In addition to biking through College Park, another sustainable and affordable way to commute through town and throughout the DC-Maryland area is by public transportation, including Shuttle-UM and Route 1 Buses, DC Metro, and MARC trains.
The university’s Department of Transportation Services provides system of buses called Shuttle-UM that runs throughout campus and the City of College Park. During the weekdays, Shuttle-UM buses travel beyond the city, as far as Columbia, Shady Grove, Silver Spring, Greenbelt, and New Carrolton. These buses are free for all residents of College Park. To apply for a pass, residents simply bring in a completed application to City Hall, along with an ID and proof of residency. Greenbelt residents can purchase this pass as well, for only $10 annually. To see a full list and schedule of the bus routes available, view the UMD DOTS website.
A separate bus system is the Route 1 Ride, which runs along Baltimore Avenue from Ikea in North College Park all the way down through Hyattsville to Mount Rainier. This bus runs weekdays from 5:30am to 8:05pm, about 30 minutes apart. Each ride is a flat rate of $1.25 for patrons, who can use the same SmarTrip card that they use for the Metro. For seniors, children under 5 years old, and county students traveling home from school, the rides are free!
Metro also offers a series of buses as wells as rails that run throughout the area of DC, Maryland, and Virginia. The College Park Metro Station, which takes you straight into DC via the green line, also features stops for several buses that travel through College Park and the surrounding area. For example, Route 83 travels from the northeast neighborhoods of DC, up Baltimore Avenue all the way to Cherry Hill Road in north College Park, stopping at the metro station along the way. Route 86 takes a similar path, ending up in Beltsville.
Finally, the Maryland Department of Transportation features the system, which offers three train lines out of DC! The Camden line runs through College Park from DC to Baltimore, with fares generally ranging between $5-7.
If you’re a frequent bus rider or would like to know when a bus for your next destination will be arriving near you, the NextBus smartphone app is extremely helpful! It provides a list of buses that are currently running nearby in the order of arrival, with a note detailing the exact bus stop they’ll be stopping at, as well as how many minutes away they are. This app includes both Shuttle-UM and Route 1 Ride buses.
If you want to catch the bus but have a bike with you, don’t worry! Bike racks on the front of each bus makes commuting even more accessible, so you can combine biking and bus-riding for your commute if need be. You may not need to use a car at all!
City of College Park
Maryland Transit Administration
Route 1 Ride
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority