The University of Cape Town’s (UCT) campuses, including the university’s satellite facilities in Gardens, Observatory, Philippi and the Atlantic Seaboard, cover a total area of 25 square kilometres. That’s quite a distance to navigate, but fortunately there are several ways to get around.
1. Walk on over
Walking around upper, middle and lower campuses is still the easiest way of getting around. Remember though, it’s best to walk in groups after dark and to stick to the Blue Route, which is marked by security bollards with flashing blue lights. Campus Protection Services (CPS) monitors this route. You can also call 021 650 2222/3 to have a CPS officer escort you to your residence if you’re walking at night.
2. Rev it up
As first-years, you can use scooters and motorbikes on campus if you buy a black parking disc from traffic admin on upper campus. Of course, you have to obey all traffic and parking rules. And mind the inclines when you’re parking! You don’t want your bike to fall over.
3. On your bike
Climb on a bike and get some exercise while you get around. There are designated cycle lanes on campus and an increasing number in and around Cape Town. Wear a helmet, keep an eye out for traffic and secure your bike when you’re not riding it. There are bike-parking racks around the campus, especially at transport hubs.
4. Shift gear
First-years are not allowed to bring cars onto campus, but you can park at Rhodes Memorial if you have a parking disc, available from traffic admin on upper campus. You can use the P4 parking lot if you carpool – you just need a parking disc and for three or more of you to swipe your cards together. Find out more at www.ridelink.findalift.co.za, a free online service that enables you to share lifts to campus.
5. Call a cab
Save money and stay safe by sharing Uber rides and other taxi services. Check the details of the car and driver to make sure you get into the right car, and try to keep your phone out of sight while you wait for your ride.
6. Hail a minibus
Minibus taxis are relatively cheap and operate on all major city routes. Hail a minibus taxi by pointing in the direction you want to go and make sure that you have the exact change ready. The Mowbray and Claremont Jammie Shuttles stop within metres of minibus taxi hubs.
7. Hop on the bus
The low-noise, low-emissions fleet of blue Jammie Shuttle buses are free to students (just flash your student card), ferrying you between campus and different parts of town on weekdays and weekends. There’s also a late-night service. Go to www.students.uct.ac.za for up-to-date route maps and timetables.
8. Go places with MyCiTi
The City of Cape Town’s MyCiTi bus service connects with the Jammie Shuttle at the Gardens station in Buitenkant Street. From there you can get a MyCiTi bus into the centre of town, the Atlantic Seaboard, Century City, Khayelitsha, Mitchells Plain, Salt River, Table View, the West Coast and Woodstock. You need a MyConnect card to use MyCiTi, which is available for R35 from MyCiTi station kiosks and participating retailers. Go to www.myciti.org.za for more information.
9. Take the Golden Arrow
Almost 1 050 Golden Arrow buses serve 1 300 routes in and around Cape Town. They are accessible from the Jammie Shuttle stops in Claremont and Mowbray. Go to www.gabs.co.za for timetables and information on routes and fares.
10. Stay on track
Metrorail’s Southern Line stops at Mowbray, Observatory, Rosebank and Rondebosch railway stations. These are all within walking distance of UCT’s lower, middle and upper campuses. But remember that these trains are not always on time! Timetables and fares can be found at www.metrorail.co.za.
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All photographs UCT, Pexels, Freepik.