Alternative Transportation

Thriving at UK Without A Car

You don’t need four wheels to experience all there is to offer at the University of Kentucky. It’s easy, quick and convenient getting to and around campus, to the grocery store and even home for the holidays by taking advantage of the many car-free choices available.

In fact, less than half of UK students bring a vehicle to campus, a decision from which everyone benefits - our campus, our community and our environment. All students are encouraged to use alternative transportation, regardless of whether or not they bring a vehicle to campus. Even if you do choose to bring a vehicle with you in Lexington, this guide will help you get acquainted with the University’s robust and growing alternative transportation network while your wheels are parked.

Bicycle Information: Learn about UK’s bicycle rules & regulations, bike permits and other need-to-know-essentials for campus cyclists.

  • Wildcat Wheels Bicycle Library: Students, employees and departments can check out bikes free of charge for short-term or long-term use. Wildcat Wheels also has an education-based repair shop, where mechanics will assist and guide you while you fix your own bike. Gently-used parts are available in exchange for volunteer time.
  • Big Blue Cycles: Students who live in campus housing and sign a car-free commitment are eligible for a free bicycle for a year through this program. The fleet of commuter-style bikes each comes equipped with fenders, a lock, a bell and a helmet.
  • Bike Voucher Program: Since 2015, the bicycle voucher program gives up to 100 qualified students and employees per year each four $100 vouchers to spend at participating local bicycle shops. Those who accept a voucher must return any current parking permits to Transportation Services and sign a two-year car-free commitment, making them ineligible to purchase a new motor vehicle permit for two full calendar years.

Bus and Shuttle Information: Learn about mass transit options both on campus and off, including regular routes and specialized, seasonal programs.

  • Campus Buses and Shuttles: The free Campus Area Transit System fleet supports several routes serving the campus core during the fall and spring semesters as well as the Orange and Pink Routes, which operate year-round. Free transportation to the campus periphery is supplied through an agreement with the Transit Authority of Lexington, Kentucky, or Lextran. Buses run Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. - midnight.
  • On-Demand Night Bus Service: The On-Demand buses provide free on-campus transportation after the regular buses stop running. Call (859) 221-RIDE (7433) to make a pick-up request. The service operates Monday through Friday from midnight - 5 a.m. and Sunday from 7 p.m. - midnight. Calls must be received at least 30 minutes prior to the end of On-Demand Service.
  • Bus Tracking: All campus routes - as well as off-campus Lextran routes - are viewable real-time on TransLoc Rider, UK’s GPS-based bus locating system. TransLoc can be accessed at and via the free TransLoc Rider Android and iPhone apps. Additionally, you may send a text message to 41411 with UKY and the appropriate stop number to receive a message back listing the next three arrival times for that stop.
  • Seasonal Shuttles: Transportation Services offers free shuttle service to Blue Grass Airport at the start of the Thanksgiving, semester and spring breaks.
  • Lextran: All Lextran routes are free with your Wildcard ID, through the BluPass program. Ride to the grocery store, mall, movies and more! Find a ride with Lextran through Google Transit.
  • Ride Home Express: Ride Home Express is a University-coordinated charter bus service that travels to as many as 15 cities from UK’s campus during academic breaks. Tickets start at just $30 one-way and $55 round-trip.

Other Alternative Transportation

  • Car Sharing: Car sharing is a low-cost, short-term car rental option with an hourly rate for use of a car. UK Transportation Services has partnered with Zipcar to offer car sharing on campus. Unlike traditional car rental services, the minimum age allowed to use the car sharing program is 18. Car sharing is a great option for those who don’t have cars on campus, those who regularly use alternative transportation, and those who want to avoid wear and tear on their vehicle.
  • Cash Out Program: In 2017, Transportation Services piloted the "cash out" incentive program for employees who chose to forgo bringing a motor vehicle to campus for one year. The program will give up to 200 qualified employees each up to $200 over a one-year period, which will be divided evenly on each paycheck during that time period. Participants have the opportunity to renew for a second consecutive year if they would like to continue their participation in the program.
  • Commute Planning Assistance: Are you interested in trying alternative transportation but need some help navigating the options? Transportation Services offers free personalized commute planning assistance to help connect students and employees to the mode that best fits their needs.
  • Kentucky Wildcab: Kentucky Wildcab is a free, late night on-demand transportation option for UK students, provided by the UK Student Government Association and operated by Transportation Services. This service is primarily designed to provide a ride home to UK students and their guests while promoting responsible late-night transportation decisions. Kentucky Wildcab operates Thursday through Saturday, from 10 p.m. through 3 a.m., when fall and spring semester classes are in session.
  • Motorcycles and Mopeds: Motorcycle and moped permits are significantly less expensive than those for cars. Motorcycle and mopeds may only park in designated areas; while these areas are not generally as convenient as bicycle parking, they are often closer than other parking options.
  • SAFECATS: SAFECATS (Safe And Free Escort For Campus Area Traveling Students) is a safety escort service available to all UK students and their guests Sunday - Thursday from 8:30 p.m. - 1:30 a.m. Students can arrange a free safety escort by calling (859) 257-SAFE (7233).
  • Walking: The University of Kentucky's campus is very pedestrian-friendly. The majority of campus is within a 10-15 minute walk, and walking gives you all the added benefits associated physical activity.