Hitching a ride: How to get around campus and Mount Pleasant

How to get around campus and Mount Pleasant

Zack Hanratty and Amanda Larsen ride Spin scooters outside Moore Hall Friday, May 5, 2023. Electric scooters arrived on campus in April, after the city of Mount Pleasant approved an ordinance allowing for the public rental of the micromobility devices.

We are undoubtedly a people on the move. According to Forbes, in 2021, there were some 278 million personal and commercial vehicles registered to drivers in the U.S. alone. Plus, there’s a connection between Michigan and the automobile that can’t be denied.

But if you’re not in a position to bring wheels to campus, never fear. Mount Pleasant is home to a low-cost and efficient busing system that counts Central Michigan University as a hub, and some nifty new micro-mobility offerings are adding a bit of electric-powered fun to short-term commutes. 

I-Ride bus waiting in a parking lot May 30th, 2023.


Isabella County Transportation Commission (I-Ride) offers shared ride curb-to-curb service. It is open 359 days a year, with holiday closings on New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

The service is open 6 a.m. to midnight during weekdays, 6:30 a.m. to midnight Saturday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. 

Per-ride prices ring in at $1.50 for people ages 5 to 17; $2 for ages from 18 to 59 and $1 for people ages 60 and older. Multi-ride passes are available, and children under 5 ride for free with a paying adult. 

Riders can request a pick-up and drop-off location or can find a map at Ictcbus.com that shows more than 30 shuttle stops throughout Mount Pleasant. Those shuttle stops run throughout the academic year and include nearly a dozen campus drop-off sites and popular off-campus housing properties — but you need not be on the shuttle line to use the service. 

I-Ride serves all 578 square miles of Isabella County and can accommodate county-to-county transfers with partner services, according to the website. 

If waiting for a lift isn’t your thing, I-Ride’s newly launched app allows riders to track buses.

The fleet includes 46 buses with either a lift or a ramped entrance for persons using mobility devices. The company has served the Mount Pleasant community for over 45 years. 

Take a Spin

Electric scooters rolled onto campus and throughout the greater Mount Pleasant community late in the 2022-23 academic year. The scooters are meant to be used by students and Mount Pleasant citizens as an alternative to driving short distances. 

The scooters, supplied by the company Spin, are an effort in “changing mobility for good,” according to Head of Spin Government Partnerships Jimmy Gilman. CMU became the fourth campus in Michigan to welcome the micro-mobility company, joining the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan State University in East Lansing and Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti. 

With these scooters came safety measures to ensure proper usage both on and off campus. According to CMU’s scooter policy form and Assistant Vice President of Facilities Management Jonathan Webb, scooters must:

• Not operate over 10 mph while on campus (it is actually impossible to exceed the speed, thanks to modern technology, although you may pick up the pace once off campus and into the city proper);

• Only have one rider per

• Remain outside at all times;

• Be parked at bike racks on campus while not in use (once off campus, there are designated parking locations downtown); and

• Not be used by CMU faculty, staff, volunteers or student employees in the course of their work. 

Riders under 19 years old must don a helmet to legally use the devices.

Spin’s app, “Spin — Electric Scooters,” available to download on Apple and Android, allows people to rent a scooter from the convenience of their smartphone. Once opened, the app provides a map of the user’s current location and the available scooters to rent in the area. Riders can click on a scooter parked near them to view the battery charge and rate.

It is $1 to start the scooter, and an additional fee of $0.39 is charged each minute.

Other options

Of course, if a scooter isn’t your style and your plans aren’t I-Ride compatible, there are other ways to ensure you safely get to and fro. 

There are several taxi services in town, and, during the academic year, gig-based ride-shares are options. There are always benefits to being the designated driver, not the least of which is knowing your friends and loved ones will be in good hands when the day — or evening, as the case may be — comes to an end.