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Written by Chris Kirschner
Gainesville features a lot of ways to get around town. Everybody has complaints about the RTS (Regional Transit System) buses—they don’t come on time, they don’t come at all, the drivers pack ‘em until it’s like standing in a sardine can and then stop short on purpose—but they’re free, they cover practically all of Gainesville, and the drivers might even take pity on you when you forget your student ID and let you ride anyway (maybe). But if the bus thing really isn’t your game, you can ride your bike. G’ville is consistently declared to be among the most bicycle-friendly towns in the country, with bike lanes pretty much everywhere. And of course, you can always walk; despite the size of UF’s grounds, getting around campus on foot is not as tragic as you think, and there are plenty of restaurants and shops within strolling distance.
There are also at least a couple of good ways to get out for a weekend. Air is not really one of them, unless the trip you’re taking is worth an expensive ticket from Gainesville or a pre-trip trip to Orlando or Jacksonville. Greyhound is slow and less upscale, but it's reasonably reliable and easy to get to from campus, although if you live in the areas served by the student-centered bus companies mentioned above, that’s probably your best choice. Amtrak can be maddeningly fickle—you’ll call once and find out the train’s five minutes away, but call five minutes later only to find that the train has mysteriously backtracked to two hours away. Regardless, the most important thing about all of this is to know that you can get where you’re going in and out of Gainesville. A word of advice: don’t even bother trying the “I had no way to get here” excuse in class, unless you want to poke your professor’s eye out with that ever-growing nose of yours.
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