The return of Traveller

After a year-long break, the buses are back on campus.


Traveller has received a warm welcome back from students. Photo by Elena Lee, ’25.

Jess Kishbaugh

Traveller, referred to around campus as ‘Trav,’ is a system of buses and vans which provide students with a transportation alternative to drunk driving. The Traveller buses typically run on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. and make 13 stops around campus and the surrounding Lexington area.

However, last year this option was unavailable. As a result, both first-years and sophomores, about 50% of the undergraduate student body, have never used Traveller. 

“I think the energy around Trav is definitely different,” said Public Relations Chair of Traveller Mansi Tripathi, ’22. “You have a lot more people who just don’t really understand how the system works. Which makes sense – why would they?”

First-years received a brief Traveller orientation during their first week on campus, but sophomores missed out on that opportunity. Tripathi said that she hoped Traveller would get to talk to sophomores soon. 

Nonetheless, over the weekend of Sept. 10, Traveller serviced around 3,500 rides, taking students from campus to some fraternity houses and to other off-campus houses on Kappa Hill or Windfall Hill.

On a typical night when the Traveller buses are running, a student would line up at the stop to get on the bus, for example in the quad between Graham-Lees and Gaines Dorms. From there, the student would remain on the bus until their destination. 

At the end of the night, sometime before 2 a.m., the student gets in line again to ride back to campus.

“I definitely feel safer on the Trav bus instead of with a DD,” said Diya Shreenath, ’24. “Going out last year was tough because I was always worried about a safe ride home.”

The only rule change on Traveller due to COVID-19 is the new masking policy on the buses. Food and drink still aren’t allowed, but Traveller is all business as usual otherwise, and still a beloved staple among riders and staff alike.

“The drivers are so nice. I really appreciate them and the work they do,” said Shreenath.

“I really do love Trav,” says Tripathi. “You’re around a lot of really really great, fun people who also really care about taking care of each other, helping people when they’re really really vulnerable and maybe in an unsafe situation. I think that’s really powerful.”