You’re sitting on the Comm. Ave Bus as it comes to a complete halt at the Conte Forum bus stop. Just as you stop, the full-service Newton Bus, which was also parked at the stop, begins to accelerate away from you before eventually reaching a speed of 30 M.P.H. Is it possible that, staying on the Comm. Ave Bus, you will be able to catch the Newton bus at the next stop?

  1. Obviously, we’ll pull in right behind it at Mac!
  2. Maybe? It’ll depend on how quickly these people take to get off the bus at Conte.
  3. HELL NO CONTE FORUM IS WHERE COMM. AVE BUSES GO TO DIE.

This is a prime example of a real life dilemma that seasoned BC bus-goers have no problem answering. (The answer is C by the way.) If you didn’t know that, have no fear. We are going to turn you into a seasoned BC bus-goer so that you don’t spend one of your first days wandering around a Chestnut Hill suburb, eventually making your way onto Route 9, attempting to hitchhike back to campus, and then finally giving in to the embarrassing fact that Eagle Escort would have to come save you. Not like that happened to me my freshman year or anything…

Okay, that totally happened to me. And do you know why? Because no one teaches you how to use the freaking buses on campus!! Literally. No one. My RA on Newton didn’t know the Duchesne stop from the Stuart stop. So needless to say a decent amount of my first month at BC was spent learning the intricacies of the Newton bus.

imageHere’s a quick rundown if you have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about. There are four types of shuttle service at Boston College:

-the Comm. Ave Bus.

-the Newton Bus

-the Grocery Shuttle

-the Law School Shuttle (only rumored to exist, though I’ve never actually seen one running.)

As a freshman, you really only need to concern yourself with the Comm. Ave Bus and the Newton Bus.

Where to begin, where to begin…. well, Newton is near and dear to my heart so let’s start there.

Actually, no. First take out your phone.  Download the “TransLoc” App RIGHT NOW. No literally, right now.  Its full name is “TransLoc Transit Visualization.” Say hello and meet your new best friend/bus tracking system. It allows you to see what stop the bus is at, and how much time before it comes to your stop. If you don’t have a smart phone, I’m sorry there is nothing I can do for you.  Okay, now on to Newton.

Screen shot 2013-08-27 at 4.46.00 PM

Image via Instagram.

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The Newton Bus:

The Newton bus runs daily from 7 a.m. until 2 a.m. between Main Campus and Newton Campus, where approximately 700 of you lucky freshmen will be living. There are three bus stops on Newton Campus itself:

- Stuart

-Main Gate

-Duchesne

The bus starts its loop at Stuart before heading to Newton Main Gate and then Main Campus. No one ever gets on at the Duchesne stop; technically it’s last in the entire loop. Once you get to Main Campus there are oodles and oodles of bus stops that the Newton Bus may (or may not) stop at depending on the time of day:

-Main Gate

-Robsham

-Conte Forum

-Mac (That’s McElroy, but don’t let anyone hear you calling it that.)

-CoRo (College Road, where all of the unfortunate sophomores live.)

I’m not going to bother running through the schedule with you, because that is what this website is for.

However, here are nine inconvenient truths about the Newton Bus that I wish I had known before I came to Boston College:

9. You will forever be 15 minutes early or 5 minutes late for every class, lunch or meeting you ever have on Main Campus. No exceptions. There is no such thing as “on-time” with the Newton Bus.

8. The bus ride from Newton to Main campus can take anywhere between 8-12 minutes when going direct. St. Ignatius have mercy on your soul if it’s not going direct because then you’re in for a lovely little drive around campus that could last anywhere from 20-30 minutes. Time your trips wisely.

7. It is ALWAYS better to get on the 8:50 a.m. Newton bus at Stuart. This is possibly the most crowded bus ever, since almost every freshmen gets stuck taking a 9 a.m. class. Therefore, be smart. Do not naively wait up at the Main Gate stop while all of your more intelligent peers pack the bus full at the Stuart stop. If the bus fills up the bus driver will just coast on by you without a second glance. And then you’ll be very, very late.

