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MSU Visitors' Guide 2.0: How to get to East Lansing

To take in a Michigan State game, you have to get to East Lansing first. By train, plane, car and/or bus, here is how you do that.

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

(Note -- this is largely plagiarized from the same post I wrote on transportation to East Lansing and Michigan State three years ago. However, a few things have changed, so I've updated the post with new forms of transit (hello Megabus and Uber!). As always, if I've made a mistake, please let me know in the comments. - PR)

So you've decided to visit East Lansing. Good for you! You're going to have a great time. The first step in a visit to EL Is getting here, and you have a few different options of doing so. These directions will put you onto the Michigan State campus, and here they are.

BY AUTOMOBILE (Point of order -- I'm using the Trowbridge road exit for all cases because it's the simplest way to make it onto campus. However, it can get quite busy for game days, so keep that in mind. Feel free to add your favorite exits in the comments).

From the West: I-94 East to I-69 North will put you onto I-96 West, and then you can take 496 East to the Trowbridge Road exit; MSU is a straight shot.

From the East: You can do this one of two ways; I-94 West to 127 North will get you there about as fast as I-96 West. If you're taking 127 North get off at the Trowbridge Road exit. If you're on 96 you can exit onto 496 West around mile marker 106, then get off on the Trowbridge Road exit a couple miles earlier.

From the South: Depends? If you're coming from Bloomington, I-69 North to 496 East is your best option. If you're in West Lafayette, take 65 North to 94 East and follow the directions in the "From the West" section after that. If you're in Columbus, Take 23 North until you hit 96 West, then follow the directions in the "From the East" section.

From the North: Like a sojourn from the South it depends, but you'll most likely want to take 75 South until 127 South, then take that until the Trowbridge exit. 131 South to 96 East to 496 East works as well.

One note about car travel by commenter SpartyFever:

Traveling AROUND East Lansing, I wouldn’t recommend a car. It gets very hectic. There are taxis, $3 a person for up to 5 miles. There are some (believe it or not) rickshaws that some people run for extra cash. Not too many though. Don’t bother with bicycles, as the pedestrian traffic will make it a mess. Honestly, if you want to stick around EL on gameday, your best bet is using your own two feet.

If you want a cab in East Lansing and are in a small group (four or less), I recommend getting the Uber app for your smart phone and using that; I use them all the time in Chicago to great success.

If you don't have a smart phone or prefer to do things the old fashioned way, Green Cab ((517)-643-1905) is a cab company I liked to use when I lived in EL. If traveling in a larger group, Shaggin' Wagon((517)-507-5047), Spartan Cab ((517)-482-1444), and S-Cabs ((517)-374-5500) are all good options. Expect to pay about $3 a mile regardless of how many people you have.


Amtrak does have an East Lansing station, and you'll be dropped off right next to campus, but about a mile South of downtown East Lansing. I've ridden the train from East Lansing to Chicago before, and I can tell you that it was a pleasurable experience, but a slight bit tardy. A round-trip ticket from Chicago will cost you around $100 depending on your departure dates. For more information visit Amtrak's website.


Greyhound does have service to East Lansing, and uses the Amtrak station as its boarding point. Megabus also travels to East Lansing, and drops you off at the Amtrak station as well.


Lansing does have an airport, the Capital Region International Airport, a 20 minute drive from Michigan State University. I'm not familiar with all the flights in and out of Lansing, but the chances are it will be more expensive to fly into Lansing than either Grand Rapids or Detroit. If you're flying into Detroit Metro the Michigan Flyer bus runs several times a day to East Lansing, costs around $50 per round-trip if you reserve ahead of time, and about $72 without a reservation. The Michigan Flyer does have free water and Wi-Fi. If you're flying into Grand Rapids you'll have to rent a car or get dropped off downtown and take the Megabus or Greyhound.

Do you have any other ways of getting to MSU on the cheap, or secret ways of beating traffic? Let us know in the comments.