Unofficial Orientation Series 2017: Transportation at Wesleyan

Any current Wes student will tell you, Middletown is seriously lacking is its ability to help you get out of Middletown (not that you would ever want to, of course). This post will try to help sort through different travel options for getting off campus and for getting around campus. I’ve tried to include as much information as possible by including hyperlinks about how a service pertains to Wesleyan and how it can easily be accessed.

Ever since Uber/Lyft has come to Middletown, ride sharing has been the predominate means for students to leave campus for breaks or on weekends. There is public transportation in Middletown, however it is not something students have historically used to get around. Hopefully, this will change! If you keep reading at the bottom of this post, current students, Noah Kahan ‘19 and Rosanne Ng ‘19, in addition to recent Wesleyan grad, Alex Garcia ‘17, are in the process of designing a way for public transportation to be revived in Middletown in order to better connect Middletown to the wider region!

This is a living document, meaning that it will be updated throughout the semester as changes occur. If you think that any information needs to be added/edited or have any concerns/questions, please ask or let me know at nkahan[at]wesleyan[dot]edu.


Student Rideboard: WesRides

WesRides, which is the unofficial Facebook ride-board for Wesleyan students, is what many students use to see if others want to split/carpool an Uber, let’s say, to New Haven or back to Wesleyan. This ride board can be used for any travel need. It is super helpful in getting around by giving you a platform to solicit (and offer) rides to your fellow Wesleyan students.

Earlier this week, current student, Dan Tran ’20 created a mobile WesRides app that is separate from the Facebook page. The app allows for users to both request and offer rides. The app can be downloaded from the Apple app store for free. Just sign in with your Wesleyan credentials and you will be able to see ride requests as well as offer rides.

 

 


Most Common Transportation Options to Leave Wesleyan

 

Uber/Lyft

  • Wesleyan>>New Haven Station
    • Total: around $40 (1 person) or $10 (4 persons)
  • Wesleyan>>Meriden Station
    • Total: around $16 (1 person)
  • Wesleyan>>Bradley International Airport
    • Total: around $55 (1 person)
  • Can access whenever/wherever via smartphone app
  • Many Wesleyan students chose to carpool to try and save money 

 


WesGo

  • Wesleyan>>New Haven Station/Meriden Station/Bradley Intl. Airport      
    • Total: $30 (1 person)
    • Car Pool: $10 (3 persons)
  • Access ride through a Google Form
  • Drivers are Wesleyan students
  • Founded by Wesleyan student, Mark Esposito ‘19

The RIDE New Haven Shuttle

(Thursday-Sunday): Leaves once a day to New Haven and back to Wesleyan

  • Total: $10 (one-way, Non-Break fee)
  • Total: $15 (one-way, Break fee)
  • Service provided by Wesleyan University
  • Reservations need to be made in advance

Schedule:

  • Every Thursday and Friday
    • Van leaves the front of the Usdan at 6:00pm
    • Van leaves the front of the New Haven Train Station at 7:15pm
  • Every Saturday
    • Van leaves front of Usdan at 10am.
    • Van leaves front of New Haven Train Station at 11:15am
  • Every Sunday
    • Van leaves the front of the Usdan at 4:00pm
    • Van leaves the front of the New Haven Train Station at 5:15pm
  • The Transportation Office offers special shuttles during breaks to go to Bradley Airport, New York City, and Boston

 

Wesleyan Break Shuttles

In recent years, Wesleyan has provided buses ($30 one way) to New York (Penn Station/Grand Central) and Boston (South Station), as well as to New Haven ($15 one way) and Bradley Intl. Airport ($20 one way) for most breaks. Be sure to book your ticket at least a week in advance, or else you won’t be going anywhere.


