Creative Commons/Paul Kimo McGregor
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Cars are bumper to bumper in the parking lot, the occasional honking, and the pain of sitting behind the wheel for such a long time just to get to class, which can be very vexing when a majority of students are on a time crunch to get to class.

Students sit in soul-crushing traffic for a time that feels like forever on their way to get to school when there are easier alternative ways to get around. They sit in cars during traffic right next to busses full of students. Maybe the occasional biker will pass by, or there might be people walking down the sidewalks, but for the most part, the automobile has a monopoly on transportation.

According to Governing.com, 22.4% of Los Angeles residents use alternative methods of transportation versus the traditional car. Without a doubt, everyone relies on some method of transportation; whether it be a car, bus, bike or walking. Transportation is something that affects everyone in many ways, and for college students who don’t drive, alternative transportation is a vital factor.

Alternative transportation is beneficial for traffic, the environment, and for the overall health of the population.

Taking alternative methods of transportation benefits everyone because it means fewer cars on the roads which means less traffic and less of a hassle finding parking. Which all PCC students know is a living hell, at least here on campus.

According to The New York Times, there are said to be at least 105 million and maybe as many as 2 billion parking spaces in the United States. The article also states that absent hard numbers, about 500 million parking spaces in the country make up some 3,590 square miles, or an area larger than Delaware and Rhode Island combined.

Students use alternative forms of transportation for many reasons, one big reason being that using alternative transportation is much cheaper than owning a car. Students already have to worry about paying fees and buying expensive books. College students that use alternative transportation are saving a lot of money that can be used for school purposes and other miscellaneous expenses.

Many students use public transportation like metro buses or the metro trains, walk if they live close enough, carpool with friends or take ubers. Even if students own a car they should still take advantage alternative forms of transportation in  order to avoid unnecessary wear and tear on their vehicle in addition to helping the environment by reducing carbon emissions.

Many schools offer some type of alternative transportation method program for their students. Pasadena City College offers a Metro “U-Pass” for eligible students who use public transportation.

Genesis Marquina, a second-year student at Pasadena City College who is majoring in Psychology and minoring in Photography, makes sure to take full advantage of her U-Pass.

I think that as a student the U-Pass is very beneficial because not only can I use it to get to school,” said Marquina “ but also work and whenever I just feel like going out somewhere with friends.

Other schools like Santa Monica College and Citrus College also have similar programs for their students as well. According to USA Today College, over 137 universities are making efforts to offer discounted or fare-free public transportation programs across the country, along with detailing other forms of sustainable transportation.

These programs are very beneficial for students who do use alternative methods of transportation because they are able to have an easy and affordable way to get to school throughout the semester. It’s affordable and transportation is becoming something that more schools should be offering for students that don’t drive to school and rely on alternative transportation.

In addition, alternative methods of transportation are  beneficial for someone’s overall health. College students are so busy with school and other possible factors and sometimes don’t really have time to focus on practicing healthy habits.

According to Livesrong.com The rumor of the “Freshman 15”—the 15 pounds you supposedly gain during your first year of college—is grounded in some truth.

College students  are in a new environment and might not be able to keep up the same exercise level they were accustomed to in high school. Most college cafeterias offer limited food choices that are not always eaten in healthy amounts or combinations. As college students, it can be tricky to find time to exercise, eat healthy, and study; so it is really easy to forget about health because school is always emphasized as a priority.

Biking is a very good form of alternative transportation, it is good for your health and is a very easy habit of picking up on, even with the crazy schedule of a college student.  

Mother Nature Network’s reported  that health benefits of regular aerobic exercise are well-known. Depending on your riding style and local road conditions, you could easily burn 600 calories an hour through brisk cycling.

Most people don’t like the idea of ‘exercise’ but want to stay healthy; biking is one way people can stay healthy and not have to necessarily ‘work out’ if they pick up healthy habits. Biking does not require a lot of work, all you really need is a bike and some time and patience to get on track to healthier habits. It’s something that can actually be fun because you don’t have to do it alone or ride the same paths. Riding with friends can be fun and beneficial because you’re not alone and you’re all getting into shape.

Mother Nature Network’s also reported that most bike commuters report losing 15 to 20 pounds during their first year in the saddle without changing their eating habits. It’s already been proven that people are getting good results from only a short period of having started biking and didn’t really have to change their diet much.

Alternative transportation can also be very beneficial for the environment in the long run. The union of concerned scientists reported that transportation produces almost 30 percent of all U.S. global warming emissions.

Treehugger reported a list of reasons why people should use public transportation. One being it’s seven times safer riding a bus than it is driving your own automobile. In addition, 20 percent of carbon monoxide emissions will be saved if one in five Americans rode public transportation daily.

Driving to school in  cars is slowly killing the environment. It’s 2016 and so many methods of public/alternative transportation exist.

People are always told to that they need to keep the environment safe and clean, how can they  do that if 30 percent of  U.S. global warming emissions is because of cars. College students can lower that percentage by not using their cars and use alternative forms of transportation. It’s a small change that can make a big difference later.

Transportation affects everyone in one way or another. It doesn’t matter whether they drive their own cars or use public transportation. It’s nice for college students to be able to drive themselves around not having to rely on buses or other people, but sometimes money is tight and they can’t have the luxury or drive around in our own cars. Luckily there are many forms of alternative transportation that are available.

Comments

  1. I myself rely on public transportation not only for school, but to go to other places. I think its great that more campuses are offering a discounted fare for students. Before I was spending close to $100 on a bus pass and now I am only spending $43 a month. Without public transportation, I would not be able to get around because I do not own a car.

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