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Everything you need to know about transportation at the University of Rochester


A car is by far the best way to get around Rochester, especially if you plan on leaving campus relatively often. However, first-year students cannot have a car unless they are a commuter, and there are limited parking spots on campus for residential students, so you’ll have to apply for a lottery every year and pay for a permit. Most parking lots on campus are open after 4 p.m. on weekdays on the River Campus and every lot is open on the River Campus on weekends. 

If you don’t have a car but still want to get around the Greater Rochester area, UR Outing Club goes on hikes every weekend up to 2 hours away from campus and provides transportation (as long as you pay their dues). Other clubs will occasionally do field trips to places in the area, so sign up for email lists of clubs you’re interested in and keep watch on the CCC event page to spot opportunities to leave campus. Uber and Lyft are both available in the area as well.

Shuttles & Buses

The main way to get around off-campus is by either taking the Regional Transit Service’s buses (RTS), which can get you a lot of places in the area, just not always in a very time efficient way. Explore the map of different routes. Bus rides are very cheap and there are stops near Brooks Crossing across the bridge from River Campus and over next to the Medical Center that are within walking distance. 

There are also several University shuttles that can get you to different places on campus, shuttle you between different campuses, and venture out into the city and suburbs. Explore the current schedules and routes. There may be some changes come to names and routes in the near future. 

Popular shuttle lines include the Blue Line which brings students to the Medical Center, College Town (mainly for going out to eat or working), and graduate student housing. The Red Line goes directly back and forth from the Eastman School of Music, which is located within walking distance of many restaurants downtown. The Orange Line runs during the mornings and evenings and stops at a variety of spots in the city, mainly meant to transport off-campus students but can still be a great way to get out and try new activities in the area. The Green Line runs on the weekends and brings students to different grocery shopping spots. Finally, the Gold and Silver Line are meant for transporting students between University housing that’s not directly on the River Campus, to campus.

All the shuttles are wheelchair accessible, however it can be challenging or even impossible to get onto the newer ones with stairs rather than the older ones with no stairs and a wider opening if you are using crutches or a walker. Students with serious permanent or temporary accessibility issues that require more services can apply for transportation assistance.

Outside of standard shuttle hours, the University’s Safe Ride van runs from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. every day during the academic year, transporting students between River Campus and a few different residence halls.


Biking, especially in the warmer months, is a very popular way to get around, especially if you live a little further from River Campus, such as in Southside or across the bridge by Brooks Crossing and Riverview. There are lots of bike racks on campus and a few covered stations which is helpful whenever it rains or snows. Learn more about biking.

The River Campus is connected to the Genesee Riverway Trail, which runs all the way up to Lake Ontario. You can also bike south into Genesee Valley Park and get on the Erie Canal Trail that can relatively easily connect you to suburbs such as Brighton, Pittsford, and even Fairport. University shuttles and RTS buses have bike racks on the front in case you’d like to combine those two modes of transportation.


Most of your time your main mode of transportation will be walking around campus. The River Campus is not that big, making it pretty easy to get between classes. All of the buildings on Eastman Quad are connected to the tunnel system, making it a great way to escape the cold, rain, and snow that is very common throughout the winter months. Unfortunately if you have classes on the Engineering Quad or in the art building, you are out of luck. 

There are also a few parks within walking distance of the River Campus: Genesee Valley Park, Mount Hope Cemetery, and Highland Park. They make great spots to visit, especially in the fall when the leaves turn and in the spring when the flowers bloom.

Image from University Transportation

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