There are a couple different options for getting around campus.
In my three semesters at UF, I have observed students using mostly bikes or the bus. Scooters are prevalent, as well. Walking is also common, especially if you live in the center of campus or in an apartment complex within walking distance to campus.
Many students also use their bike to get to class. There is plenty of parking for bikes all around campus. If you don’t have a bike when you get to Gainesville, you can rent one from UF through the Gator Gears rental program. Read more about that here.
You will also see students riding around on scooters to get the class. Scooter parking is not as prominent as bike parking. I experienced this last year. In fact, I only used my scooter at night because parking was much better in the evening.
The Bus System: RTS
During my first year, I relied heavily on RTS. It was great for getting to class in a timely manner. It’s also great for getting around off-campus. The system is free for students and all you need is your Gator1 card.
Between the hours of about 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., you can rely on the bus to get you where you need to go. Each route usually has multiple buses running. After 6 p.m., fewer buses run making the wait times a bit longer.
Bicycle: UF’s Bike Lanes
This semester, I relied completely on my bike to get to and from class. This was a great experience.
I never left the dorm without my rain poncho in my backpack. After all, Gainesville is known for its rainy weather. In spite of sometimes coming home in the rain, my backpack was dry every time.
Overall, I felt safe riding in the bike lanes, and I reached my destination quickly every time. At night, I turned on my bike lights and arrived to the dorm quicker than if I walked or waited for the bus.
Scooters on Campus
As with any form of transportation, it’s very important to always yield to pedestrians and wear a helmet when riding a scooter. In fact, under the laws in the state of Florida, you must wear a helmet if you are under 21.
UF Public Safety has free helmets available in limited quantities.
One downside to having a scooter on campus is having to pay for a parking decal, which allows you to be ticketed. The scooter decal also costs the same price as a car decal. But, for many, it’s worth it.
Last year, I did not have a car on campus. So, I used my scooter to get around. The decal was a small price to pay for the convenience of having some form of motorized transportation on campus.
Getting around campus is easy and fun using RTS, a bike or a scooter. Take your pick, and enjoy the ride!