Personal Vehicles

  • If you are bringing your own car to campus, you have to pay a $125 student parking fee for the year
    • Freshman and Sophomore usually have assigned parking in the Vine St. lot
    • Juniors have parking in Junior Village
    • Seniors have parking usually by their wood-frame houses
  • For anyone bringing a car to campus, it must be registered with the University 
    • This is the last year for freshman to bring their cars to campus in an effort to be more environmentally sustainable. Read the new regulations/strategy here.
  • Key parts to the New Parking Strategy
    • Parking decals are being replaced with hangtags
    • Students may no longer park in Faculty/Staff lots at any time

ZipCar

  • Car rentals by the hour ($8.50/hour)
  • Additional membership cost of $15/year
    • To sign up, you need a valid driver’s licence and be 18 years of age or older
  • Four ZipCars on Wesleyan’s campus
  • Must bring car back to the same place (no one-way drives)
  • ZipCar covers gas, insurance, crash damage, and pretty much everything else so there are no hidden fees.
  • If you’re looking to get away during a weekend, make sure to book early as spots get reserved quickly

Amtrak

The two places to catch Amtrak that are close to campus are Meriden Station and New Haven Union Station. From these stations, you can catch trains to as north as St. Albans, Vermont and to as south as Washington, DC. New Haven services Acela Express. Amtrak tends to be expensive, however trains are a dying breed in America, so help an industry out.

 


Megabus

The closest Megabus stops is in New Haven. If you book your ticket in advance, you could pay as low as $1!  The New Haven bus goes to Boston, Providence, RI  UMass Amherst, MA Fall River, MA, Fairhaven/New Bedford, MA and Hartford, CT.

 


 

Taxis

Taxi is usually the most expensive option.

  • Airport Express Taxi: charges $71.00 (for up to four people) from Bradley Airport to Middletown and from Middletown to Bradley Airport. Call (860) 623-5353 for reservation and schedule.
  • ARROW Cab, Inc.: To all points in CT and out of State.  
    • Bradley Airport to Middletown – $71
    • Middletown to Bradley Airport – $68  
    • To train stations –
      • $30 to Meriden
      • $66 to New Haven
      • $43 to Hartford  
    • Call (860) 558-4825 for reservation.
  • Connecticut Limousine: Departs from various locations in Hartford and New Haven and from the Four Points Sheraton In Meriden – connects to Bradley, JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark airports. Call (800) 472-5466 for reservation and schedule.
  • Executive 2000 Taxi: a Middletown cab service, makes connections to train stations and the airport. Call (860) 635-8222 for reservation.
    • Train station charges:
      • $42.40 to Hartford
      • $64 to New Haven
      • metered rate around $25-30* to Meriden
      • Airport charges: $71 to Bradley International Airport
    • Accepts all major credit cards. (*Rate for up to four people).

 


 

Getting Around Campus

 

The RIDE

  • The Ride is a free service, usually made up of 3 vans that run a circuit around campus from 7pm to 4am, 7 days a week
  • You won’t typically have to wait more than 15 minutes for the next van at any given stop.
  • You can figure out where each van is at any given time by checking the app or going here.
  • The Transportation Office discourages calling, but sometimes when the app isn’t updating or routes are irregular or it’s 2am and you’re just tired, calling is still a good way to get in touch with them.
  • After 2am, you can call the Ride at (860) 685-3788. If they aren’t busy, they’ll come straight to your stop instead of completing their route first.

Some thoughts on the RIDEIn the wintry seasons (read: all year), the Ride can be a nice way to get home to the Butts without having to brave that long walk from the CFA, though I’ve definitely been lazy and cold enough to take it from Usdan to Fauver/Bennett back in the day. On the weekends, there’s really nothing that beats showing up to a party at Psi U or Fountain fresh from the Ride as you watch all your friends stumbling on their sore feet as they walk in. It’s always smart to be on good terms with the drivers, they might just tell you where the party’s at. (If it’s really late and the Ride isn’t running anymore, though, you can call PSafe for a free escort. As a late-night radio DJ, I’ve had to do this several times and PSafe is chill about it.)

 

WesBikes

The Wesleyan Bike Rental Program (WesBikes) seeks to give students an affordable and sustainable method of transportation around campus and the Middletown community. The program provides students the opportunity to use a bike without having to bring one to campus or buy one.  You can park your bike before class or before meal with the many bike racks in front of academic buildings and dining halls. IfWe also have a new repair station in case something happens to your bike over the course of the semester in front of Usdan. If you’re interested in this program please reach out to Gila Glattstein (gglattstein[at]wes) or our sustainability office coordinator Jennifer(jkleindienst[at]wes)to get set up with a bike this semester! —Thanks to Gila Glattstein for this description.

 

New RJ Julia Bookstore Shuttle

Beginning August 27th, Transportation Services is offering a continuous shuttle to Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore

  • Runs from 11am — 7pm, Monday-Friday
  • 20min loop with one bus in service

The shuttle will make the following stops:

  1. Butterfield Residence Halls (“Butts”)
  2. Science Library (Exley Science Center)
  3. Bennett Hall
  4. Fauver Apartments/Wes Shop
  5. Allbritton Center
  6. High Rise
  7. Usdan University Center
  8. Center for the Arts (CFA) Lot T
  9. Fisk Hall (College Street)
  10. Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore

 

Public Transportation

 

Metro North

You can catch Metro North at New Haven Station in order to ride into New York City’s Grand Central Station. The New Haven Line takes around an 1hr 56min to get into NYC from New Haven

  • Tickets one-way cost $17.50 (off-peak) into NYC and $23.50 (peak)
    • Peak times from New Haven to GC: 4am-8am
    • Peak Times from GC to New Haven: 6am-8:30am/4pm-7:30pm
      • The rest of the times are Off-Peak
      • Round Trip: $35 (Off-Peak)/ $47 (Peak)
  • Once you get into NYC, a Metro Card for the subway costs $2.75 (per swipe)
  • Metro North has an app where you could look up the schedules as well as an app to buy the train ticket from your smartphone

 


Middletown Area Transit

The Middletown Area Transit (MAT) operates local bus service around Middletown, Portland, East Hampton, and to Meriden (M-Link).

Last semester, Alex Garcia ‘17 engaged with Middletown Area Transit to have them put bus times on Google Maps, so students, faculty and staff can see from the touch of their phone, when the next bus is arriving.

Here are his articles on the subject:

“Invisible Buses: Reducing Transportation Inequity at Wesleyan University”

“From Paper Bus Schedules to Google Maps: The Story Behind Putting Middletown Connecticut on the Map.”

The two routes that pertain the most to Wesleyan students are the C-route, which goes to the local Price Chopper shopping center, and the M-Link, which goes to Middletown Plaza, Meriden Rail Station, the Westfield Mall, and Walmart.

Currently, there are two unofficial bus stops on campus: one in front of WesShop on Church St and one outside Fisk Hall on High St. In order to have the bus stop, you may need to hail for it. The bus will stop anywhere along the route, if someone waves to the bus and the stop is safe to make.

  • C-Route
    • Going toward Price Chopper (WesShop Stop)
      • 21min to Price Chopper
      • Going toward Main St (Fisk Hall Stop)

  • M-Link
    • Going toward Meriden Rail Station/Middletown Plaza
      • 32min to Meriden Rail Station
      • 12min to Middletown Plaza

  • Tickets for the bus costs only $1.75
    • By mid-September we will have tickets available at the Box Office in Usdan University Center

 

 

Over this summer, Alex Garcia, Rosanne Ng and Noah Kahan have been working on a proposal to connect Middletown to the wider region– they are calling it Let’s Connect Middletown. This summer, Noah and Rosanne worked with stakeholders in Middletown and the region, such as the Connecticut Department of Transportation, The Lower Connecticut River Council of Governments, Middletown Area Transit, Residents of Middletown, as well as members of the Wesleyan administration.

Let’s Connect Middletown seeks to revitalize the M-Link service, a route serviced by Middletown Area Transit (MAT). This proposal strives to enhance Middletown’s connection to the wider region by keeping local M-Link service economically sustainable and launching M-Link Express, a modified route that will provide a faster ride to Meriden Rail Station, where in May 2018, the new commuter rail service, CTRail Hartford Line will pass through going from New Haven, CT to Hartford, CT to Springfield, MA. If the prospect of M-Link Express succeeds, Middletown will be closer than ever for the millions of people who use the North East Corridor rail network. This will allow residents, students, and visitors to more easily access all that the region has to offer in an affordable and sustainable way.

Here is a map showing the M-Link, M-Link Express and CTRail Hartford routes and the services that people can connect/transfer to:

 

 

More details will come in future, along with our full proposal by mid to late September.