Bennington is a school of interest for my class of '10 S, but I am having all kinds of trouble finding public transportation any closer than Pittsfield or Brattleboro. Is it one of those places where if you don't have a car, you're stuck on campus? No regional bus networks or anything? S is not a driver and is in no hurry to be.
Yes, unfortunately there's no transportation that goes closer than Albany, Brattleboro, and a few other places. However, it is possible to hire a car ride to a train, or offer to pay for gas so that someone else with a car can take you. And the school runs shuttles to places with trains during holidays and breaks, when the most students want to leave campus.
I found this to be more of an issue my first year when I didn't know so many people. Lots of people have cars and are willing to pick you up in Albany, or take you where you want to go. There is the college van that takes you in to town, and a shuttle to Albany during breaks (where you can get on a train, a bus, or a plane).
I would suspect that getting from campus to the bus/plane during scheduled vaction is relatively easy b/c the school sponsored shuttles. Leaving campus any other time, however, could prove difficult: there is no public transit and as I recall, nothing within walking distance of the campus (also, you walk off campus on to a highway with no sidewalks). This pretty much leaves students w/o cars stuck on campus or begging for rides.
Actually, North Bennington, a VERY small town, but with a general store and a few restaurants, is an easy walk from campus. The college also has a house there, called the townhouse, where several students live every semester, just fyi.
I have driven through Bennington dozens of times, but last year was the first time I ventured on to the campus. We entered the campus from Rte. 67A (Northside Drive), which I believe is the route posted on the college's web site; there was nothing nearby (the movie complex is about 1/2 mile down the road), no sidewalks and the collge road turned right on to Rte. 67A.
This summer, I'll make a point of driving on to campus as we return from Shaftsbury, so that we enter from one of the north roads. Maybe by approaching from the north we'll see more signs of life.
Academically, Bennington is very appealing. But socially, considerably less so for a black hipster girl from NYC: it's a very small school, in a very small town, with a lopsided gender ratio and only a handful of black students. The campus was pretty much deserted when we visited, so D refused to get out of the car; I'm hoping that on our second visit the campus appears less isolated (ie: amenities w/i walking distance) and that we can coax D our of the car.
Last edited by foolishpleasure; 06-17-2009 at 03:42 PM.
Son just completed first year at Bennington. He did OK with getting off campus. He walked and rode his bike to North Bennington, the campus van takes students into Bennington proper and it is easy to get rides to Albany for transportation connections. He also had friends that had cars so they visited Boston, drove into Albany a couple of times. Mostly though there were many things to do on campus.
Academically he has loved it. It is small and he has been ready for a change of scenery at the end of each semester, but feels like it was a good match for him. He is from a fairly large, southern California city so small and snow was a transition. (Phone call Oct. 19, mom there is snow already, I need to buy boots!)