So one of the questions that we get asked a lot in the forums involves transportation on and around the campus. It make sense because parents want to know how their children can get home on the weekends or holidays and the students want to know exactly how they’re going to be able to get around the city and maybe sometimes to other states if they want to visit their friends. In this post I’ll talk about transportation on the campus such as the JHMI Shuttle as well as transportation that is near the campus available for students to use to travel to other states.
Transportation on campus is an amazing thing. There are several primary ways you can get around the Hopkins campuses one of which is completely free for students. The Johns Hopkins Medical Institution (or JHMI) shuttle is a shuttle which runs between the Hopkins Homewood campus, Penn Station (Northbound and Southbound) as well as the Medical Campus. This is really great because as long as you ensure that you get to Penn Station with enough time before your train (or bus) leaves you’ll be able to get there for free! The shuttle posts its schedules online via the parking and transportation website which allows the students to plan how they’re going to organize their transportation accordingly. It’s also very useful because if you get involved with research on the medical campus you can get there without having to know where you’re going (like you would in a taxi) and you also don’t have to pay.
Another awesome way that you can get around areas in Baltimore or near Baltimore is through the CollegeTown bus network. The CollegeTown bus is also completely free for students and just as with the JHMI Shuttle you swipe your card once you get on the bus and then you can go to any one of the numerous stops the bus travels to. Some of the popular places include Inner Harbor to the South and Towson to the North. This bus also posts its schedule online so the students can determine how they’re going to get to Towson or Inner Harbor on the weekends. For more information about the CollegeTown Shuttle including where it goes and when it leaves the Homewood campus, visit their website. I personally love the CollegeTown shuttle because there are so many places around Baltimore that you can go and not paying for it makes it even better. The CollegeTown Shuttle isn’t just available to Hopkins students; students from other colleges in Baltimore have the ability to utilize these transportation systems as well. This helps because I have some friends that go to University of Maryland, College Park and if we wanted to meet up they’d be able to get to my campus or Towson or Inner Harbor for free and not have to worry about where they’re going. Also if you’re planning on going somewhere within 1 mile of the Homewood Campus late at night and you’re worried about the area you have the ability to call the Security Van which will drive you from campus to a location of your choice or from a location of your choice back to campus. This is also great because you can go somewhere with all of your friends and since it’s a huge van you can all travel back to campus together. Some students actually use the shuttle if they want to get somewhere that’s relatively close to campus when it’s raining. I’m not saying I do this, but it’s something that’s available.
Aside from the private transportation available to Hopkins students there are also several different ways you can use the public transportation available to Hopkins students throughout the city of Baltimore. There are of course Taxi Cabs all throughout the city that you can use to get from campus to Inner Harbor. Taxis often stop outside or go near the Homewood campus so it’s not hard to get from campus to wherever you’re going. Using a Taxi to get to Baltimore Washington/Thurgood Marshall Airport can get a bit pricy but there are alternatives offered during the holidays for students. Similar to the Security Van service available to students during the holidays one of the offices on campus (I’m pretty sure its Student/Residential Life) offers a van service which will get you to the airport, and all you have to do is go to the Residential Life office in AMR II and buy a ticket for 15$. I’ve never been to the airport so I don’t know much about where it is but I can tell you it’s definitely much more than 15$. From BWI you can fly out to any airport in the country and you can book your tickets online as soon as you know when you’re planning on leaving/returning. Most students figure out when they’re going to leave and return after they find out their midterm/final dates for the holidays. Personally I was unable to leave until Tuesday morning (the dorms close at 6PM on Tuesday night, by the way) because I had a midterm on Monday and another one on Tuesday. I know that most of my friends (actually most of the student body) were gone before Monday and most professors know that stuff like this happens so they don’t do much in class on these days. The registrar’s office posts the exam schedule for finals early in the year so it’s easy to get tickets for Winter Break. The whole process repeats itself for the spring semester where students choose when to leave for spring break based upon their exam schedules and the final schedule will be posted by the registrar’s office towards the middle of the spring semester.
The final method of transportation I would like to discuss is my personal favorite: Bolt Bus. Bolt Bus is a transportation service that is fairly new and consists of busses that travel between major cities on the east coast. There are busses that will take you to Boston, New York City, Baltimore, and Philadelphia. The busses leave from train stations so it’s not that hard to find out where they are. The bus that leaves from Penn Station in Baltimore only goes to NYC but I’m sure there are other ways of getting to Philadelphia and Boston. Not only are the busses extremely comfortable and the rides don’t take that long, but the busses have power outlets and free wireles
s which not only makes the ride go much quicker, but it allows you to get work done on the way there. If you book your tickets far enough in advance you can get prices as low as 2$ for a one way ticket. Up to a week before the tickets hit their max price at about 20$ for a one way ride. This is still a really amazing price. Two weekends ago I went to visit some of my friends from high school and I met them in NYC. The transportation for the whole trip cost 40$ total! Once I met my friend Tim in NYC we went back to Hoboken where he goes to school (at Stevens Institute of Technology for Electrical Engineering) and in case you’ve never been to Hoboken or don’t know where it is, it’s right across the Hudson from NYC so you have the most amazing view (especially at night!). Below is a picture I took on my BlackBerry when we were heading back to the city when I was leaving.
I’m sure you can imagine how amazing this view is late at night.
Lastly I would just like to say that even though I’ve had more fun than ever in my first 3 months at college, it feels so good to be home. You may think that once you go to college you forget how to live your life at home and how to drive, etc. but you actually don’t. When I got home it was like I picked up right where my home life left off. It was also awesome to hang out with all my high school friends again because no matter where I go I’ll never find people who are as unique as them. Even though this break only lasts for about 5 days it’s great to see everyone again. Yesterday I visited my old high school and I got to see all my friends in the grades below me as well as all of my teachers and there really is no better feeling than seeing old friends again. So to conclude there are many ways to get around on campus or to places that are near the campus or even to major cities that are relatively close to Baltimore. I’m actually sure there are many more than I’m unaware of at the moment. So my first video is another funny video about pets and involves a dog that pretty much can’t rollover: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxdPYCc_1mU . My second video (explicit language warning) is about some of the people that come to the Jersey Shore in the summer. This video was filmed at the beach in Seaside Park (which is about 30 minutes from me) and wasn’t staged at all, some guys just got a video camera and started recording. This is one of the funniest videos I’ve found in a while and I can’t believe it’s real: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5weU2olAl-E . Enjoy and I’ll see you all in two weeks!