Getting around town

Hi readers! Since spring has sprung (for the moment at least) I’ve been riding my bike pretty frequently, which makes me think we should talk about transportation in Bloomington. When you’re applying to graduate school, it’s important to think about the logistics of getting here and there. Will you need a car? What’s the parking situation? How’s the public transportation, and is it a viable way to get to and from campus?

One thing that I love about Bloomington is that there are a variety of options for getting around town. First, it’s a very bike friendly town.

bike lane up Lincoln St.

There are several designated bike routes throughout town as well as bike lanes, and the city is very conscientious about bikers in general. Last summer the B-line trail was completed – a paved trail for cyclists, walkers, and joggers that runs north-south through town.

the B-line bridge over Third Street

Our city has a whole webpage devoted to biking about town where you can find info about bike routes and bike safety initiatives.

If you’d rather ride, Bloomington also has a very good bus system. When considering different housing options, I’ve always stuck to places in close proximity to bus routes because I share a vehicle with my husband. It’s really nice being able to count on the bus – almost all the routes run right by campus, and the bus station is located only a few blocks from the Sample Gates.

Bloomington bus routes - see here for full system map: http://www.bloomingtontransit.com/System_Map_Aug_2011

A lot of routes run several times an hour during the busiest times of day, and you can check here for schedules and route maps. Did I mention IUB students ride free? All you have to do is show your student ID. So convenient!

If you prefer to drive yourself, that’s an option too. Bloomington has a fair amount of parking, but you will need a parking pass to use the lots on campus. There are a variety of permit types, and some have better parking options than others. For example, “A” permits are reserved for faculty and staff. Associate Instructors (IU’s name for TAs), Graduate Assistants, and a few others can obtain “C” permits which are also pretty good. It’s important to check out your options ahead of time because the less desirable permits might mean a longer walk to and from your vehicle – which may not be worth your time or money. More details can be found at IUB’s Parking Operations website here.

Is street parking an option? Sure, but only for the short term. Street parking near campus usually has time limits (2 hour max) or is restricted to those with residential permits.

Whew, that’s a lot of information to digest! Don’t worry – you can always bookmark it for later when you’re doing your own housing search or debating about bringing your vehicle or bike.