The Secrets To Campus Transportation

To bring my bike or not? To buy a bus pass or not? These are a couple of questions to consider when first starting college. Getting around on campus will depend a lot on the size of your school and which mode of transportation it best suits. Saving money and keeping a certain “image” also gets factored in, so know the pros and cons beforehand.

  • Walking

Not only is it environmentally friendly, but it’s also the cheapest way to get around! I personally favor walking over all other modes of transportation for many reasons: it’s free, scenic, a workout, allows for more music-listening time, and is the only way I know I’ll arrive to class on time. But with that being said, there are definitely down sides to using your two feet.

First of all it can be time-consuming if you live on a large campus; walking may be more ideal for those on smaller campuses. As a pedestrian you need to be wary of your surroundings. Drivers hate when walkers step out in traffic without looking, so be cautious and courteous.

Weather also needs to be considered before walking to class, especially if you live in a state that gets a lot of snow. Invest in a pair of boots with good traction (not Uggs!) for those slippery sidewalks, and keep in mind that sidewalks might not always be shoveled. I’ve walked to countless 8 a.m. classes in foot-high snow because paths haven’t been walked on or cleared yet.

  • Bus

College can lead to many freak accidents and injuries—when I broke my foot the bus instantly became my best friend and I found that people will always give their seat up for a person on crutches. Taking the bus is also great for people-watching, classes on the opposite side of campus, saving gas, and when the weather isn’t at its finest.

Make sure to calculate the costs prior to riding. Some schools allow anyone with a student ID to ride for free, while others charge per trip or a new pass each semester. And while riding the bus typically saves time, if it fills up before your stop you’ll either have to wait until the next bus comes or squeeze in like a can of sardines.

  • Bikes and Longboards

Bikers are usually the least-liked people on campus because they cause collisions, zip in front of traffic, and take up sidewalks. So if you plan to bike to class, remember a few things: get it registered and always lock it (mine was stolen within the first week), use bike lanes to avoid running people over, and stop before pulling out into traffic.

Longboards are more common than skateboards because they’re longer and easier to control. When the weather is nice this is a great way to get to class, jsut make sure you actually know how to ride it. A lot of students try longboarding because they want to look cool but end up wasting time figuring it out, rather than saving time.

  • Cars

As a freshman a lot of schools won’t let you have a car on campus for the first year, but some do. If you do bring your car or commute, first find out what parking lots you’ll be allowed to access to. Campus parking is a hassle and most lots require a pass, money, or aren’t open to anyone but faculty during the day.

Take some advice from the queen of parking tickets—read the signs before you park! Knowing the hours and rules will save tons of money in tickets. Driving on campus is also costly in gas and dangerous in-between classes when students are on the loose. So if possible, avoid driving during the day and resort to it at night when there are fewer students out, lots and ramps are open to the public, and the buses aren’t running.

Getting from point A to point B differs on each campus, but these are all things to consider before starting school. The biggest things to keep in mind are the size of the campus, how much money you have to spend, and the weather. Ask yourself these three things and that will help you narrow down the best decision.

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Jordyn Timpson

Jordyn Timpson

Jordyn Timpson is a junior at Michigan State University working towards her journalism degree with a specialization in documentary film. She designs and writes for a campus magazine and is a server at Bob Evans. When Jordyn has free time she likes to watch movies and her favorite show Breaking Bad, spend hours on tumblr, go on adventures with friends and travel.
Jordyn Timpson

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