Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
I should begin this blog by mentioning that my hometown (Believeland) is about a 10 hour drive from Burlington. For all of the personal growth and independence my living situation has brought me, getting home remains a hassle. During my first year at UVM I had absolutely no idea how to get to the Burlington “International” Airport from my quaint forced triple on Redstone. I ended up getting to the airport 5 hours early (security takes about 10 minutes), after being shuttled to the airport in a very pricey, and very green Prius taxi, oh Vermont. In an effort to save my fellow catamount travelers their money and time here are a few tips on getting to popular travel hubs in and around the Burlington area.
1. The Cat Bus
Every Friday and Saturday before Thanksgiving, winter, and spring breaks UVM Parking and Transportation Services provide a shuttle to the Burlington Airport, Essex Amtrak Station, and Downtown Transit Center. Shuttles bound for the Airport and Transit Center depart the Patrick Gym at 8am, 10am, 2pm, and 4pm on Friday and 8am on Saturday morning. Unfortunately for folks traveling the rails, the only bus to the Amtrak station leaves at 8am Friday and Saturday. This Cat Bus, while limited in departure times is a punctual, familiar, and free option for students.
2. The City Bus
Personally I do not have much experience with the city bus besides the College street shuttle, of which I ride when the sidewalk becomes more akin to a bobsleigh track than a walkway. However the CCTA has a robust network of stops that can get you most anywhere you need to go, including the airport and Amtrak station. On CCTA’s website there are timetables and stop locations for each route – they even have a map that’ll tell you when the bus is coming (RouteShout 2.0) or you can use Google Maps to get the best routes. Not to mention, CCTA busses are free with your CatCard!
Burlington’s ride-sharing infrastructure has improved greatly over the past few years. Uber now offers rides to the Burlington Airport at all hours of the day, and has a dedicated webpage. These rides will set you back 10-15 dollars to both the Airport and Amtrak station depending on where you live (sorry Trinity dwellers).
Taxis in my experience have been unreliable and more expensive than any of the options listed above, however if you have an intense urge to kick it old school in the back of Burlington’s finest green cabs be sure to check Yelp before booking.
The UVM parent’s group can be a source of endless entertainment if you’re granted entrance. Additionally, parents are always looking to connect their students for rides home and beyond. UVM class groups can also be a useful resource if you’re looking for a lift to the airport, at a school that has an out-of-state majority, travel buddies are not hard to come by. And there’s always Wheeli – a ride-sharing app that connects folks looking to help split up gas costs.