By Heather Goldin, Staff Writer
At Boston University’s urban campus, most of us find ourselves falling victim to the T, a train that literally runs through the center of campus. It can’t get much easier. But with the recent fare hikes, the T can get to be pretty pricey. Even the MBTA Bus, which is slightly less expensive than the train, can add up if you choose to make it your primary mode of transportation. Fear not, Bostonians! There are other means of transportation that won’t empty out your wallet quite as fast.
What is Hubway you ask? I didn’t know either, so I did a little research. It turns out New Balance Hubway is the official name for those fancy bike-share systems you see sprinkled around our campus. Launched in 2011, Hubway bikes are available 24/7. Once you check out a bike from the rack using either your membership key ($85 for an annual pass) or a credit card, you are good to go! The annual pass is MUCH cheaper than an annual T pass will ever be. It’s only five dollars for 24-hour use of the bikes, or $12 for a 3-day pass. . Once you have a bike, enjoy your 30-minute ride before returning the bike to another rack. Then you’ll need another bike, so just rinse and repeat. If it takes you longer than 30 minutes to get to another station, you’ve probably got bigger problems.
Pay close attention because this method of transportation is absolutely free (after that little bit called tuition, anyway.) As a BU student, you have access to the Boston University Shuttle. The BUS runs pretty frequently, including late nights and weekends. Sixteen weekday stops are spread out along our campus. You may have heard a classmate suggest that The BUS is not reliable, but there’s at least a live-tracking feature, easily found on the BU Mobile phone app. The app lists the BUS schedule for the date with arrival times, so you are sure to know when the next free BUS is on its way.
If you are looking to find a method of transportation that runs on your own time, you may want to consider investing in a bike. I use the term investment because getting your own bike may be on the expensive side, but check out Craigslist! Decent bikes are between the range of $300 and $400, but cheaper (and way more expensive) ones can be found. You’ll probably need a helmet, and you’ll definitely need a U-lock so it doesn’t get stolen. Having your own bike is
more convenient than walking to a Hubway location only to discover that all the bikes are already gone. You bought the bike, so you are the sole user of it. A bike is also better for getting off campus because you can only ride the Hubway Bikes for 30 minutes at a time, and the BUS is limited to campus. The most important part of getting a bike is the research. There are many bike choices out there, and you shouldn’t buy the first contraption you set your eyes on. Look online or check out a couple of local bike shops, where bike experts will be waiting for you to share their extensive knowledge. Landry’s Bicycles is a short walk to West Campus.
Oh, you know. There’s always that traditional thing. It’s easy and free. Walking is a great way to get around Boston, and you don’t need any other method of transportation if you leave early enough to reach your destination. Many map applications have a walking option that will help get you get where you want to go, and they can even give you a time estimate. Plan ahead for this method if you have a long way to go, but our campus is only 1.7 miles long. It’s not too difficult to get from one end to the other.