The pros and cons of Meadville transportation

Getting around Meadville is not the easiest thing when you don’t have a car. Those of us who don’t have a vehicle know exactly what I am talking about. But there are things that you are able to avoid as a first year or upperclassmen on Allegheny’s campus.
From my personal experiecne, I have mapped out four main types of transportation that I have had to use to get home, to go grocery shopping, get hair and body supplies etc.

1. The CATA Loop partnership with Allegheny Student Government
The Crawford Area Transportation Authortiy’s Loop is partnered with ASG which offers free bus service to all Allegheny students on all CATA fixed routes. Students must show a valid Allegheny ID to the bus driver in order to get on the bus. The Loop schedule, which you can find in the CATA buses and online, include a variety of stops. The important ones being the Downtown Mall, Wal-Mart, Giant Eagle, Movies at Meadville and recently, Grace Asian restaurant.
Now this is all fine and dandy but the Loop only runs three days a week, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Why doesn’t it run the whole week? I don’t know. This leaves those of us who rely on the bus for transportation to venture out onto the Green and Red Route A on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.
There will be guaranteed moments where you need certain things right away. This is easy and simple when the weather is nice, because you can walk or you won’t have as much of a problem waiting for the bus.
However, we’re in Meadville and when the hard winter comes the story is not so pleasant. I have wasted hours trying to get to Wal-Mart or Giant Eagle when having to take the Meadville City bus route. There has also been countless times when the bus is ten to 30 minutes late, skips stops or doesn’t come at all. Then your left stranded having to walk up the hill with groceries or a luggage if you’re coming from traveling.

2. Walking
Walking around Meadville is a great experience and helps with getting acclimated to the city, but let’s be real, the hill up North Main is no joke. If you are okay with walking then I suggest that you plan your walk downtown strategically.
If you are walking to CVS for example, know how long your walk will be. Make a list of the things you need and account for the time you think you will spend in the store. Keep in mind that the Red Route A is the only bus (minus the Loop) that goes up North Main and comes on the hour at the downtown mall. This helps you save time and keeps your trip smooth.

3. The Greyhound Station
Greyhound is sadly the only form of transportation for those of us without a car that live more than 400 miles away from Pennsylvania. On top of that, Greyhound, majority of the time, is a stressful transportation experience. One should quickly acclimate themselves with figuring out the bus schedule to certain cities so that it can help navigate your travels. There are only two buses that run from Meadville to Pittsburgh everyday which are 10:00 a.m. and 1:55 p.m. The rides from Pittsburgh to Meadville are 8:00 a.m. and 3:40 p.m.
Considering the time schedule that we have for classes it is pretty inconvenient to catch the bus without missing a class or two. It is always helpful and less stressful to decide when you will leave and if you will need to speak with your professors. Also keep in mind that once you are in Pittsburgh, you can take the Megabus or Amtrak to get to your destination.

4. Getting a Ride
The most pleasant and convenient way of getting home or going grocery shopping is getting a ride from a friend or fellow Allegheny student. That is a simple fact. I encourage those who don’t have cars to ask your friends and even create trip schedules that work for everyone’s schedule. I also encourage those with cars to offer rides and help your fellow Allegheny colleague. We are a community after all and getting a ride helps those without a car lot.
These are pretty simple tips to avoid wasting your time getting around Meadville without a car. But it is definitely good and quite important to figure it out early rather than later!