is a lottery for parking spots. These permits cost $150 and you can’t start parking in these spots until October 2, so plan accordingly! Be sure to check out Parking’s Website for any additional info if you have special circumstances such as off-campus classes or regular off-campus medical visits.

Other than parking you’ll want to be cognizant of the cost of insurance, gas, and the other expenses your car will rack up. I’d heavily recommend leaving the car at home unless it’s absolutely necessary for some reason. You can always use one of the other options to get around!

Getting Around Campus.jpg

City Bus

The City Bus is free for students! Just be prepared with your Purdue ID in-hand and you can use it to get anywhere that the bus goes. Be sure to check out what route the bus is on by looking at the sign at the top of the bus. The buses run 24/7, but with varying times depending on the time of the day so you will want to check out the different resources available on your phone to check times.

Don’t forget that you can combine the bus with biking! If you just want to bike to the bus stop and then take your bike on-campus there are rack on the front of the bus you can use to hang your bike while you ride the bus.

Biking

Purdue is a pretty large campus, so going by foot isn’t always practical. Bikes are one of the best ways to get around campus and the many bike lanes and parking stations reflect that. You can bring your own or even look into the rental bikes available all over campus (and some in downtown Lafayette). Be sure to register your bicycle to help protect against theft or provide contact info if it is believed your bike has been abandoned.

Don’t have a bike or don’t want to transport it here? Purdue Surplus has tons of bikes that were abandoned previously begging for a new owner. Quality bicycles can be had for around $10!

Related to bikes, skateboards and rollerblading are popular options to get around. It’s very common to see plenty of students longboarding between their classes throughout the day.

Driving a car that’s not your own

Purdue has partnered with Zipcar to provide a way for students who don’t have their own vehicle on campus to rent a car for a relatively reasonable rate. There are about 6 locations around campus to acquire a Zipcar. The cost of insurance and gas is included in the rental so you just have a flat rate to take care of!

All in all, there’s plenty of different ways to get around both campus and the Greater Lafayette Area. By combining the options above you can get pretty much anywhere in a quick and efficient manner.

City Bus, Free for Students!

25 Jul

http://www.purdue.edu/mymoney

Lafayette CitBus

Don’t want to bother with biking? Is it too far or just too cold to walk? Say hello to City Bus, the Greater Lafayette area bus system. This bus system is free for all Purdue students. All you need is your Purdue ID and you’re good to go.

The buses have different colored names with a sign at the top of the bus and a colored route on the bus map matching the name to help you determine if that’s the bus you want. Even though you’ll mainly just use the campus and regular loops in West Lafayette, this is not the limit of your map!

You can take the bus to Lafayette as well. And if you’re out late at night, there’s no need to fear, there are actually two campus loops that run really late at night so you can take the bus home (or back to your car) when it gets dark.

students catching the bus

Catching the bus is easy. Just figure out which stop you need to get you where you want to go, stand at the sign, and when you see your bus approaching stick out your arm so the driver sees you. The bus will stop for you and you can be on your way!

We all have those days where we are running a bit late, but that is alright! There are several ways to see when your bus is coming and when to be at the stop:

Text: There is a bus stop ID on the signs. You just need to text RT4 followed by the bus stop ID and Route to 41411. They will send you the next three departure times via text.

Double Map: Like the Marauder’s Map in Harry Potter, double map lets you see a bus’s location in real time. You can use this through the CityBus website or download the Double Map app on your smartphone.

MyRide: This smartphone friendly search allows you to enter in the bus stop number or street names to access information on your bus’s arrival time.

There are some stops where pulling the ‘stop’ wire just isn’t needed. So you don’t have to hear that annoying ring, the Ross-Ade bus always stops at the top of the hill for the parking lot. The Silver Loop bus almost always stops at Class of 1950. It’s like magic! All buses will stop at the transfer station across the bridge in Lafayette too.

Nervous about taking the bus for the first time? Here’s a wonderfully cheesy video that helps demystify how it all works!


So the next time you’re in for an adventure (or quick, free transportation), try out City Bus. It’s much easier to use than you’d think!

 

Getting to Chicago for Thanksgiving

2 Nov

www.purdue.edu/mymoney

Whether you are heading up to Chicago to see family there for the Thanksgiving holiday, planning on going to the airport to fly elsewhere, or just feel like hitting the Windy City instead of seeing family, Chicago is a common destination! However, getting there can be a challenge. Whether you’re visiting short-term or using it as a way to get further from Purdue for a little while, you probably want to do it the cheapest way possible.

