Cambus is a public transport bus system, primarily serving the University of Iowa campus in Iowa City, IA. The service is intended to provide transportation for students, faculty, and staff around the main campus, University of Iowa Research Park, residence halls, and commuter parking lots. Cambus is a no fare service open to the general public. Cambus provides approximately 4,500,000 rides per year.
The service is operated by the Department of Parking and Transportation for the University of Iowa with funding from the Parking & Transportation Department, a UI Student fee, and the Federal Transportation Administration.
Cambus was originally founded by University of Iowa students and has been in operation since 1972. The University of Iowa campus is divided into east and west halves by the Iowa River. Most Liberal Arts and Sciences classes take place on the east side of the river; thus the purpose of the new bus service was to facilitate easier transportation between the west-side dormitories and the east-side classrooms. At first there was no name for this service, so the founding students created a contest open to all U of I students to select one. "Cambus" was the name eventually chosen after Cambuskenneth, and the winner (whose name has been lost to history) was awarded a free pizza.
The first Cambus buses were used school buses, repainted by Cambus employees. There were three different bus routes; Red Route, Blue Route, and the Interdorm Shuttle. Cambus also acquired a trailer, which was used as their main office; this was located in the Hancher Auditorium parking lot.
Currently, Cambus employs approximately 170 employees. There are only six non-student employees who work specifically for Cambus: the Cambus Manager, the Maintenance Supervisor, and four full-time mechanics. All other employees, including drivers, dispatchers, trainers, student mechanics, and departmental supervisors, are students currently enrolled at the University of Iowa.
Cambus also has two different buildings on the University of Iowa campus. The main office is located on Evashevski Drive, north Kinnick Stadium, called the West Campus Transportation Center. Cambus moved operations to this newer building, shared with the greater Parking & Transportation department, on November 16, 2012. The Cambus Maintenance Facility, often called "The Barn" by employees, is located on South Madison Street south of the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center.