International students will need to adjust to the difference in public transportation in the United States compared to their home countries. Americans primarily travel from place-to-place by driving their own automobile. There are public transportation options available, but they may not run as frequent or be as readily accessible as students are used to in their own country. This makes the location of the student’s housing so much more important, because locations near campus or close to bus lines will significantly ease the student’s transportation needs while at NWTC.
Transportation options for students:
Green Bay Metro:
View the Green Bay Metro Bus Routes
The Green Bay Metro system is the bus system for the city of Green Bay and its surrounding communities. This bus system has a route that serves NWTC, connecting it to primary locations around the city. Students are advised to make sure their housing and internships are located along the bus routes to ensure accessibility throughout the year. Students can purchase bus passes in the NWTC book store. The prices for the bus are as follows:
- Single ride bus fee: $1.50 (paid in cash on the bus)
- One day pass: $3
- One week pass: $12
- One month pass: $35
Owning and operating a vehicle is a major expense and responsibility, which students should think about carefully before deciding to purchase a car and pursuing a driver’s license. Buying a vehicle is expensive, with 1-3 years-old used cars averaging $15000 and models 10 years-old averaging $5000. Older and less reliable vehicles can be purchased for even less, but they do have higher maintenance costs which cut into the savings.
In addition to purchase price, owning a car will result in annual fees and insurance deductibles. First, there are the costs of earning a driver’s license. Next, there are several hundred dollars in sales tax, vehicle license, and vehicle registration fees. Finally, Wisconsin and many other U.S. states require that vehicles have proper auto insurance policies, which can run hundreds per month in addition to several hundred dollar deductibles for claims. When driving a vehicle, gasoline will run between $3-$4 per gallon which will also add to the costs. International students interested in purchasing a vehicle are recommended to research all of these taxes, fees, and insurance costs carefully before making a decision.
There are several taxi companies located in the city of Green Bay; however, they do not drive the streets looking for fares, so customers must call the taxi company and request a pickup. This is unlike large cities, where one can ‘hail’ a taxi curbside throughout the day.
Taxis in Green Bay and in the United States are generally very expensive. Students can expect to pay between $15 and $40 fare to travel to most locations within the city. In addition, tipping is customarily expected when taking a taxi, adding an additional 10-20% to the taxi fee. Students should not expect to use taxis regularly as a means of transportation.
Bicycling and walking:
Except for cold-weather months (typically late-November through early-March) bicycles and walking are both reliable options for students. Traffic laws are generally strongly enforced, making bicycle riding a safer option than in some places in the United States and around the world. Several major roadways have bicycle lanes which restrict automobiles from use. These bicycle routes are safer options. Bicycles can be purchased for amounts ranging from $100 to $1000 dollars, though bicycle riders are encouraged to also purchase bike locks with which to secure their bicycles to prevent theft. In the United States bicyclists are also encouraged to purchase and wear special bicycle helmets for safety and protection. Bicycles and bicyclists are also expected to have lights when riding at night. All of these products are easily purchased within the community.
Walking is also acceptable over short distances. Students living near NWTC will find they are within easy walking distance of restaurants, grocery stores, and stores for everyday items. Students can also expect that Green Bay is a safe enough location to allow students to be able to walk at night, though it is always safest to walk with a friend.
Beyond walking and bicycling for transportation, international students are encouraged to take advantage of special walking and biking paths and trails which are for recreational use. For example, the Fox River Trail is designated for bicycle and pedestrian traffic only, following the Fox River from downtown Green Bay southward past neighboring De Pere and into Brown County. There are also several paths and trails connected to major parks. These are great places for recreation and exercise.
Downtown Green Bay has a “Greyhound” bus station. Buses leave Green Bay regularly connecting to nearby major cities such as Milwaukee, Chicago, and Minneapolis. From those major cities, students can travel throughout the United States. Rates to the city of Chicago: (4 hours trip) costs $35 - $45 dollars
Learn more at the Greyhound.com
NWTC is located 10 minutes from Austin Straubel International Airport (GRB). Austin Straubel serves all major U.S. air carriers, though few international carriers. Students can expect to travel through this airport very quickly, though the rates to fly in or out of this airport are more expensive than regional major airports, particularly Chicago O’Hare (ORD). Flights to or from Green Bay will usually connect to Chicago, Minneapolis, or Detroit. Green Bay and other Midwestern airports are also susceptible to delays and closures during bad weather, particularly during winter (December to February). Be sure to arrange your travel to allow for one or two days delays when travelling during those times of year, just in case of bad weather.