Note: For the airport travelers, the Indianapolis airport is closer to Purdue but flight prices may differ greatly between the airports!

I’ve gone ahead and listed a few of your options for transportation on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday returning. Some of the numbers I’ve listed below are for a specific weekend, which I’ve noted, so you’ll want to double-check your travel dates to verify the prices.

Amtrak 

Amtrak Station

11/23: Departs from Lafayette at 3:45 p.m., arrives in Chicago at 5:45 p.m.($36)

11/27: Departs from Chicago at 5:45 PM, arrives in Lafayette at 9:57PM ($36)

Total Cost: $72 and up

Total Time: 6 hours, 41 minutes

Don’t forget about how you’ll be getting around once you get there. Whether it’s arranging a pick up from someone there, using local transit, or walking you’ll need to be prepared! If you plan to use the bus or subway (which you’ll need if the airport is your destination), you will definitely be spending extra on that and should budget accordingly. The Chicago Union station is right by downtown so you can reasonably walk to destinations if that’s the goal.

Driving

2 hours from West Lafayette to Chicago (122.5 miles)

2 hours from Chicago to West Lafayette (122.5 miles)

Gas: National average at $2.20/gallon

Total Cost: $27.50 and up plus parking

Total Time: 4 hours

If you’re averaging 20 miles/gallon, it will take about $27.50 in gas to get you to and from Chicago. However, this does not include paying for parking or any driving you may do around the city. Parking runs anywhere from $3-$15/ hour depending on the time and place you go. There are some parking lots in the heart of the city that offer flat rates for the entire day on the weekends, but you really have to search for these good deals and (as an effect of this) could use up even more gas and money. There are several apps that you can download on your phone which can help you compare parking prices. Sometimes the difference in a block is as much as $20!

The upside of this option is that you can split it with friends. Not only do they provide some company and navigation on the drive in, but they can also split the gas costs (and parking if you’re hanging out together).

If you’re catching a plane ride out of Chicago, remember that parking can cost you big! Daily parking is $35/ day if you don’t use one of the economy lots which are between $10-17/ day.

MegaBus

 MegaBus

11/23: Departs from Indianapolis at 5:00 p.m., arrives in Chicago at 7:30 p.m. ($49)

11/27: Depart from Chicago at 12:30 p.m., arrives in Indianapolis at 5:15 p.m. ($49)

Total Cost: $98 and up

While MegaBus might be known for their fares as low as $1.00, that’s not the case for the Thanksgiving weekend where prices are significantly higher than usual. On top of this, the route to Chicago leaves from Indianapolis. If you drive the hour down you’ll need to pay for parking and gas. You might be able to snag a ride with a friend who is going down to visit family, but ideally you’ll throw a few dollars their way to help with gas since they are likely going out of their way. Much like the Amtrak option, though, don’t forget to take into account your transportation costs once you get there. If you’re driving yourself, going straight to Chicago might be the better bet for Thanksgiving weekend.

Lafayette Limo

Lafayette Limo

Leave Purdue Memorial Union Follett’s Purdue West Arrive at O’Hare Airport Leave Chicago Arrive Lafayette
4:30 AM 4:40 AM 6:40 AM CST 8:00 AM CST  12:00 PM
10:30 AM 10:40 AM 12:40 PM CST 2:00 PM CST  6:00 PM
3:30 PM 3:40 PM 5:40 PM CST 7:00 PM CST  11 PM

Lafayette Limo cost $60 for a one-way ticket to O’Hare Airport and $110 for a round trip back to Lafayette.

There are some considerations to keep in mind when travelling with Lafayette Limo. Once you are in Chicago you will need to consider other transportation options from the airport to the city, if you are planning on staying in Chicago. Lafayette Limo has strict pick-up and drop off times. This could keep your Chicago visit to a tight schedule. Lafayette Limo is mainly used as a transportation method for Purdue University students traveling to home during peak times (before and after each semester) which creates limited space during peak times. On top of battling students trying to return home, the Limo may be full of luggage. A packed ride to and from Chicago has the potential to put a damper on one’s trip. Though, during these peak times you can rent Lafayette Limo and have a safe ride for your group. You can find more details about renting Lafayette Limo through their website online. If you’re planning on going to the O’Hare airport, the shuttle service might save you if you would have to pay for parking otherwise.

