Ok maybe my title is kind of random since as you guessed no one uses horse carriages or buggies or camels to get around the twin cities. BUT this post does have to do with transportation, so it makes sense right? Right!? Besides its fun to think about those old forms of transport... but that's enough of my meandering thoughts, its time to get back to the topic at hand.
Minneapolis is probably one of my favorite cities in the USA when it comes to the transportation system. It doesn't have the wild pace of New York, neither the desolate feel of Decorah, Iowa. No Minneapolis is in a world of its own with its near-European charm. There are always people on the roads running, biking, walking and getting fresh air. With how easy it is to get around in the Cities, it'll be easy for you to settle without the need for a car.
As a University student who gets around the Twin-Cities quite a bit, the U-Pass has come in handy time and time again. It's a discounted bus pass offered at $97 to enrolled students at the U. It is a one-time payment that lasts all semester long. It will get you on all metro transit buses, the light rail and suburban buses (associated with the Minnesota Valley Transit Authority) . So you can easily get anywhere with the swipe of a card because, really, you don't want to be THAT guy: you know, the one who fishes for lose change in his or her pocket while holding up the passenger line and beginning an unending cycle of a late bus for every stop after...
I can't tell you enough how time consuming it can be to have to look for loose change just to pay a bus fair...Look how miserable this guy looks.
The Minneapolis transit organization is called Metro Transit. They offer many bus routes that criss-cross all over the Twin-cities in addition to the light rail. Metro Transit also offers a Go-To card. On this card you can store a lump sum of money from which a fare will be taken for each trip. Or you can pay for a specific number of passes. Find out more about the different payment options for a Go-To-Card here
Here is a Go-To card being swiped at a typical swipe station. All you have to do is take a second to swipe instead of looking for change and missing that train!
The light runs from Mall of America to Downtown Minneapolis. However, come Fall 2014, it's route will extend through the U down to Saint Paul.
If you prefer to do your own navigating, there are several other options available. For instance Nice Ride Minnesota is a bicycle sharing system that's offered seasonally (Oh winter, where is thy sting ? :( ). There are several bicycle stations all over the city where you can pick up a bicycle, ride for any duration of time around the city and drop it off at a station near your final destination. I hear you can rent for as little as $6 for a 24 hour rental. Get the real scoop here.
Here you have your Nice Ride bikes. Always in tip-top shape and ready for you to hop on and explore the cities.
If you would prefer to be within the confines of a car while getting around though, the ZIP CAR may be for you. You can easily sign up online and pick up your preferred car from a station near you or even on campus. These cars include gas and insurance which clears up a lot of documentation that is usually needed for regular rentals.
If all this fails,there are more travel options available within the cities. That still not working for you? You could always carpool with a good friend! or buy a car...However, that's a whole other process. If you have specific questions on how to get around feel free to shoot me an e-mail. Take care!