As parking on campus gets tighter and tighter, more students are looking to take the bus. And, University of Kentucky has made that easier by working a deal with Lextran that allows anyone with a UK student, faculty or staff ID to ride Lextran for free.
But, how do you ride the bus? Where do these routes go? What happens? Where can you get the bus on campus?
Your Bluecoastlive staff took the challenge. Ride the bus and report on it for your fellow students. We rode the 7 to the North, the 5 to the South — from the new climbing gym past Loudon Avenue to the Wal-Mart past the Fayette Mall. We’ve reviewed the Lextran route schedules from a student perspective, taken the ride and taken video to show you what to expect in terms of highlights on each route.
We’ve also included information about two other transportation options that are popular with students: the Cats Cab for rides home from a night out and the Mega Bus for low-cost trips to cities like Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Chicago and Atlanta.
Riding Lextran for the first time:
If you’re riding Lextran for the first time, you should research the route you would like to take.
-To ensure that you are at the correct bus stop, make sure the number located on the bottom left corner of the sign at your stop aligns with the bus that you need to take. – Each Lextran stop will have a numbered sign just like the one above.
-Once you are at the right location at the right time, you should have your student ID in hand to ensure you are ready to board the bus.
-Once your bus arrives, check the front signboard to read the number and main destination for that route. (Some stops serves multiple routes. Be sure you are on the correct numbered bus.)
-Students should enter the bus through the front door, show the driver your valid student ID and proceed to any available seat on the bus.
-Keep in mind that the front seats are reserved for elderly and are made handicapped accessible for riders.
-On the bus, the rules are posted.
-Once your stop is approaching, it is a courtesy to the driver to notify him that you want to get off at the next stop by pulling the yellow rope hanging along the window once the bus leaves the stop before yours. Pulling the rope rings a bell.
(Demonstrated in the above video)
-Once the bus comes to a complete stop at your desired location, you should watch your step if exiting from the back and proceed out of the back doors.
Route 1: Woodhill Drive
For students living in Southeast Lexington, Route #1 Woodhill Dr. is a good route that will take you to all the various stops a college student might need. You can take the bus all the way to the Transit Center on Vine Street near the Champions residence halls and be right downtown whether it be for a game at Rupp Arena or a night out on the town. You also have the ability to get off earlier on campus and close to Willy T Young Library and The 90. While on your way back from class, if you need groceries the route has a stop at the Locust Hill Walmart or you can take the route all the way to its end to St. Joseph’s Hospital East.
The bus very rarely is running on time and is usually late, but usually only by a few minutes. Also the bus is rarely full, so finding a seat, especially if you are carrying groceries, is very easy. The bus is free for UK students, just make sure you have your Student ID to show as you are walking on. If by chance you have lost your ID or forget it, the fare is cheap, only costing a dollar with free transfers as long as you notify your bus driver. For a full listing of the bus schedule, days and times the bus is running as well as the numerous stops on the route can be found here.
Route 3: Tates Creek
Bus Route Three runs from the transit center downtown, to the bus stop by Lowes and Walmart on Nicholasville Road. Students can use the stop at the corner of Tates Creek and Cooper Drive. But the route is inconvenient for those living on Tates Creek in apartments past Man O’ War Boulevard. There are not any stops located within a short walking distance.
Route Three is a way for students to get to the Fayette Mall. But students should take the more efficient Route Five. The one plus is a stop at the Lansdowne Shops. Students that frequent Malone’s and Drake’s have an efficient way to eat, drink and get home.
Route 5: Nicholasville Road
Lextran’s Nicholasville Road route #5 would be a good option for North Campus students who want to walk to the Transit Center on Vine to catch a bus to go to the shops at Lexington Green and adjacent Target, the Fayette Mall or Wal-Mart.
For Central and South Campus students, catching the #5 route near the Shell Station across from Kentucky Clinic will get you on the same route and to the same businesses. Route#5 is available all days of the week, however, the arrival and departure times vary on the weekends. A bus schedule can be found here.
Route 8: Versailles
The Lextran #8 route runs on Versailles Road and Alexandria Drive ending in a loop around Turfland Mall. The Sunday service extends the route to Palomar Center. There are many points of interest on this route including Rupp Arena, the Pepsi Cola Plant, and Cardinal Hill Hospital. For students, the Alexandria Kroger is just a few stops away from the stop at Red Mile and Versailles. Ride the bus to stop #3 at Devonport and Alexandria. The bus runs every 30-35 minutes Monday until Friday, every hour on Saturday, and every 50 minutes on Sunday.
