As I chatted with friends about our schedules this semester, it came up that I had an internship downtown. They all know that I chose not to bring my car to campus, so this prompted the question of how I was going to get myself from Furman’s campus to downtown Greenville. When I told them that I would be taking the bus, their response was, “There’s a bus?!” Not only did my close friends not know that there was a bus that comes to Furman everyday, but countless others that I shared the news with presented me with almost the exact same response.
I chose not to bring my car to campus this year as I am participating in an unpaid internship and found that the bus was a much cheaper alternative. After taking the bus for about a month now, I can say that it is so nice not to have to fill my car up with gas, search for a parking spot downtown, and then proceed to pay for said parking spot. It’s also one less physical thing I am responsible for, and if anything, I feel a sense of freedom and not the expected constraint (that I’m sure many of you are worried about) by not having a vehicle at my disposal on campus.
Greenville’s public transportation service is called Greenlink, and it services twelve fixed routes in Greenville County. There are various ways to pay and rides start at just $1.50. There is even an app for your phone in which you can purchase a bus pass and reload with fare as necessary, so there is no keeping track of a physical pass or ticket. Buses are handicap accessible and have bike racks for those of you who wish to bring one along. There is also a trolley, or in Furman terms, the drunk bus, which offers free rides, during certain hours, Thursday through Sunday. You can find a full list of services as well as trolley and bus schedules on their website.
The bus that services Furman is Route 503: Poinsett, which comes to campus almost every hour, five minutes before the hour. Every Tuesday and Thursday I catch the 503 from the main entrance of campus where I ride for about 25 minutes until we reach the Greenlink Transit Center downtown, from which I have a short walk to the office where I intern. An easy, worry free commute that is kind to my wallet as well as the planet.
I know it may seem undesirable to depend on a bus as your primary mode of transportation, but I truly believe that students should consider it as a viable option before they decide to bring their cars to campus. It’s the norm here to drive our cars around our relatively small campus, when in reality, you could easily walk or bike just about anywhere you need to go in a very reasonable amount of time. Concerning your off-campus endeavors, you now know that there are several transportation options that can be alternatives to a car. If you are one of the people with a car on campus, I urge you to analyze when, why, and how frequently you drive here at Furman and in Greenville as well as how you can potentially make use of the other, more environmentally friendly, modes of transportation in the future.
Whether you prefer to take the bus, ride your bike, use a carpool service, or even walk, I urge you to be smart about your transportation as your choices can have a great impact on not only the environment but also your wallet. Don’t throw away those hard earned coins, girl.