Getting around town: A guide to transportation at Kent State

A PARTA bus drives by the M.A.C. Center on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017. 

Nicholas Hunter

It’s important to know the best way to get from A to B on and off campus because of the many activities. Not everyone can bring their own car to Kent, and even so, there are places people can’t get to by car. There are plenty of alternatives, including riding the bus, biking or renting an on-campus car!

Portage Area Regional Transportation Authority (PARTA)

Taking the bus can be intimidating at first, but once students get used to it, it can be a life-saver — especially in the cold winter months. The Campus Loop and Reverse Loop routes can take people just about anywhere they need to go on campus, and the Stadium Loop, Summit East and Allerton Sports Complex routes go from the Student Center to the multiple off-campus lots student’s car could be parked at.

Students can take PARTA off campus, too. The Black Squirrel Route, which takes students to Wal-Mart (near PebbleBrook Apartments) and Interurban West can get to the Target Plaza in Stow. PARTA is also good for those who want to get out of town; the Akron and Cleveland Express routes run several times per day from the Student Center. And the best part is, aside from the Akron and Cleveland express routes, rides are free with a FlashCard!

It can be difficult to navigate the bus system and its schedule. Luckily, there are two ways to track PARTA busses. First, students can use SpotPARTA; a service that allows you to text a code (provided at the bus stop) to a number that will send back the upcoming times the bus you’re looking for will arrive. Aternatively, on the KSU Mobile app, under the “Live Bus Tracker” tab, you can select the bus route you’re looking for and see where each bus on that route has last stopped.

PARTA Dial-a-Ride Transportation (DART)

For $4 per ride, PARTA also offers direct pick-up and drop-off rides through DART. Small busses, fully equipped for people with physical disabilities, can pick students up and take them directly where they need to be, as long as they provide three days advance notice. For more information on all of PARTA’s routes and services, go to http://www.partaonline.org.

FlashFleet

FlashFleet is a bike sharing service at Kent State that allows people to borrow a bike to ride around campus, with either a $25 per year membership, or for $2 per hour pay-as-you-go use. FlashFleet kiosks are all over campus, allowing people to grab a bike when needed. Students don’t have to take the bike back to where they found it; Students can drop a FlashFleet bike off at any kiosk with an open spot. For details, go to http://www.kent.edu/recservices/flashfleet.

Zipcar

Zipcar is a car sharing service at Kent State that allows students to rent out a car for up to seven days. Anyone 18 or older can apply for Zipcar online, and will be sent a Zipcard that will serve as an all-access pass for the service. Membership is $15, and prices vary based on make and model of the car. Gas and insurance are also provided for the rides! For more information, visit http://www.zipcar.com/universities/kent-state-university.

Escort Services

For students who find themselves alone at night, they can call 330-672-7004 to have a security aide come and accompany them wherever they need to go, at no charge.

Parking Services

For students bringing a car on campus, they’ll need a place to put it. Parking services offers parking passes that provide access to a variety of lots across campus. Handicap passes are required on campus — a state-issued handicap placard is not valid without a Parking Services pass at Kent State lots. Passes are available for both residents and commuters, and visitor passes can be obtained at any area desk. For parking pass details and rates, go to http://www.kent.edu/parking.

Maps

For students who prefer on-foot transportation, then campus maps are a new student’s safe haven. Maps of Kent State campus and parts of Downtown Kent can be found all over campus and are student’s most surefire way to get where they need to go.

Nicholas Hunter is an assigning editor. Contact him at [email protected]