Route 14: Blue/White Route
Better known as the Blue/White route allows students to get back and forth from north and south campus. Route 14 runs Monday through Friday from 7 am to 7 pm. The route is perfect for anyone who has to park in K-Lot and students who commute to campus. Route 14 has a blue and white route that run in opposite directions of each other so students can catch the bus going in either direction. The route also stops at the library, beside the Johnson Center, the 90, the Gatton College of Business and the hospital. There is also a night route that runs until 12 pm on Monday through Friday.
Route 15: Red Mile
Lextran Route 15 is a bus route created mainly for University of Kentucky students. The route’s main points of interest are the UK steps at Limestone (main building), Limestone crossing in front of Taylor Education Building, Red Mile/University Trails and 524 and 525 Angliana.
The route going towards UK campus (to classes) is usually dependable but the route to go towards Red Mile (home) is extremely unpredictable and, at times, seemingly nonexistent. This bus route also ends at 6 p.m. and only runs weekdays.
Route 16: Southland/BCTC
From East High to Moore Drive, route 16 is a good go-to for those living near East High street. Stops range from Bluetique, the Johnson Recreation Center and Coffee Times. Check out the video for a stop-by-stop overview at 7AM Thursday morning, October 29th 2015.
Route 21: Keeneland and Blue Grass Airport
If you’re heading out-of-state for the holidays, or you’re already planning your trip to Keeneland in the spring, Lextran has you covered. Route 21 stops at Keeneland, the Blue Grass Airport and Beaumont Center Circle. For UK Students, the closet stop is the transit center, located near the intersection of Vine Street and Upper Street. From the transit center, the bus stops at the intersection of Alexandria Drive and Versailles Road. The bus takes about seven minutes from Versailles to Keeneland, and about six minutes from Keeneland to the airport. The route runs from 6:30a.m. to 7:10p.m., Monday through Friday.
Route 23: Nicholasville Road Express
Route 23 runs twice a day – 6:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. It is targeted at those commuting to work along three key stops between the downtown Lexington Transit Depot and the Walmart at the Nicolasville Road and Man ‘O War Crossing. See the video above for a visual tour and read more here.
Route 31: Alexandria Crosstown
The Alexandria Crosstown route can assist students traveling from Southwest Lexington into the south side of campus at the Kentucky Clinic, near Virginia Ave. The route starts on Alexandria Drive across from Kroger, but it isn’t for just heading into campus.
Students seeking a delectable dinner can easily grab the 31 in front of Kentucky Clinic and travel to Turfland Mall. For a local, unique dining experience, students can grab an early lunch by stopping at Garden Springs Shopping Center for homemade cheese spreads and sandwiches at Dad’s Favorites Deli. Garden Springs also has Mac’s Karaoke and a Big Lots store, but Dad’s is the real treasure. Tucked deep inside in the shopping center, this is one of Lexington’s most delicious hidden gems. If you eat there enough, you could become one of Dad’s Favorites.
Make sure you plan ahead – the route does not run in the early afternoon. Here’s a look at Route 31’s schedule.
For years Lexington residents have enjoyed a unique method of transportation on the city’s trolley buses operated by LexTran. The service is free and runs through downtown on two routes.
The Blue Route operates Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. The Green Route operates Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. There is no Thursday night trolley from November to April as the service aligns with Lexington’s “Thursday Night Live” Concert series schedule.
Unfortunately, beginning on January 1 the trolley service will be no more. The hybrid buses made to look like trolleys cost over $500,000 per vehicle and are quite expensive to maintain after being in service since April 2010. The price of the upkeep outweighed the experience of riding a trolley through beautiful downtown.
With less than two months until the city shuts the service down, Lexington residents should be sure to take advantage and hop on a trolley while they still can.
In 2013, the UK Student Government Association transformed the nightly campus shuttle service into Cats Cab, aimed at providing a safe ride home to students during weekend drinking escapades. The service provides a free ride anywhere within New Circle Road to students who can present their student IDs to the cab driver. Any destination that is outside of New Circle costs a $2 entry fee with each 1/10 mile costing $0.20. The cabs are operational from Thursday through Saturday, 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. each day.
To reserve a cab, students can call their service line at 252-2287 or submit a request on their free mobile app CATS CAB or website at www.catscab.com.
Megabus is a bus service available to students to travel to other major cities around the country for as low as $1. When traveling on the Megabus students can have one piece of language on hold that is under 50 pounds and one piece of language in their seating area, which must fit under the seat.