Getting from Here to There at College
When considering transportation while at college, options vary widely from campuses, cities, and states. The available options can allow you to cross campus, visit friends and family, as well as utilize businesses, sites, and attractions located in the community and beyond. Having a good sense of how to get around your community will help you feel more connected with your new college home.
Perhaps you're coming to college with the ability to drive, maybe there is a bus service in town, or maybe your only option is to walk? No matter what the resources are, it's important that you look into what your college community has to offer and go with the options that work best for you.
College Transportation Options for Students
If you own a car, driving can be a flexible way to get around. For some rural colleges, a car can be really helpful if public transportation is scarce and walking is not an option. When considering whether to bring a car to campus, check to see what other options are available as some colleges may require you to pay to keep a car on campus. College parking can be a challenge so make sure you find out how much it will cost to park on campus. Some colleges will not allow first-year students to have a car on campus.
By Public Transport
A transportation system is usually available in larger cities (i.e., bus, subway, and train) which can provide a cheap method of travel. When heading out for the first time, make sure you know when the services shut down and until you're comfortable consider bringing a map or having an app on your phone to use as a reference point. Public transportation for the most part is very safe but still be aware of your surroundings particularly at night.
By College Transportation Services
Larger colleges may offer college transportation to get around campus or downtown and is usually a free way to get to class from your residence hall. Colleges may offer late night shuttles for safety so students do not have to walk alone at night. Transportation to and from college to an airport can be another service offered to students who have a significant distance to travel when going home over breaks. If you plan on taking advantage of airport shuttles, make sure to double check the shuttle schedule before making any travel plans.
By Ride Share or Carpool
Connect with cohorts, roommates, and friends to let each other know if they need or can offer a ride. Some campuses have web pages dedicated to finding rides where others go by word of mouth. If you have a car, the ride share is a great opportunity to meet and connect with someone new while helping your community and in some cases make some extra gas money. Other ride share companies such as Lyft and Uber are usually available in larger cities and provide cheap transport.
Biking can be a cheap way of getting places fast whether you're running late for class or work. A bike provides flexibility especially if you're not traveling too far. If you do not have a personal bike, some colleges or towns have a bike share service. Remember to always lock up your bike and ask if your residential hall has a winter storage unit to keep bikes.
If all else fails, the tried and tested mode of transportation is you. Some colleges are even considered to be in “walking towns/cities” with the majority of facilities located within walking distance of campus. Don’t let a lack of transportation options stop you from exploring what your college has to offer.
Regardless of your budget and resources, you're coming to campus where there are plenty of transportation options. If you're unsure of what options exist the college of your choice, just ask.