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Saturday, March 02, 2024

Getting around Gainesville: UF transportation options, explained

UF students share their go-to forms of transportation around campus

There are plenty of ways to get around UF, whether it’s taking the bus, riding a scooter or spending hours driving around campus trying to find a parking spot.

Depending on where a student lives, on or off campus, different transportation options might be less or more ideal based on important perks and drawbacks each option has. Each student can find their own best way to get around campus. 

UF parking permit

Parking permits will be required for all parking spots within UF’s campus for the start of the Summer B semester July 3. 

Students looking to renew or purchase an on-campus permit can go to UF’s Transportation and Parking Services website. Parking permits are organized based on graduate level, place of residence and credit hours.

Parking permits will be enforced; students parked without a permit will be issued a citation, and after three citations a student’s car can be impounded. Students and non-students can file an appeal through the TAPS website if they find a citation unjust. 

RTS bus system

Gainesville’s local bus network, Regional Transit System, can transport students between on-campus buildings, off-campus apartments and downtown landmarks. Due to the decrease in student presence during the summer, about a dozen routes will have fewer buses on weekdays and even fewer during the weekends. 

The decrease will lead to less frequent bus arrivals and longer wait times. Bus routes that primarily travel within UF’s campus will not be serviced during the weekends. 

Bus routes, schedules and other information can be found in the GNV RidesRTS and GatorSafe app. 

Motorcycle and scooters

Similarly with parking permits for cars, motorcycles and scooters are required to register a permit with UF Transportation Services at the start of each semester. 

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Drivers can find specific parking for their vehicles throughout campus in the marked areas for motorcycles and scooters.

Olivia D’agati, a 20-year-old UF microbiology and cell science junior, failed to find parking for her car on campus. Instead, she feels confident driving to campus on a moped knowing she won't struggle to find a spot, she said. 

“I don't think getting on campus with a car is easy,” D’agati said. 

She recommends incoming students consider biking, walking, scootering or riding mopeds to get around.

Similar to D’agati, Joseph Simmons, a 19-year-old UF microbiology and soil science sophomore, found walking to be a more efficient alternative to driving, he said.

“It’s just easier for me to walk instead of driving my car because I don't own a skateboard or a smaller form of transportation like a bike,” Simmons said. “And then if I were to use my car, I wouldn't be able to park near my classes, so it actually lengthens the amount of time to get to my class.”

RideShare apps and SNAP

Lyft’s partnership with UF continues during Summer B. The app allows student riders to get a maximum discount of $15 per ride. Discounted rides are available Wednesday through Sunday from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. in specific locations. 

The program only runs during each semester and excludes school breaks. 

Student Nighttime Auxiliary Patrol (SNAP) is another form of alternative transportation, sponsored by UF Student Government, Student Traffic Court and UF TAPS. Students can safely request rides through UF’s property via the UF SNAP app.

The service is offered daily from 8:30 p.m. to 3 a.m. during the summer semester, excluding summer breaks.

Bicycles 

For new cyclists, UF Bikes is a program that offers bicycle assistance, information and protection for all riders. 

Bicycle racks are available throughout campus, as well as secure bike parking located in Garage 14 for anyone with a GatorOne ID. Spots for the secure parking lot are available by reservation only and can be accessed through the UF Bikes website

For bike riders who find themselves needing maintenance such as air for their tires or a chain fixed, UF has fix-it stations placed throughout campus for any unfortunate rider.

UF Police Department offers a bike registry in the event that someone’s bike is stolen. 

To register a bike, people can visit the UF Public Safety Office on the first floor of the Reitz Union. 

Jordan Yu, an 18-year-old UF data science sophomore, said UPD was accommodating when he started commuting by bike.

“[UPD is] very helpful and friendly,” Yu said. “They registered my bike under their name… so if I ever lose it I can go to them and get it back.

Not only is biking accessible within UF, but RTS buses have bike racks available on each bus allowing riders to travel throughout Gainesville without the lack of accessibility of their bike.

From bikes and cars to e-scooters and bus services, there are plenty of ways to get to and from class throughout the summer semester.  

Contact Emma Parker at eparker@alligator.org. Follow her on Twitter @emmaparkerg.



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Emma Parker

Emma Parker is a first-year journalism student. She is the metro desk news assistant. When she is not writing, she is reading a book or listening to Indie music.


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