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3 College Senior

Transportation: The PVTA is okay, beyond that there is not that much else.

4 College Freshman

Transportation: It is surprisingly easy to rent out a campus shuttle. Just sign up and register your driver's license, and you'll get to use the school's vans for absolutely free. The public bus system in the town is free for college students, as well.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Student

Transportation: It's better than some others but could be better.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Transportation: Public transportation is really convenient at Amherst. The PVTA, which is the local bus, is free for students and provides a quick way to get to UMass, as well as the shopping center that has supermarkets, a movie theater, and other sorts of stores. In terms of getting to/from airports and major cities, the Peter Pan bus runs relatively cheap nonstop buses to Boston and NYC on the weekends, and the school student association will sometimes charter free buses to the cities on holidays.

5 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Transportation: There are constantly buses running around Amherst and surrounding areas. Students receive free transit with a student id so it makes it really easy to take public transportation.

2 people found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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When going to any place on campus or in town, Amherst students either walk or bike—when they’re not up to their knees in snow. For farther trips, students usually use the PVTA bus system because Amherst students can travel at no charge to and from the towns of Amherst, Holyoke, and Northampton with their College ID. Free public transportation is provided thanks to the Five-College Consortium, which allows each student who attends one of the five schools in the area to utilize the curriculums of the other four. For longer distances, Peter Pan (the Northeast service provider for Greyhound) is the most efficient option, even though those buses take forever to get anywhere.

Although nothing beats having your own car, there is general satisfaction with the bus service (although some students eventually become tired of riding the long bus routes). A big plus is that the buses run at night, which is a positive influence on the social scene here because it makes all parties accessible to all students in the five-college area. It’s common to see students from other colleges hanging out at Amherst, and these frequent interactions provide another dimension to the vivid social experience here. For students who do not have their own car and are not overly fond of the public transportation system, there is an alternative: ZipCars. These small, environmentally safe vehicles are accessible (for a small fee) to members of the Amherst College community.

Facts & Statistics

Best Ways to Get Around Town
  • Almost any location in the town of Amherst is in walking or biking distance.
  • Rent a ZipCar from the College
Best Ways to Get to the Airport
  • A cab ride to the airport costs about $50
  • Peter Pan Bus Lines (Logan Airport only) (800) 237-8747
  • Valley Transporter (shuttle transportation to either airport) (800) 872-8752

Public TransitWhat's This?

UMass Transit System

Pioneer Valley Transit Authority

provides a free bus service between Amherst College and the four other schools in the area. The bus also has convenient stops at various places between the schools, such as the Big Y.

Nearest AirportWhat's This?

Logan Airport

Logan Airport in Boston is two hours away.

Bradley International Airport

Hartford (45 minutes away), and it provides service for Hartford, Connecticut, and Springfield, Massachusetts.

Nearest Passenger BusWhat's This?

Peter Pan, in partnership with Greyhound

A little Peter Pan establishment and bus stop are right next to campus, and you can purchase tickets there.

(800) 237-8747

Nearest Passenger TrainWhat's This?


There is limited service to the Amherst station (13 Railroad St.), but extensive service to the Springfield station (66 Lyman St.), which is 30 minutes away.

(800) 872-7245

Student Polls

How convenient is the campus-provided transportation?    Based on 25 responses

  • 28% Easily accessible, runs frequently and has many pick-up locations.
  • 24% Somewhat accessible with a schedule that usually parallels class times.
  • 16% Moderately difficult to utilize, the pick-up times and locations are far and few between.
  • 0% Extremely difficult to utilize-it's not reliable nor is it convenient for a student's schedule.
  • 32% Nonexistent.

How necessary is it to have a car on campus?    Based on 24 responses

  • 0% Campus is isolated, so students rely mostly on cars to get them where they need to go.
  • 0% The shuttle/bus service often fails to meet student needs, so a car is very practical.
  • 88% Students usually walk or take the bus, but cars are nice for venturing outside the bus line.
  • 12% Cars are totally pointless. Everything you need is within walking distance.
  • 0% You can't have a car here.

Rate the cost of the following transit options    Based on 10 responses

  • Campus shuttle
  • Public transportation
  • Taxis
  • Zip cars

Rate the convenience of the following transit options    Based on 12 responses

Very convenient
  • Campus shuttle
  • Public transportation
  • Taxis
  • Zip cars

Rate the convenience of long-distance transportation to travel between home and school    Based on 10 responses

Very convenient
  • Airport
  • Passenger bus
  • Passenger train
  • Ride sharing

How easy is it to get around town?    Based on 24 responses

  • 83% Very easy.
  • 17% Fairly easy.
  • 0% Fairly difficult.
  • 0% Very difficult.
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