Riding the bus is a way to get around Greenville, NC without a car. 

College is a time of financial strain and budgeting for many students. Owning a car is very expensive, and not all college students can afford to attend college and own a car at the same time. There is useful information on owning a car during college if that is what a student chooses. However, there are other options for those who cannot afford a car. So do not fear! There are multiple modes of transportation for ECU students to use in Greenville. Better yet, these are convenient for ECU students who live on campus and off-campus. There are five public transportation options convenient for all ECU students to use. These include biking, walking, ECU transit, the G.K. Butterfield Transportation Center and taxicab services.

Within the last decade, it has become popular to use non-traditional taxi services such as Uber and Lyft. In addition to Lyft and Uber, there are others. According to the official Greenville city website, there are seventeen authorized taxicab companies for the city of Greenville. It is important to make sure the taxi service is legitimate and authorized. If the taxi service is not legitimate, the situation could potentially be dangerous.

To use Uber or Lyft, install the Uber app or the Lyft app on a cellphone. This app will show a map of the surrounding area (based on where the cellphone is located) and which drivers are nearby. The app can signal for a nearby driver to pick up the person using the service. The app will tell the user the name of the person driving the ride, and there will be a set of numbers and letters on the front window of the driver’s car, letting the rider know they have the right vehicle. This makes the process safer so that the rider does not accidentally step into the wrong vehicle mistaking it for the Uber or Lyft vehicle they had intended to join. Like Uber and Lyft, most taxi services require payment for each ride they give. For Uber and Lyft, the price depends on the size of the vehicle and how many miles are traveled. Be careful — using taxicab services can add up quickly and become very costly. A couple of miles traveled may cost up to ten dollars.

Walking might seem like an obvious, no-brainer mode of transportation, but it is a practical choice for students who live within a reasonable walking distance of stores, restaurants and ECU’s campus. A reasonable walking distance would be roughly one mile. At the average walking pace for humans, one mile will not take an unreasonable amount of time. Anything less than a mile is even better! According to health.gov, the average walking pace for humans is 2.5 to 4 miles per hour. It is estimated that one mile will take between 15 and 22 minutes to walk.

Walking every day has many health benefits. Many college students find it difficult to fit exercise into their busy schedules. There are assignments to be done, work to attend, and many other stationary activities to accomplish. If a student needs to walk from their residence (within one mile of campus) to class each day, it is a great way to exercise daily or weekly.

Besides walking, another great, free public transport option for ECU students is the official ECU bus transit system. The ECU bus transit is an extensive bus system that carries ECU students to places on and off-campus! This is all free! The ECU transit website has extensive information on bus schedules, bus routes and on-demand bus information. There are five on-campus routes. These include the Gold, Uptown, Health Sciences, Minges and Campus Circulator routes. There are eleven off-campus routes. These routes include transportation to many of the popular student apartment complexes in the area. The ECU transit system really has it all. It even takes students to Walmart! If planned in advance, planning a weekly schedule of which buses to take and when to take them will save lots of money.

Biking is an even more convenient transportation option than riding the ECU bus system. Like walking, there is nobody to wait on besides the student themselves. Also, like walking, riding a bike is a great way to get to a destination while burning calories at the same time. Riding a bike is even better exercise than walking. It burns calories faster and builds muscle in the thighs. There are many local bike shops in Greenville, NC, for students to buy a bike from. One such place is Walmart! If a student so wishes, they can ride the ECU bus to Walmart one day and buy a bike while at the store. They can ride the bike back from Walmart to campus or their residence off-campus!

Greenville Area Transit (GREAT) is a bus system owned and operated by the city of Greenville as the Transit division of the Public Works Department. Like the ECU bus transit, this transit system is an extensive bus system that has apps and websites to check up-to-the-minute bus locations. Unlike the ECU transit system, GREAT is open to all of the public rather than only students at ECU. Also, unlike the ECU transit, GREAT costs money to ride. The regular one-way fare is $1.00. This would be a cheaper option than Uber or Lyft. The official GREAT bus transit website contains extensive information on bus routes and riding policies.

The fifth option for public transport for ECU students with no car is the student-led transit system called “ECU Beeper.” ECU Beeper is a taxicab service for ECU students who need a safe ride at night and for a reasonable price. Students provided this same service at Appalachian State University, and it had a high approval rating. The approval rating at ECU is also high. The ECU Beeper Facebook page is a great place to find out when rides are offered, by whom, and for what price.

Most college students do not want to break their bank more than they already are by paying for college classes and amenities. Adding a car to the total is not ideal for many. However, there are five wonderful modes of public transport for students at ECU in Greenville, NC. Consider the rider fees, convenience, and time that each of these transit services requires, and planning a transit schedule is not as difficult as others can make it!

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