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Tuesday, December 05, 2023

RTS buses are useful if you know to take advantage of them

Maybe you have 10 minutes to get clear across campus for your next class. Maybe you and some friends want to explore downtown without the hassle of finding parking. Maybe you don’t have a car and need a quick lift to the grocery store.

In many of these cases, walking won’t cut it. So how about taking the bus?

But before you hop onto one of Gainesville’s Regional Transit System’s many buses, you might want to learn these do’s and don’ts for bus travel.

First tip: Always bring your Gator 1 Card.

That’s your free pass that will take you wherever you need to be. UF and RTS have a deal that includes bus fare in your tuition, so utilize it or be ready to shell out six quarters per ride.

You can check the bus schedules by using the RTS website or the TransLoc App.

Not only can you see exactly where your bus is on a map, but you can also see where each route takes you.

A second tip: Shower.

The bus is great, the bus is convenient, but the bus is a packed can of sardines. Sometimes you’ll be so jammed together that you’ll able to smell what your buddy had for breakfast yesterday. Make sure when people wrinkle up their noses, it’s not because you skipped out on body wash.

On that note, be courteous to you bus driver and fellow passengers. Don’t be the girl or guy taking up four seats for their backpack, cell phone and ego.

Also, avoid talking on the phone loudly for long periods of time. Your constant jabbering is annoying enough to make other people wish they had decided to be Seminoles.

Make sure you offer up your seat to those who need it more than you do. If someone else clearly could benefit from a seat and they’re all occupied, take a stand by standing the rest of your ride.

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Lastly, know that using the Later Gator bus at night to gallivant around Midtown and Downtown is incredibly convenient.

The last Later Gator runs until 3:05 a.m., and most of the time the bus drivers are ready and willing to deal with drunken college student shenanigans like the infamous Later Gator backflip — but stay safe and don't do it.

This story originally ran on page 14 on 8/14/2013 under the headline "Take advantage of the buses"

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