Bus confusion? 5 tips and 5 routes!

It’s November and it’s about to get real cold, real quick. If you are anything like I was as a freshman, the only thing I knew about the buses was that the CABS was the Campus Area Bus System and the COTA had routes throughout Columbus…but I had no idea how to use them or the difference between routes.

CABS versus COTA

If you read nothing else, here are five tips for the bus system…

CLN versus CLS

For the CLN (Campus Loop North) and CLS (Campus Loop South), the North and South references the direction the bus travels on CANNON Drive. Since it’s a loop, it goes the opposite direction on College Road (the CLN travels SOUTH on College Road, whereas the CLS travels NORTH on College Road). They make the exact same loop–just opposite directions. Also, the CLN runs on weekends, but the CLS does not (be aware that the route is slightly different on the weekends–check the Bus app for details).

CABS bus

Requesting stops

CABS: The bus will stop at every stop (so no need to pull the yellow cord).

COTA: The bus will only stop if you pull the yellow cord around the perimeter of the bus to request a stop or if someone is waiting at that COTA stop to get on the bus.

Interior of COTA

Electronic bus tracking

CABS: You can get up to date bus information on the Ohio State mobile app or the OSU Bus app. The thing I really like about the OSU Bus app is it will utilize the location services on my phone to find stops “Near Me” and give me up to date information about how many minutes until the next bus will arrive!

COTA: If you are riding the COTA, I have found the easiest way to know when a bus is coming is to utilize the Google Maps app, and then click the icon for public transportation. It will give directions of exactly where to pick up the bus, what time it is scheduled to come, how many stops to take the bus, and where to walk once I get off the bus to reach my destination. However, this information is not updated if a bus is running behind schedule, it only gives a rough estimate based on when it is scheduled to come!Bus App Screenshot

What to bring when you ride

CABS: Nothing.

COTA: Swipe your BuckID at the front of the bus OR pay $2

Always thank the bus drivers!


…and here are five routes to know…

CABS: CLN (Campus Loop North)

Where it goes: North on Cannon (by Morrill and Lincoln Towers), left on Woodruff to the Carmack parking lots, back east on Woodruff (by Knowlton and Traditions at Scott), turns right down College Road (heading south), to the Union, and then turns right down 12th Avenue (by Baker East/West and then down past Kennedy Commons), turns left on Neil (goes by Marketplace), then turns right on 9th Avenue and travels around the perimeter of the Med Center and back up Cannon.

When it runs: All day everyday! (Less frequently during at night and on weekends)

CABS: CLS (Campus Loop South)

Where it goes: Same route but opposite direction as the CLN!

When it runs: Mon-Fri, 5:30 a.m.-midnight

CABS: NE (North Express)

Where it goes: East on 17th Avenue (the street just North of the Oval), turns left on College road (north), left on Woodruff (heading west) out to the Carmack parking lots, then comes back down Woody Hayes/Woodruff (the street name changes!), and then turns right on Tuttle Park Place down to the RPAC plaza and then back up 17th again!

When it runs: Mon-Fri, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

COTA: #2 (#21 at night)

Where it goes: This bus runs up and down High Street. The different letters after the number 2 distinguish how far north and south it will go. This bus comes about every 9 minutes. The 21 is the “Night Owl” version of the 2 and comes about every 30 minutes.

When it runs: #2–everyday! #21–Thu-Sat, 7 p.m.-3 a.m. (depending where you are on the route)

COTA: #52

Where it goes: This route is the OSU Airport Express and runs a special route on peak travel days from campus to the airport. It has 6 stops around campus and then goes to the airport. Be aware that it only runs certain days of the year!

When it runs: Check this schedule for dates and times.

CABS Routes

Headed Home For The Holidays? 5 Ways to Get Back

No car on campus? Mom and Dad don’t want to make the round trip drive to swing by Ohio State and get you, then drive all the way home? Don’t fret! There are tons of other ways to get home for the holiday break.

1. OSU Facebook Rideshare Page

While the idea of getting into a car with a stranger might not appeal to everyone, I can say from experience the OSU rideshare page really is a great resource to use! People on the page are going everywhere from Cleveland to New York and anywhere else you could imagine. It’s a great way to make some new friends, and usually all you need to have a good time is pitch in for gas money, bring some snacks, and don’t forget all of your favorite road trip games.

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2. Greyhound Bus

The bus has kind of a bad reputation, but in reality (from experience, again), it’s actually a nice way to get places. Greyhound buses aren’t too expensive, you can go to the bathroom whenever you want, and there’s free Wi-Fi! Also, you can get a student advantage card and score some deals.

 

3. AMTRAK

Trains are pretty awesome — they are like buses but even better. Especially if you are taking it a really long distance, a train is a great option, and a lot cheaper than flying. While a train isn’t always the quickest mode of transportation, you can get food, your own car, and pretty much do whatever you could do in your dorm or any other building. The downside to taking a train — there isn’t a station in Columbus. There are a lot of train stations that are close, but you’ll probably need to take a bus to get there.

 

4. Fly: Port Columbus International Airport

Now if you live really far away, a plane is probably your best option. Although plane tickets can be pretty expensive, it’s also the fastest way to get around. Flying by yourself for the first time can be an intimidating experience, but it’s not as bad as you may think. The Columbus airport is relatively small, and very easy to navigate. Have a friend drive you to the airport or take a taxi. Just make sure you check all of the baggage guidelines and have all of your flight information ready before you leave.

 

5.  Floo Powder

Well hey- if all else fails you could give it a try.

Floo Powder. Diagonally. by roobarbcrumble

Forget Freezing: 5 Ways to Stay Warm on Your Walk to Class

  1. Learn shortcuts through building: Almost all campus buildings are unlocked when you are likely walking to class, so start walking through them. Many of the buildings have clear paths through the main level that you can cut through. Even if it takes a few minutes longer, I personally would rather take a few extra minutes in a warm building over freezing in the cold or slipping on the ice outside.University Hall Snow
  2. Learn to knit (or make a friend who is great at knitting): Rather than having to use your precious paycheck to buy scarves, beanies, and gloves, why not learn to make them yourself? Make all your friends jealous with the many different colored beanies and scarves you have to go with every outfit. Plus, a bright colored beanie or scarf might be just what you need to brighten up a cold, dreary walk to your 8 a.m. class across campus.Yarn
  3. Take a bus: You’ve probably heard this time and time again, but CABS buses are free to use, so why not utilize them? If you don’t have the OSU Mobile App, make sure to get it to keep track of bus times. After a few trips you will likely learn exactly how many minutes it takes you to get from your dorm room to the closest bus stop. Once you figure that out, you can minimize how long you have to stand in the cold waiting for the bus if you have the app on your phone. CABS bus
  4. Layers, layers, layers! Don’t forget to wear layers so you don’t overheat when you get to class. Even though it may be annoying at first to practically have to undress when you get to class, just realize everyone else is in the same boat and it is better to take off a few layers when you get there than to freeze outside or burn up inside.Ohio Snow
  5. Run Forrest Run! Let’s face it, when that wind is blowing and there is no bus around, some days you are just going to have to bear the cold and get to class. But just remember on those days to leave a few minutes early so you have plenty of time once you arrive to class to get the feeling back into your hands and face to be ready and prepared for class to start. Nobody wants to be the one who walks in late with a bright red face from the cold and interrupts class as they struggle to take off all their jackets, scarves, and gloves. Walk in Snow Meme