6. The wait at the Stuart stop will be the bane of your existence. Sometimes (Oh, wait no that’s not right… AFTER EVERY LOOP) the bus drivers like to take a nice little 20-minute break. They will leave the bus running and just peace out for a bit. It can be very confusing and irritating. Just remember that the Newton Bus is nothing if not a test of your patience.image-3

5. The only place where the Newton Bus stops between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Main Campus is Main Gate. This is the stop at the end of Linden Lane, the tree lined boulevard that leads up to Gasson and the statue of the Golden Eagle. If you are sitting in the Robsham bus stop after lunch in Lower, waiting for the Newton Bus, you are going to be sitting there for a very long time.

4. The 3 p.m. Newton Bus on Friday afternoons is my idea of the seventh layer of hell. Avoid at all costs, unless your some masochistic sick-o who enjoys being squished up against a glass door while 100+ people cram on the bus. Weirdo.

3. Do not bother trying to catch a Sunday morning bus from Newton to Main Campus. They run approximately once a year on Sundays. No, I’m joking but they do run about once every half an hour. Which is terribly inconvenient.

2. Don’t bother running for the bus, the drivers very rarely actually stop for you. It’s a total frosh move.  They will just drive away quietly laughing under their breath.

1. Always, always, always double check to make sure you are getting on the Newton Bus and not the Comm. Ave bus. They look identical and the only way to tell them apart is by the electronic sign on the front of the bus.  This is a crucial, crucial lesson that you will learn in time.

On the other hand, the 2 a.m. Newton Bus ride on the weekends (the last one of the night) makes up for all of the aforementioned evils. I suggest you study up on the lyrics to “Sweet Caroline” if, for some absurd reason, you don’t already know them by heart.

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The Comm. Ave Bus:

The Comm. Ave Bus is a beast of a different nature. You will probably only use it for going to off-campus parties and shopping sprees in Boston, but many a lazy bum have taken the Comm. Ave Bus one stop to avoid walking up the million dollar stairs from Lower Campus to Middle Campus.

Here’s a breakdown of the Comm. Ave Route, again, depending on the time of day you take it. The Comm. Ave Bus begins its route on-campus, drives the off-campus loop, and then circles back to different on-campus stops.

image-1On campus stops:

-Conte Forum

-Mac (This is where you get off to go to Upper Campus, where most of the freshmen live)

-CoRo

-Main Gate (Where Newton-ites switch from the Newton bus to the Comm. Ave bus)

Off-campus stops:

-Graveyard (You’ll get off here for parties on Foster St., Gerald St. etc.)

-2000 (Named after the Apartment Building behind the stop. You’ll get off here for parties on South St.)

-Reservoir (The T station/Cleveland Circle stop, which generally results in a mass exodus from the bus.)

-Bank of America (speaks for itself, no?)

-Bluestone (the furthest off-campus houses possible. Get off here for parties on Chiswick St. or Wallingford St.)

-Chestnut Hill St. (The most useless bus stop imaginable.)

-South St. (This is where you’ll get back ON the bus after most off-campus parties.)

-Greycliff St. (Ditto with South St., this is more used for people going back to campus.)

On campus:

-Robsham

Back to Conte Forum to start the loop again!

OH WAIT. This brings us back to the word problem at the beginning of the article. Every time the Comm. Ave Bus pulls into Conte Forum you’re in for at MINIMUM a fifteen-minute wait. Prepare yourself for that.

This may seem like a lot of information to take in at once, but trust me. It will come in handy one day when you’re miserably wondering why oh why the Newton Bus hasn’t showed up at the CoRo bus stop in forty-five minutes.

Just remember that everyone has pulled a bus goof at some point in his or her time at BC. Worst comes to worst, ask a passerby upper classman. I promise they won’t bite.

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Emily Akin