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How is commuting to other schools between the five colleges?

KAT23MKAT23M 2 replies2 threadsRegistered User New Member
edited June 2013 in Smith College
Hey everyone!

I've just decided that I will be attending Smith College and I can't express how happy I am! I really do love Smith, but I am definitely considering taking some classes outside Smith; for the class variety and meeting other people (more than just girls). I was wondering how's the commute? I know that there is a great program that utilizes a bus system, but I read somewhere someone saying it is difficult. And how is the biking culture? I know that Smith has Bike Kitchen, which seems super cool. Are there a lot of girls that use bikes to get around? It is possible to use a bike to get from one school to the other when it's warm out?

Thanks everyone for your help!
edited June 2013
10 replies
Post edited by KAT23M on
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Replies to: How is commuting to other schools between the five colleges?

  • teenage_clicheteenage_cliche 3505 replies17 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    The PVTA, which is the public bus system around Noho, is very convenient. It's a shorter trip to UMass and Hampshire (maybe around 30-40 mins), and longer to Amherst and Mount Holyoke (at least an hour). You can also get to some big shopping centers with a Target, Walmart, etc in about 30 mins.
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  • bn12ggbn12gg 498 replies21 threadsRegistered User Member
    Kat23m-- My D (a Smith Firstie) used the free bus system to travel to UMass, Amherst, plus Walmart ^^^ etc. this year. It worked out great. She was not trying to use it to meet classes.

    I've driven among the 5 colleges on several trips to western Mass so I sort of know the distances. My stepson is a competitive biker and I can assure you that moving between schools in decent weather on a quality bike would be like a walk in the park -- no big deal, sort of fun.

    .02

    David
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  • KAT23MKAT23M 2 replies2 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Thanks everyone. Another quick question: How often do the buses come? Is it a hassle because it's like an hour wait or more like every 10 to 20 minutes? Or would you recommend just bringing a car altogether? I'm asking because I don't want to use a system that is not reliable and a pain to use in the first place.
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  • allyphoeallyphoe 2387 replies57 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Smith / Hampshire / Mount Holyoke schedule: http://www.pvta.com/schedules/Other/O39.pdf

    Other schedules: PVTA Schedules
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  • teenage_clicheteenage_cliche 3505 replies17 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    They stop running around 1 or 2 AM depending on the line and day of the week, but generally it's maximum 30 mins between buses.
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  • diana2012diana2012 402 replies60 threadsRegistered User Member
    Honestly, the PVTA is not nearly as good as they say it is. I took it literally every weekend to party at Hampshire or hang out with my friends at UMass, and it's quite inconvenient, especially if you're at Smith (which is not particularly centrally located). For example, Hampshire is essentially inaccessible on the weekends if you want to go to parties later than 10 PM (you won't have a bus home). We solved this by having everyone pool their money and get a cab together, so that it wasn't too expensive.
    That said, the PVTA is great if you want to, say, go to Walmart on a Saturday afternoon. But to be honest, if you can even catch a bus on Friday/Saturday night, it's generally overcrowded, sloppy, and reeking of liquor and weed. You get used to it though.
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  • bn12ggbn12gg 498 replies21 threadsRegistered User Member
    D intends to take Physics at UMass this summer. It should be interesting to see how the PVTA works out in the context of scheduled classes -- leave early I suspect. .02 David
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  • brie99brie99 85 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    My D did an early AM class at Hampshire and while I thought she never saw the AM side of a clock, she only missed one class. However, the class time and the round trip on PVTA IS a large chunk of time out of your day, so you have to plan accordingly. In my opinion, few folks seem to take more than a few classes at the other campuses during their years at Smith, unless there is a very specific major not provided at Smith, but I could be wrong.

    Lots of bikes on campus, but more appear locked up than being ridden. There are some used bike shops in the area if the Kitchen is out of stock on semester rentals.

    Enjoy Nirvana!
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  • momneeds2nomomneeds2no 779 replies4 threadsRegistered User Member
    edited November 2015
    Wow. My daughter loves the PVT bus. She attends MHC and tok classes at Amherst, Umass, Hampshire--all without difficultly or long waits. Smith being across the river is not as accessible to MHC. However, I believe PVT offers express buses from Smith to Amherst and Hampshire. Really, your off campus class will meet two times a week. Whats the big deal if you spend a 30 minutes riding the bus?
    edited November 2015
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  • CrewDadCrewDad 1697 replies24 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited November 2015
    There is not an express bus between Smith and Amherst. Perhaps you're thinking of the express between UMass and Smith. The bus ride to Amherst is ~50 minutes. Without a car, taking classes at Amherst requires significant planning.
    Smith being across the river is not as accessible to MHC.
    Sure it is.

    Shuttle express service:
    There are regularly scheduled buses running from Mount Holyoke to Smith every day, Monday through Friday, with many scheduled to drop students on campus 10 minutes before the start of classes and pick them up about 10 minutes after the end of classes.
    https://www.fivecolleges.edu/bus
    edited November 2015
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