Commuting without the traffic

by Kevin Smead

Antonio Zaragoza, Photo Editor
Antonio Zaragoza, Photo Editor

If a student commutes to campus regularly, chances are he or she has been late for something important on campus at least once. Be it a final, a presentation or a can’t-miss lecture, when running out of time it seems even more impossible to find that coveted parking space.

However, as many are discovering, there are a number of different ways to get to campus that may save a headache by helping avoid the gridlock.

The most prominent non-automotive transportation available to students is the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. This includes the trolley, which runs through campus and much of the greater San Diego area. City bus service can also be found directly on campus, providing easy access to much of the local area. For those looking to go north, the railway service, known as the COASTER, runs from San Diego Union Station in downtown up the coast to the Oceanside Transit Center. Although these methods of transportation are somewhat costly, they may seem to be more effective options after factoring the stress of driving to campus.

For those who generally take public transportation but sometimes need to make up those extra minutes, Zipcar is an available option. While still technically driving to campus, Zipcar is as hassle-free as it can be. The concept is simple: Once signed up for the Zipcar service, customers are given their very own Zipcard, which is used to unlock the various Zipcars around the city. These cars can be made available by reservation from a cell phone or computer. All that is left is to walk to the car and drive. At the end of the reservation period, simply return the car to the spot it was picked up from.

These cars can also be used for off-campus projects that generally involve getting a ride from someone else, making it a viable option for students living on campus who don’t wish to purchase their own vehicle.

Lastly, there is the tried and true method of biking to campus. With bicycles being the only form of pedestrian-powered transportation allowed on campus, the newly opened bike lanes are free and clear for pedal pushers everywhere. San Diego also has a multitude of excellent bike shops with tons of great deals on a variety of bikes.

With so many different options for a stress-free commute to campus, take a book, pack a lunch and enjoy the ride.