Please familiarize yourself with the COVID-19 safety protocols before you ride. All buses will be capped at 50% capacity to facilitate distancing. Passengers must wear a face covering at all times.
Ready to Ride?
Review the information below to learn more about the Commuter Shuttle. When you're ready to ride, click a button below to get started.
How it works
Columbia Transportation provides commuter shuttle service for faculty, staff and students from four outer boroughs and Manhattan to the Morningside, Manhattanville, and Medical Center campuses Monday through Friday. Seats on the bus are by online reservation only, and spaces are first come, first served.
To view departure schedules and book a seat, follow the link below to our online reservation system. A list of exact stop locations can be found on this page.
The link above will take you to the Columbia Authentication System (CAS) where you will be asked to enter your UNI and password. Once you've logged in, you'll be shown a link to the online reservation system.
Reservations are first come, first served, so if seats are not available for your preferred departure time, you may have to choose another option.
Note that all trips must either begin or end at one of Columbia's campuses (Morningside, Manhattanville, or CUIMC). The shuttle drivers are not permitted to stop at any undesignated location.
Once you've entered your trip details, proceed to checkout. There, you will be able to enter your credit card information to pay for your ticket(s). Most major credit card companies are accepted, as well as Visa debit.
Commuter Shuttle ticket purchases are also eligible under Columbia's Transit/Parking Reimbursement Program (T/PRP); you can use your EBPA card to purchase tickets.
Fares are $4.50 each way. A cash option is not available at this time; drivers will not accept cash payments for tickets.
Once you've purchased your ticket, we'll send a PDF version to your email address on file. The ticket will include exact stop addresses, which you can enter into Google Maps, to make sure you know where to catch the bus. All boarding locations are also MTA bus stops, with the exception of Citi Field, and some Morningside and CUIMC stops.
Please note which side of the street the bus stop address is on. In some instances an exact address was not available and instead a descriptor was used, such as Hoyt Ave. @ 31st St. (Hoyt Playground).
Columbia Transportation offers a no-fee change ticket policy, allowing you to change your ticket at any time if you are unable to make your reservation. Your confirmation email will say "Want to change the ticket? Click here" with a link. Click the URL to be redirected to the change ticket web experience. Enter your ticket number, last name, and your new travel date to select a new trip. You will receive a new email and ticket; your old ticket will no longer be valid.
Please be at the bus stop at least 5 minutes before your scheduled departure. If all ticketed passengers are accounted for, the bus may leave early in an effort to offset traffic delays that may occur throughout the route.
When boarding the bus, tell the driver your name and present your Columbia ID. The driver will confirm that you are a ticket-holder using a trip manifest. Please be ready with your ID when you step up to the bus to ensure a timely boarding process.
Please also be aware of the COVID-19 safety protocols in place before boarding the bus. Every other seat will be left empty to facilitate physical distancing (see seating chart). Always wear a face covering while waiting at bus stops and while riding the bus. Leave six feet of space between you and your fellow passengers while waiting for the bus.
Need help or have questions?
Please consult the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) below before contacting us. During business hours, you can call our onsite dispatcher at 212-854-2081 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
The new commuter shuttles offer an alternative to public transit for faculty, staff and students, in an effort to facilitate movement back and forth to Columbia's campuses for the Fall term.
Shuttle service is currently planned to continue during the Spring 2021 term.
All Columbia students, faculty and staff (including Barnard College and Teachers College) who have an active Columbia UNI are eligible.
Following the measures recommended by experts and implemented by the MTA and NJ Transit, Academy cleans and disinfects the buses daily, paying special attention to high-touch areas.
In accordance with Executive Order 202.18, any person utilizing public or private transportation carriers or other for-hire vehicles who is over age two and able to medically tolerate a face covering must wear a face covering over the nose and mouth during any such trip. Phone calls are not permitted on the shuttle buses as talking in enclosed spaces can spread the virus.
Every other seat will be left empty to facilitate physical distancing (see seating chart).
See this page for more information on COVID-19 safety.
Due to resource constraints and the expense of operating the buses, not all neighborhoods can be serviced. Columbia has chosen these routes based on the address data of our affiliates and will continually monitor ridership to assess future need. Changes to the schedule, stop locations, and allocation of the buses will be updated as necessary.
Columbia-specific home address data was sourced from Human Resources and combined with data from the Columbia Commute and Travel Survey, which identified where the majority of Columbia transit riders live. The bus routes are geared toward ‘express’ service as much as possible. Adding too many stops would lengthen commute times unnecessarily.
The shuttles come at a large expense to the University, so a charge will be in place to offset some of the cost.
Buses are not permitted on the West Side Highway without a permit. Columbia, via Academy bus, has a permit for travel on the West Side Highway only north of 125th Street.
All buses in the Commuter Shuttle network will be coach-style and branded "Academy Bus." Each bus will have a digital marquis on the front, above the windshield, that displays the route name - Eg: “CU Brooklyn Route”
Inside the bus, every other seat will be left empty to facilitate physical distancing (see seating chart).
Yes, you can use your EBPA card as payment. Enter it at checkout like you would a regular credit card!
All buses are wheelchair accessible for people with disabilities, the elderly, and individuals with service animals. Please indicate if you use a wheelchair during the reservation process.
Academy's policies prohibit animals on board the buses with the exception of ADA service animals.
A “service animal” is any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals with impaired hearing to intruders or sounds, providing minimal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, or fetching dropped items.
Emotional support and comfort animals are not considered service animals under the ADA, and are not permitted aboard the bus.
Sorry, no bikes or other large equipment can be brought on the bus at this time.
We strongly encourage all ticket-holders to arrive to the bus stop at least five minutes early. Buses are expected arrive within a ten-minute window of the posted time, but are always subject to delays due to traffic.
If all ticketed passengers are accounted for at a given stop, the bus may leave early in an effort to offset traffic delays that may occur throughout the route. An efficient boarding process is paramount to keeping shuttles running on time throughout the day.
To inquire after items left on the bus, please call Academy at 201-420-7000.
No app is available at this time, but you can use your smartphone to access the reservation website. The site is mobile responsive and viewable on most web browsers, such as Safari and Chrome.
Columbia Transportation offers a no-fee change ticket policy, allowing you to change your ticket at any time if you are unable to make your reservation.
Your confirmation email will say "Want to change the ticket? Click here" with a link. Click the URL to be redirected to the change ticket web experience. Enter your ticket number, last name, and your new travel date to select a new trip. You will receive a new email and ticket; your old ticket will no longer be valid.