Tech’s campus is entirely walkable, but its sprawling 400 acres can be daunting to navigate on foot. If you get exhausted from the beating Georgia sun or have no time to walk to your class across campus, have no fear! Tech’s bus system may seem unreliable, but if equipped with the necessary information, it will become a convenient tool at your disposal.
The Institute maintains a fleet of buses called Stingers, which are open to students and the general public — no boarding fee or ID required. Nine routes span the campus, including one that travels to Atlantic Station and another to Emory University. The most important routes for freshmen to know are the Gold, Red and Blue routes, which will transport you between your dorm and your classes.
All three routes travel around Ferst Drive, but there are some key differences to be aware of for successful travel. The Gold route travels back and forth between Tech Square and the Student Center. East Campus students should catch this bus on the corner of 5th Street and Techwood Drive if they want to travel to buildings on Ferst Drive, such as Kendeda or the Instructional Center. The Red and Blue lines travel around campus with stops at the East and West campus dorms. Notably, the Red line travels from West to East, while the Blue line moves in reverse.
Keeping these routes in mind, the most important tool in your transportation arsenal will be the TransLoc app. There, users can track the buses in real time and gauge how much time they will have to get to the nearest bus stop. The app will display all the campus bus lines, which show the ETA of the nearest bus to your location when you click on their name.
Due to frequent stops and high pedestrian traffic, the Stinger travels much slower than expected during peak hours. Sometimes, students can arrive at their destination faster by walking briskly instead of taking the bus. Rather than wasting precious minutes of your commute waiting at the bus stop, use TransLoc to weigh your options. Usually, walking to class is more efficient if the bus takes more than five minutes to arrive.
Tech offers two modes of nighttime transportation to help students travel safely: the Midnight Rambler and the Stingerette. The Midnight Rambler operates every day from around 9 p.m. -2 a.m., making a circular route through campus. This bus operates less frequently, so be sure to monitor it beforehand on TransLoc.
The Stingerette is a bit more complicated to use, as it is a demand-based ridesharing system that uses smaller passenger vans instead of buses. Students can order a Stingerette by downloading the Stingerette app and making an account. The Stingerette can pick up or drop off students at almost any car-accessible location on campus, including the Home Park and Centennial Place areas for drop-off only. Its reliability fluctuates, for example, the Stingerette might take around five to ten minutes to arrive on a Monday night, but 30 minutes to an hour on a Saturday night. Be respectful to the Stingerette drivers, because lying about the number of passengers and disorderly conduct will result in denial of entry into the vehicle.
Though it can be difficult to navigate, Tech transportation might just help you arrive on time to an exam or an important interview. Hopefully, these tips and trips will help you navigate the Stinger with confidence.