Artist illustration of the future GoBus

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No Car … No Problem

New bus service provides affordable transportation

It's no surprise that the first person to purchase a GoBus ticket was an Ohio University parent looking to bring their favorite Bobcat home.

For many Ohio University first- and second-year students, finding a ride home can be difficult due to vehicle restrictions on residential students. But thanks to the new regional bus service, students now have an alternative way to travel.

On Nov. 1, GoBus began offering two daily roundtrips between Athens and Columbus or Cincinnati. Tickets for the service are $10 one way and $20 roundtrip. 

The line will run 365 days a year, including holidays. Created by the Community Services Division of Hocking Athens Perry Community Action (HAPCAP) as a part of the Ohio Rural Intercity Bus Program, the transportation initiative aims to strengthen the community through affordable, efficient and convenient transportation. The program was developed by the Ohio Department of Transportation and is fully funded by the Federal Transit Administration. 

"Our goal is to provide access to home and beyond," said HAPCAP Transportation Services Manager Carolyn Conley. "Since the bus ends up at the Greyhound station in Cincinnati and the Columbus airport, students will be able to continue their travels if they'd like."

GoBus is in the process of manufacturing its own full fleet of deluxe motor coach buses, which are scheduled to hit the pavement early next year. The new buses will seat 55 passengers and be equipped with Wi-Fi, electrical outlets at each seat, a bathroom and spacious seating. Similar motor coach buses will be used until the launch of the official GoBus fleet.

Martin Paulins, Ohio University director of transportation and parking services, thinks the GoBus will be a great new service for students. 

"GoBus is a great low-cost alternative for students to get home on weekends," Paulins said. 

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit ridegobus.com or call 1-888-95-GOBUS.

GoBus kickoff celebration is Tuesday

A kickoff celebration for the GoBus service will take place Tuesday, Nov. 9, at noon at the Athens Community Center, located at 701 East State St. There will be lunch, door prizes, entertainment and raffle drawings for 20 bus passes worth $50 each. The event is free and open to the public.