The first Friday night in San Luis Obispo many car-less students will ask themselves what there is to do. Dinner at one of the popular restaurants, a movie on the big screen, or that party everyone is talking about? But the more important issue is how to get there.
There are a multitude of transportation options open to Cal Poly students including a free bus system, taxis, Safe Ride, biking and of course, good old fashioned walking.
SLO Transit is a public bus service that operates within the San Luis Obispo city limits and is free to Cal Poly students with their PolyCard. There are eight different routes that all meet at the Downtown Transit Center located on Palm Street.
The buses stop at two main places on campus: in front of Mott Gym and next to the agricultural sciences building on University Drive. There are four other stops on campus: two on Grand Avenue, one in front of the graphic arts building on South Perimeter and one in front of the Alex G. Spanos Stadium on College Avenue.
The buses run every half hour Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and every hour Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. There is also a night service available Monday through Thursday that runs from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
SLO Transit estimates that over 1,000 Cal Poly students ride the buses daily when school is in session. They recommend that students relying on the buses to get to school plan ahead in their scheduling to avoid overcrowding, especially in the mornings.
“Don’t catch the bus that will get you to class right on time. Plan a half hour early,” said SLO Transit dispatcher Syndi Fraser. “We will max out our buses and have no choice but to pass people.
RTA Transit Authority is a countywide public bus system that connects the individual cities of San Luis Obispo County Monday through Sunday. Fares vary from $1 to $2.75. All routes operate Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 9:45 p.m. and select hours on the weekends. There is a transfer center located on Palm Street and select routes come to Cal Poly in front of Mott Gym.
The City of San Luis Obispo also provides a downtown trolley that stops throughout downtown every 15 to 20 minutes. It operates Thursday from 3:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from noon to 9 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5:30 p.m. Students can ride for 25 cents.
In addition to the bus systems there are a variety of shuttle services including Ride-On, Runabout, and Dial-A-Ride.
When all else fails there are seven taxi services that run throughout the county. Two companies are available 24 hours a day: Beach Cities Cab and Central Coast Cab.
To conserve gas and money, many students bike to and from their destinations. San Luis Obispo’s mild climate and bike-friendly community make this safe and easy. All buses are equipped with bike racks and bike lanes exist on many high traffic streets.
More information about transportation in San Luis Obispo can be found at www.rideshare.org.