As we return to Oxford for the spring semester, you might be thinking about the frigid temperatures. The snowy sidewalks. The walks across campus.  Maybe you have your first 8 a.m. lab and are worried about making it to class on time. Or maybe you just live blocks off campus and don’t have a pass to park on campus… that would include me! You never know when the weather will decide to give us a foot of snow or your alarm clock won’t go off, but you should know how to find a fast and convenient route to wherever you’re headed. 

The Miami bus system! The Butler County Regional Transit Authority (BCRTA) is contracted with Miami to provide transportation around campus and the surrounding community. There are five main routes that run 7 a.m.-7 p.m. every day. These are all fixed routes which means that they run on a repetitive schedule along one specific route and stop at designated locations. 

You can explore each of the following routes further on the BCTRA website

  1. U1 – Campus Core
  2. U3 – Tollgate Loop
  3. U4 – Western Campus/North Loop
  4. PR – Park and Ride
  5. R3 – Hamilton/Oxford Connector

There are four main things you should know or do before you decide to take the bus. 

  1. Go to the app store to download the Transit App

This app is updated in real-time to show where the buses are. It also estimates at what time a particular route will be at any stop.

  1. You do not have to pay to ride the bus. 

On typical public transportation, you are required to pay a small fee as you board the bus. At Miami, the BCRTA is free for all students to ride. 

  1. Pull the stop cord before your stop.

These cords run above and in between the windows on all buses. By pulling on it, you will hear an automated voice say “Stop Requested” along with a sign lighting up with the same words at the front of the bus. If someone has already pulled it for the next stop, you don’t need to pull again, as the light will stay on until the door opens. Be sure to pay attention to where you are on the route because drivers don’t necessarily stop at every stop. 

  1. Proper bus etiquette and common courtesy. 

As you get on the bus, find a seat or handrail quickly to keep the bus schedule on time. If you are able to get a seat, consider moving to either side to fit as many people on the bench as possible. Try to keep your belongings out of the walkway so others have room to enter and exit easily too. You should get off at your stop through the back door to avoid traffic with those entering at the front. And be sure to always say thank you to your driver!

In addition to the fixed routes, the BCRTA offers a free program called SafeRide. This is a late-night shuttle service that you can use to get to your destination safely around the Oxford area. During the fall and spring semesters, you can schedule a ride from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Sunday by calling 513-785-5237 or downloading the BGo App

It is as easy as that! I know it can be an intimidating experience if you have never ridden before, but it doesn’t have to be. You might have thought of the buses as one of those services you would never use. I know I certainly did. Now if I ever find myself in a bind, I take the bus… as you should too! 

Don’t forget to check out our Tiktok on how to ride the BCRTA too!

Additional Resources

– Kenzie Abodeely, Class of 2024

Categories: Life at Miami