International
Students gather in front of yellow buses

Transportation

Find easy ways around campus, Cincinnati and the US.

The University of Cincinnati's individual campuses—the main West campus, East (Medical) campus, Blue Ash campus in northern Cincinnati, and Clermont County campus (regional campus 25 miles east of Cincinnati)—are each self-contained within the area of a few blocks. Most of them are situated in city or suburban neighborhoods.

Depending on your personal situation and where you live, you may or may not need public transportation daily, and you may or may not want to have a car.

UC International and student groups often hold popular shopping trips (to IKEA, outlet malls and international markets) and other group trips that will help you get around, get what you need and get to know each other.

Here are some other ways to reach the places you will go most often.


Getting to campus

Your pre-arrival checklist from UC International will include information about signing up for shuttle service from the Greater Cincinnati Airport (CVG) across the river in northern Kentucky directly to the University of Cincinnati.

The shuttle service is also available free for specific periods during semester breaks.

UC International Services and the University of Cincinnati provide currently-enrolled international students with FREE airport transportation to the CVG airport during semester breaks.

The shuttle is managed through Executive Transportation. You will receive an email when shuttle sign-ups are available.

This service is for one departure and one arrival per break. We offer the service approximately twice a year within a specific date range:

  • At the end of Fall Semester
    (December departures with January returns)
  • At the end of Spring Semester
    (April/May departure with August returns)

To use the service, sign up for pickup to go to CVG and for drop-off at campus when your break is over. Pick-ups and returns will be at CCM Circle off West Corry Boulevard near Mary Emery Hall. 

If your return flight is delayed or cancelled, you may still use the service. Simply give your name and UCID number to the Executive Transport Information Desk at the airport, located near luggage carousel #4 in Baggage Claim. For questions, please contact Executive Transportation directly at: (859)-261-8841.


Getting around campus

On-campus transport options include shuttle services and bike rentals; scooter rentals are currently suspended.

The UC shuttle loops the West and East campuses and surrounding neighborhoods and connects to the 1819 Hub and the Blue Ash Campus.

The NightRide service provides safe evening transportation on demand within a mile of campus for UC students, staff, faculty and one guest. You only need your Bearcat card to ride.

Service hours are 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. (Waits may be longer after midnight.)  

Visit UC Public Safety's site to learn how to request a ride by phone, app, or web form.

Bikes

  • A free bike-share program is available through the UC Bike Kitchen, created by the Office of Sustainability.
  • The City of Cincinnati's Red Bike Share program also has rental stations on UC's campus.

Scooters

  • The Lime and Bird scooter rental programs at UC are currently suspended for lack of demand.

Getting around the city

Cincinnati has no subway system (ask a local the story), but there are two bus systems and a small streetcar system downtown.

METRO Bus

Greater Cincinnati’s public transportation system, the Metro, offers bus service in Hamilton County and portions of Clermont County every day of the year. Fares are subject to change. For complete route, schedule and fare information, check the Metro website, or call the Metro Center at 513-621-4455, weekdays 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and weekends 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Through UC*Metro, you can get a bus pass

TANK

Tank (Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky) is the public transportation system across the Ohio River. Some of its routes connect to METRO.

Cincinnati's new electric streetcar system is a fun way to see the sights or bar- and restaurant hop in the downtown and Over-the-Rhine neighborhoods of the city.

Taxis

There are many taxicab companies in Cincinnati. The Yellow Cab Company (513-241-2100) is one of the oldest, but there are many other taxicab companies to choose from. You must call to be picked up unless you are near a taxi stand downtown; taxis do not cruise around town like in many other big cities.

Ride share services

Uber and Lyft are the most familiar transportation services whose mobile phone apps connect you with a ride. Payment is automatic through the app, and fares are typically cheaper than a taxi.


Driving

Typically (and stereotypically) Americans rely on cars to get around most parts of the country, including Cincinnati. But owning a car is a big added expense and may not be convenient on campus if the cheapest parking garage isn't near your dorm or college buildings.

If you need a car, there are things you need to know.

If you have a valid International Drivers License or a valid drivers license from another U.S. state, you may drive a car in Ohio for up to one year from the date when you arrived in the U.S.

However, if you buy a car and register it in your name and you do not have a valid driver’s license from Ohio, you must have an Ohio drivers license. For you to get an Ohio driver's license, your I-20 or DS-2019 must have been issued for more than one year.

  1. Get a copy of the Digest of Ohio Motor Vehicle Laws from any Bureau of Motor Vehicles or from the UC International office.
  2. Visit an Ohio Deputy Registrar Office to get a temporary permit application packet. You must bring identification with you and will have to pay a fee.
  3. Go to the nearest drivers license exam station to take a vision test and a written test on Ohio motor vehicle laws and traffic signs. After you pass the written test, you will receive a temporary instruction permit, which authorizes you to practice for your road test only when you have a licensed driver with you in the front seat of the car.
  4. When you have practiced driving, contact the nearest exam station for a road test. (Note: Some stations are closed for testing because of COVID-19.)
  5. In order to be issued a license, you must present:
    • Valid passport
    • U.S. visa
    • I-94 card
    • One of the following: An I-20, or a DS-2019 along with original letter from a recognized Ohio business or institution stating that you are affiliated with (employed by or attending) or a dependent of the institution or business
      Note: UC Students and scholars should submit the appropriate Driver's License Letter Request Form in iBearcatsGlobal
    • Proof that you will reside or have resided in Ohio for 12 months (usually the above documents)
    • Your permanent Social Security number if you were assigned one (you don't need one if not)  

More detailed information about getting an Ohio driver’s license and license plates can be found in the Digest of Ohio Motor Vehicle Laws.

You must carry your license with you when you drive.

When you buy and register a car, you must also insure it to drive it. You will not be able to purchase license plates for your car unless you can show proof of insurance.

You must carry proof of insurance with you when you drive, whether you own or rent/lease the car. It is illegal to drive without insurance.

Insurance is available through agents or online.

Limited on-street parking is available near campus. Parking in campus garages is available hourly/daily or by month or semester for faculty, staff and students. Visit Parking Services for maps, permit information and more.  

The Zipcar car-sharing service is available for UC students with valid driver's licenses, who can book cars at an hourly rate through an annual membership plan that includes insurance.


Long-distance travel

The classic American roadtrip is the way to see the US if you have the time and a car. Train service is limited outside major urban corridors.

The Greyhound bus station is located at 1005 Gilbert Avenue, downtown Cincinnati. Call 1-800-231-2222 (out of town) or 352-6012 (local) for schedule and fare information. Bus fares are reasonable and riding the bus is a great way to see the United States.

The Megabus has a bus stop on campus at West University Avenue and Commons Way. Megabus tickets are availble to and from several U.S. cities.

The Amtrak train station is located at 1301 Western Avenue, Queensgate. Routes are limited.