Of the four options above, which do you think you would be most likely to use? Is your choice completely based on the prices? Or do you have another method of travel you like to use for traveling to Chicago? Let us know if you do!

Chicago Getaway Transportation

8 Jul

Raysha Duncan, Purdue University Student and Peer Counselor
www.purdue.edu/mymoney

There comes a time in every Purdue student’s life when they just want to escape from campus (or Indiana in general) for a few days. They want to go somewhere where there are fewer cornfields, more of a night life, and various food options. One of the biggest cities near Purdue is Chicago, so it’s a common place for students to go for a short or long weekend. If you’re ready for your weekend getaway but don’t know your cheapest transportation options, I’ve gone ahead and listed a few of your options. Some of the numbers I’ve listed below are for a specific weekend, which I’ve noted, so you’ll want to double-check your travel dates to verify the prices.

Lafayette to Chicago (Friday August 2nd to Saturday August 3rd)

Amtrak 

Amtrak Station

Amtrak Station Lafayette Indiana
photo by:Diego Delso

8/2: Departs from Lafayette at 7:33 AM, arrives in Chicago at 10:05 AM ($21)

8/3: Departs from Chicago at 5:45PM, arrives in Chicago at 10PM ($21)

Total Cost: $42 and up

Total Time: 6 hours, 47 minutes

Don’t forget about how you’ll be getting around once you get there. If you just plan on walking around town, plan to be tired Chicago is a BIG place with LOTS to see. This way, you will not spend extra funds on your travel expenses. If, however, you plan to use the bus or subway, you will definitely be spending extra on that and should budget accordingly.

Driving

2 hours from West Lafayette to Chicago (122.5 miles)

2 hours from Chicago to West Lafayette (122.5 miles)

Gas: National Average at $3.67/gallon

Total Cost: $45 and up

Total Time: 4 hours

If you’re averaging 20 miles/gallon, it will take about $45 in gas to get you to and from Chicago. However, this does not include paying for parking or any driving you may do around the city. Parking runs anywhere from $3-$15/hour depending on the time and place you go. There are some parking lots in the heart of the city that offer flat rates for the entire day on the weekends, but you really have to search for these good deals and (as an effect of this) which could use up even more gas and money.

MegaBus

photo by: Secondarywaltz

MegaBus 

8/2: Departs from Indianapolis at 9:45 AM, arrives in Chicago at 12 PM ($24)

8/3: Depart from Chicago at 6 PM, arrives in Indianapolis at 10:15 PM ($5)

Total Cost: $29 and up

Now, this seems like a pretty cheap choice, right? But, if you are a student leaving from the Purdue campus, you have to pay for both parking and gas to get down to Indianapolis. This company is fairly new to the Midwest, so Indianapolis is currently the only pickup/drop-off location in Indiana. If you have relatives in the Indianapolis area though, you could always spend time with them before setting off for Chicago or if yourself live in the Indianapolis area, this is probably the cheapest option for you. Much like the Amtrak option, though, don’t forget to take into account your transportation costs once you get there.

Lafayette Limo

 Leave Purdue Memorial Union Follett’s Purdue West Arrive at O’Hare Airport Leave Chicago Arrive Lafayette
4:30 AM 4:40 AM 6:40 AM CST 8:00 AM CST  12:00 PM
10:30 AM 10:40 AM 12:40 PM CST 2:00 PM CST  6:00 PM
3:30 PM 3:40 PM 5:40 PM CST 7:00 PM CST  11 PM

Lafayette Limo cost $60 for a one-way ticket to O’Hare Airport and $110 for a round trip back to Lafayette.

There are some considerations to keep in mind when travelling with Lafayette Limo.  Once you are in Chicago you will need to consider other transportation options from the airport to the city, if you are planning on staying in Chicago.  Lafayette Limo has strict pick-up and drop off times.  This could keep your Chicago visit to a tight schedule.  Lafayette Limo is mainly used as a transportation method for Purdue University students traveling to home during peak times (before and after each semester) which creates limited space during peak times.   On top of battling students trying to return home, the Limo may be full of luggage. A pact ride to and from Chicago has the potential to put a damper on one’s trip. Though, during these peak times you can rent Lafayette Limo and have a safe ride for your group.  You can find more details about renting Lafayette Limo through their website online.

Of the four options above, which do you think you would be most likely to use? Is your choice completely based on the prices? Or do you have another method of travel you like to use for traveling to Chicago? Let us know if you do!

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