As students come from areas all around the world to Iowa State’s campus, finding their way around campus and navigating the bus system can be challenging.
Buildings have a huge geographic range in location — Curtiss Hall is close to central campus, while the Iowa State University Research Park is closer to South Ames. For Alexandria Schwerin, a sophomore in criminal justice, she said she would come to her classes as early as she could since she lived thirty minutes away from Ames.
“I would get to my first class of the day like an hour early just to make sure it was the right building and the right classroom,” Schwerin said.
The buildings are spread throughout campus and Ames. Many students use apps such as MyState or Google Maps to navigate their way. For students who live off-campus, or for the buildings that are too far to walk to, the CyRide buses have been a tool to transport people.
The buses circulate all over Ames and are categorized by number, color and route.
“I mostly took Orange 23, which I feel is the easiest bus to figure out, but Gold 25 is also an easy bus,” Schwerin said.
The Orange 23 bus, a free bus without a need for an ISUCard, circulates around campus in one direction as opposed to the Gold 25 bus, which will take students from Willson and Wallace Residence hall to Schilletter Village. Other buses, such as the #2 Green or the #1 Red bus, take students from North to West Ames as well as to the downtown area.
“I went a few days before classes started to see the location of my classes,” Schwerin said. “I asked people for help that looked like they knew where they were going. It honestly took me like the first week and I felt like I knew where I was and where I was going. I also studied the MyState app at the building locations”
Going to different areas around Ames may require a transfer as different buses are assigned to different routes within the city. Juan Bibiloni, senior in mechanical engineering and the board president for CyRide's Board of Trustees, said the different buses are intentional in order to relieve the traffic within campus.
"The other purpose [of CyRide] was safety [...] there was just way too much bus traffic on campus that was turning a little bit unsafe." Bibiloni said.
Osborne became a safety hazard, so when CyRide upgraded to CyRide 2.0, the bus flow became less congested on that street.
MyState is an app students can utilize to look at their schedule, map of campus and bus times. Cyride has also come up with a new app called MyBus, which is separate from MyState and managed by different people.
"So you have the MyRide app which is an improvement of what NextBus was – you know more accurate bus positioning [...] it kinda has the same feel as MyState," Bibiloni said.
Students can also use Cyride's night bus system, called the Moonlight Express, if they are out late. This bus has a flexible route and students can call 515-292-1100 to schedule a ride. For Iowa State students, riding both the Moonlight Express and the CyRide bus is free if an ISU card is shown.
For those who still struggle with finding their way around campus, there are a variety of resources ranging from apps to other students.
“If there is a day where you have lots of time between classes I would use that time to find where the main buildings you’ll be at are,” Schwerin said. “Also just ask someone – people here are super nice and usually willing to help.”