The university has a bus system, aptly named the “U-M Buses.” In total, there are around seven different bus routes, which can take riders almost anywhere on North, Central and South campus, as well as the Medical campus. The stops for these buses are conveniently located all over campus (with signs indicating their location), and the buses themselves run every fifteen to twenty minutes. During the Fall and Winter semesters, these buses run regularly, with some even running seven days a week. However, it’s important to know that there are fewer buses running during the Spring and Summer semesters because of the decrease in the number of students on campus. Even then, it’s still possible to get to almost any place on campus, but you might not be able to use your usual bus routes and you may have to wait longer for buses to arrive. However, with the U of M Magic Bus website and iPhone application, you’ll always know which buses are running and when they will arrive at your stop.
Getting around the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti area is just as simple, thanks to the MRide program. Because of this program, students with a valid UM ID can ride the Ann Arbor Transportation (AATA) buses (also known as "The Ride") at no charge. These buses have stops at a variety of locations on campus, and can take you to a variety of locations around Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. So, whether you want to watch a movie at Rave Motion Pictures, or if you need to visit the Social Secretary Administration, there is a bus that will take you there. However, just remember to always check the schedule at The Ride website. These buses run approximately every 20 minutes during the day, and every hour from evening onwards. But on weekends they have a different schedule, and stop running much earlier. Additionally, the AATA bus schedules are revised seasonally. So, before you decide to take the bus, make sure you’ve checked the latest schedule so you aren’t stranded. On a slightly related note, if you aren’t sure when you need to get off, always ask the bus driver. Even now, I ask the driver to let me know when my stop is coming up, so I know when to get off. This ensures that you won’t get off at the wrong stop.
In addition to the bus system, there are also several taxi services available in the Ann Arbor area. Two such taxi services include the Blue Cab and Amazing Blue. All you need to do is call them, give them your location, and they arrive to pick you up within a reasonable time frame. You can even ask for a specific driver or a specific type of car (e.g. you can ask for a van if you’ve just done a lot of shopping for your apartment/residence hall). These taxis can be expensive, but for times when there are no buses running, or when you have a lot of things to move, or you need to get somewhere important at a specific time, they can be very useful and reliable.
For more information about moving around campus, and other types of transportation services available, you can check out the UM Transportation and Services website. The website not only discuses the buses available on campus, but includes information on bicycles, motorcycles and carpools. So be sure to check it out!
Written By: Aashana Sunderrajan, Undergraduate student studying Sociology; Biopsychology, Cognition and Neuroscience