Transportation in Morgantown can be complicated, especially with the growing number of students and hilly terrain. Fortunately, West Virginia University and local services offer some methods of transportation to students.
The PRT and the bus are common methods students use to get to class and travel between WVU’s campuses. Both are free for students with their WVU ID.
Taylor Fama, a freshman biomedical engineering student, lives in Oakland Hall on Evansdale Campus. She uses both the bus and the PRT to travel downtown for class. Though she prefers riding the PRT because it drops her off closer to her first class, she usually takes the bus.
"The PRT is not reliable enough," Fama said. "The bus is more reliable than the PRT, and you know exactly where it’s going to be. They (have) the Twitter and the schedule. You can use the schedule to find out where (the bus) is supposed to be and the Twitter to know where it actually is."
While the bus is usually more reliable than the PRT, it also has its disadvantages for Fama.
"If you miss the bus, there’s not another one for 20 minutes. It’s not like you can wait for another bus to come in the next five minutes," Fama said. "Also, comparing the bus to the PRT, the bus doesn’t increase its productivity or the number of runs it makes based on how many people need it. The PRT will have more cars running on the track and more runs during a rush time, but the bus can easily get overcrowded."
Josef Heller, a biochemistry student who lives at College Park, thinks College Park’s location can be inconvenient. While walking to class can take too long, it’s also too close to drive.
"I always walk to and from my classes because it’s hard to find parking. There is parking at College Park, so I have the option of having a car, but I don’t drive to class," Heller said.
Heller has to walk up a large hill to get home after class, which he didn’t realize when he decided to live at College Park.
"I picked the apartment based on the fact it has family units, but then I found out it’s at the top of this giant hill, and I was like, ‘Holy crap that kind of sucks,’" he said. "But I’ve only lived here so this is all I know. I know some people who lived in the dorms before driving to class because of the hill..."
Even with the hill, Heller plans to continue walking to class throughout the winter months because finding parking downtown will only get harder with more people driving.
Denali Hedrick, a sophomore strategic communications student, lives at Chateau Royale between the Downtown and Evansdale campuses. Hedrick rides the Valley View 44-line bus downtown for class and, later, takes the PRT to medical and then walks home. She prefers the bus because it stops right in front of her home, but it stops running at 2:15 p.m.
"The bus is pretty reliable. Sometimes it leaves a little earlier than it should, but it’s just by a couple minutes. It’s just enough that if you’re running a little late, it’s a little risky," Hendrick said. "It’s quick and part of the reason I live there."
The real problem will be in the winter, however, when Hedrick will have to walk home from the medical PRT.
Some off-campus apartments offer shuttles to take students downtown or to Evansdale. Campus Park at the Ridge, The Lofts, Copper Beech and Campus Evolution all offer shuttles.
Most students who live downtown can walk or use the Mountain Line Transit Authority. To check bus schedules and where they service, visit http://busride.org/Maps-Schedules.