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Public transportation that feels like home

More likely than not you have ridden a UGA bus before. It may not be your main mode of transportation to classes but most people have had the pleasure of riding an East Campus Express or if you’re a senior like be an Orbit. Before Covid-19 I remember fighting my way onto a crowded UGA bus trying to get to my class across campus. But more importantly, I remember freshman year having to sit down and learn the bus system and where all the routes would take me which is a skill I never thought I would have to use again until now…

On the last day of our 2-week trip, we were given all-day train passes to go and explore the city on our own. Now I don’t know about you but I have never taken public transit in the US except maybe the Marta once. The idea of going to a train station and getting on the wrong train and being completely lost was terrifying but I wasn’t gonna let that keep me from exploring London. The train trips before were confidently led by Dr. Rubenstein and we didn’t have to think about the times, station, stops, or really anything because he told it all to us. So there we were outside the hotel using google maps to find the closest train station, which we figured would be a good first step. Once inside the station you have to scan your tickets and then make your way to the platform for the train you need, heading in the directions you need (important detail). Inside the train station, there are these huge maps with every line and the stations where they intersect but they don’t include landmarks which were what we needed most. We decided to try one line because we believed it would get us as close to Buckingham palace as we could find and then we could walk the rest of the way. The first stop we got off at was still extremely far away (we think we went the wrong direction) but we ended up in a shopping area so we took the setback and made the most of it with some shopping. While walking around I did some research on what stops lead us closest to Buckingham palace and which line would be the most efficient with a new plan we set off for the palace. By this time it was roughly 5 pm so the after-work rush was hitting and the trains became a lot more crowded and harder to navigate than before. The sea of people pushing you towards the train or the exit made it hard to stop and look at the maps and you just had to trust your knowledge. The crowded trains reminded me of the UGA buses and then it all seemed a little more manageable. Just because there wasn’t a handy UGA bus app didn’t mean I couldn’t find those resources somewhere else. After a long day of touring the city, and finally making it to Buckingham Palace, we were confident in our train knowledge but sadly our time to use it had expired and we took our last train to Heathrow airport and made our way home.

Finally arrived at Buckingham Palace