Campus is quite large and depending on where you live, you will need to think about how you will get from one place to another. There are multiple modes of transportation available for UF students...
RTS– Bus System
Regional Transit System, or RTS, is the City of Gainesville's bus system. Students can ride the RTS buses free when they present their Gator 1 identification card. Bus schedules are available in the International Center and at other student areas such as the Bookstore and the Registrar's Office. You can also locate the latest schedules online or check the real-time bus Locations. There is also a phone app called “Rider” that will tell you when a bus will be coming.
A limited number of buses operate on the weekends. The bus schedule will reflect which bus routes operate on the weekends. There are also holidays the buses will not operate and certain times the buses run on a reduced schedule.
RTS has specific bus routes that serve only the UF campus and the surrounding Gainesville area. Buses that run on the most popular routes are often very crowded or full to capacity. You may have to study the bus schedule carefully and plan ahead if trying to get to campus on time for classes.
Later Gator is a program that offers late night bus service to downtown Gainesville on Thursday-Saturday from 8:30 p.m. to 3:05 a.m. Later Gator is free with your Gator 1 card and $1 for non-students. Look for the Later Gator sign at bus stops to indicate a Later Gator bus stop.
Gainesville is a very bike friendly city. Many students ride their bikes to class and around town. Bicycle parking areas are accessible on campus and in surrounding city areas. Several bicycle shops close to campus sell new and used bicycles. You can also search for bicycles in the classified sections of newspapers, www.craigslist.com, or Facebook market place. Other Items you will need are:
- U-lock ($20~$25): This is a sturdy lock that you use to lock up your bike. You should place the U-lock through the bike's front tire and the bike frame. Remember to lock your bike at all times.
- Night Bike Light ($10~$20): It is a law that you must use both a front headlight and a lighted reflector for the back.
- Helmets ($15-$20): not required by law, but highly recommended.
If you will be driving a rental car, your International Driver's license may be sufficient and you may not need to obtain a Florida license. Some car rental agencies require a State of Florida driver's license. If you are planning to buy a moped or a car, you will need a State of Florida driver's license.
Read about more information on getting a license at Gather Go Get. A driver’s license is $48. If it is your first time getting a license, you are required to attend a class at an additional cost.
There are several Gainesville DMV Offices and each location has different hours. You will also need to schedule an appointment for any services within the Driver's License office.
We strongly suggest that you do not carry your passport around for identification purposes. You can purchase an official State of Florida ID card. This card costs $25 and you can apply for the card at the Driver's Licenses office. You must bring two legal documents stating matching dates of birth (a passport, I-94, your DS-2019). The card will be mailed to your residence.
You must register your automobile with the Alachua County Tag Office when you purchase it or arrive in Florida with your car from another state. The Alachua County Tax Collector office has several locations.
Upon registering your vehicle, you will receive a license plate or 'tag'. The registration cost depends on the weight of the automobile and other factors. You can do this in person, online, or by mail. The office is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. More information can be found here.
Each of the 50 states in the United States has the right to set traffic laws. The laws in each state may be similar, but what is legal in one state may not be legal in the bordering state. For example seat belt laws and the use of cellular phones vary from state to state. If you intend to leave the state of Florida, we recommend you pay close attention to all traffic signs. You may also want to visit the website listed above for a list of traffic laws for each of the 50 states.
Scooters appeal to some students because they are relatively inexpensive and easy to park. If purchasing a scooter, you must have a valid Driver's License. If the moped has an engine with more than 50 cc's of engine displacement, it is considered a motorcycle and requires a special motorcycle license. If parking on campus, you will need to purchase a scooter decal. The Parking and Decal office is where you would purchase a decal or online at http://www.parking.ufl.edu/.
Remember you must be aware of all traffic laws regarding bicycles and scooters.
UF has several Zip Cars located on campus that students can rent out for an hourly fee or for an entire day. The cars are convenient for students that need a car on occasion. Your $35 annual fee will allow you to utilize the cars located on campus and throughout the world. However, if you prove that you are a UF student, the fee will go down to $15.
You must be at least 18 years of age and have a valid driver's license. Your driving record must be free of alcohol violations and must not have any major violations within a given period. Please visit the website for additional eligibility requirements and register.
Cars are expensive to buy, repair, and maintain. Cars also require continuous expenses such as fuel, insurance, and maintenance. It is costly if your duration of studies is short. For more information, click here.