All Transportation Options
The college has several initiatives and partnerships with local public transportation systems to make traveling easier for students and better for the environment. They are often more environmentally friendly than single-occupancy vehicle trips and help reduce Williams’ emissions levels. In addition, the options listed below are available directly from campus!
Biking is both an environmentally friendly source of transportation, and a great source of exercise! On campus, we have both a (free) bike rental program and a number of secure, convenient areas to store your bike once you get to your destination.
Where can I store a bike? As you cruise around campus, you'll see that bike racks abound. Here's a map of all bike racks on campus. There are also sixteen bike lockers on campus – each compartment is divided into two – which are located between Sawyer Library, Sewall House, and the Class of ’66 Environmental Center. Installed specifically for people who commute by bike to campus, they are a secure and dry place to store your bike during the day between commutes.
Purple Bike Coalition
The Purple Bike Coalition (PBC) is Williams College's free bike service organization located on the ground floor of Mark Hopkins. They offer bike repair services and a free bike loan program called the Purple Bike Rental (PBR).
Walking is not only free but is also the most environmentally conscious form of transportation (even preferable to cycling, as no extra equipment must be manufactured and transported). It’s a healthy option to experience the beauty of the Berkshires and get around this small community. If you live off-campus, try walking instead of driving to classes/work. Help encourage a walking culture on campus whenever possible!
All of these services are free, but if you're requesting a ride, be sure to offer to pay for gas or split the cost! Ride shares ensure that no more cars than necessary will be on the road, which decreases carbon emissions.
WSO is a website where Williams students can access a range of forums and databases about campus life. The ride share section allows students to post requests for ride shares or offer ride shares to fellow students.
- Log onto WSO with your Williams email account to post a request, offer a ride, or view current requests/offers.
- Requests and offers are sorted by date of potential ride.
Switchboard is a website similar to WSO where people can post offers and requests, but it's available to anyone in the Williams community, not just students. More information about Switchboard can be found here.
Zipcar is a care rental service available to Williams students, faculty, and staff. After signing up, you can rent one of the four Williams Zipcars by the hour or by the day. Detailed information and instructions can be found at the Facilities website.
Williams owns and operates approximately 90 vehicles, many of which are dedicated to individual departments. Others, though, are available for use by any member of the campus community. Some of these vehicles are used primarily on campus, while others are driven much further afield. Students can use college-owned vans for college activities (entries, clubs, and other student organizations are eligible). Detailed information can be found at the Facilities website.
Williams provides a free local shuttle for students to visit local stories for necessities on a weekly basis. You can use the shuttle to get to Wild Oats, Stop & Shop, and Wal-Mart. View the schedule here and show up to Goodrich Hall (where the bus departs) 5-10 minutes before departure.
Williams Motorcoach is the busing service that connects students to transportation hubs before and after official college breaks and occasionally for weekend trips. Buses run to Albany Int'l Airport, Boston Logan Int'l Airport, Boston North Station, and NYC Penn Station.
Green Mountain Express is a bus service based in Bennington, VT. It links Williamstown to Bennington and offers service to Manchester, Brattleboro, Bennington College, Southern Vermont College and beyond. Check out the Bennington Farmer's Market for locally-sourced food options!
Peter Pan Bus Lines is a bussing service that links states across the northeast, including Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. Buses stop right on campus at the old Williams Inn.
From a greenhouse gas emissions standpoint, flying is one of the more polluting ways to travel and decarbonizing the aviation sector remains a very challenging undertaking. In October 2022 Williams launched a program to inform air travelers about the climate impacts of flying and ways to reduce them.