Published: Feb. 24, 2023 By

student near bike racksI always try to be sustainable when I’m getting around Boulder. Traffic sucks and parking on campus is expensive. Luckily enough, the most eco-friendly ways to get to campus are also the most cost efficient. It can be as simple and refreshing as walking. The bus system is another great way to get around Boulder. If you are unfamiliar with public transit systems, taking the bus may feel daunting. Lucky for you, I have been taking the CU buses for four years. I have dealt with the frustrations and I am here to share the tips and tricks with you. It’s convenient! And at times, super frustrating. 

We’ve all had our issues with the buses, whether that’s getting on the wrong one (why does the same colored bus go two different directions?? I’m looking at you, HOP and Buff Bus), getting the door shut on your backpack, or just missing the bus entirely.

I have found a few helpful tips to manage the bus successfully. I use Google Maps and Transit to navigate the 10+ routes that go around and out of Boulder. I typically use Google the first few times I’m using a bus because it will follow your location through every stop and tell you how many until you get off. Transit shows you the stops, but I find it less precise than Google. 

Switch to the Transit app as you get more familiar with the route. It shows real-time locations and helps you to plan out your trip. The most important tip I can give is getting to the bus stop earlier than you think is necessary. It's not fun seeing your bus speed away as you watch from half a block away. 

Have you used the buses to go to the airport or into Denver? Those buses are spacious, comfortable and free to use with your RTD passes. Plus, the buses are allowed where the cars are not on highway 36, so you can avoid congestion.

Suppose buses aren’t your thing - no worries. There are other sustainable methods of travel to get around Boulder. The lime scooters can be a fun way to get around East Boulder, but be careful. They can be rented through the Uber app, but they aren’t included with your tuition like some of the buses or the bikes but are still a relatively affordable option. 

The bCycles are another great option. I haven’t used them myself, as I have my own bike, but I know plenty of people who have taken them and are highly appreciative of them. Plus, with so many bike locations, it’s so easy to take them around campus and connect them back to the station, even all the way to East Campus!