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4 Transportation Modes for On-the-Go College Students

Gateway Plaza Instersection

As a busy college student, beyond studying for hours on end, you likely spend a good chunk of your time getting to and across campus. Whether you rely on a car, bicycle, bus, ride-hailing service or your own two legs, there are countless options to consider to get to class, run errands and arrive home.

Do some of these commitments and to-dos leave you wondering how you plan to get around? Don't fret — it's not as difficult or uncertain as it may seem. Indeed, there is any number of practical modes of transportation for college students like you, especially here at UCLA. Check out the following suggestions:

1. Pedaling to class

Looking to get across campus more efficiently and much faster than walking? Want to get some exercise in the process and save money on gas? Then consider biking to class, the library or to meet up with friends. In addition to being easy to maneuver (getting your own dedicated lane on campus and on city streets is pretty rad too), bikes are easy to park and lock when you're in class. UCLA has over 3,000 bike racks all around campus!

You don't even need your own bike! With the launch of Bruin Bike Share last October, you can bike around campus and Westwood for as little as $7 a month! Plus, Bruin Bike Share will soon be expanding its network, bringing even greater mobility.

2. Relying on ride-hailing services like Uber

For students who don't own a car, turning to Uber is a great option for those days when you need access to wheels. UCLA Transportation recently launched its uberPOOL flat fare program providing anyone with a email address carpool rides for $5.99 or less, as long as its within a 15-miles radius from the center of campus. Simply download the Uber apps on your smartphone, set up an account with your UCLA email and use the promo code UCLAWINTER2018. Remember, UCLA has 14 designated ride-hailing pick-up locations around campus.

3. Walking to and from campus

There's a lot to be said about using your own two feet to get around campus. Walking is free, offers great exercise and is highly practical. Shocking, I know. As a bonus, since the weather is often quite pleasant and sunny in Southern California, you can usually walk to class without worrying about the threat of rain. Of course, you'll obviously need to give yourself plenty of lead time, as walking to and across campus can be time-consuming. Live and work more than five to 10 miles from your apartment? Then you may want to rely on another mode of transportation to get around.

4. Carpooling with old or new friends

If you live off campus and/or commute to a job, having a car is the most logical choice to get around. In addition to being time-efficient, it's also nice to know your ride is there when you need it. In other words, forget waiting for an Uber to show up or standing in the rain at a bus stop. The best way to commute by car, however, is to share the ride — and the costs. UCLA offer discounted carpool permits that can save students more than $700 a year, not mention the rising cost of gas.

Of course, cars also have a way of being money pits at times (think splurging for costly repairs, as well as paying for annual insurance and registration costs). Additionally, you'll need to be aware of regular maintenance issues and their associated costs, including regular tune-ups and tire rotations.

Thus, to ensure your tires are safe for driving and your vehicle is handling as well as it should, make it a point to rotate your tires every 5,000 to 8,000 miles. You should also be aware that some tire manufacturers require regular tire rotations as part of their warranty packages. Fortunately, having your tires rotated isn't an expensive undertaking; it should run you $20 to $40.

Which Mode of Transportation is Best? You Decide!

When it comes to choosing the most practical mode of transportation during college, there certainly isn’t a right or wrong answer. Plus, combining the practicality of a car, bike and your own two feet certainly isn't out of the question. With that in mind, take a good, hard look at your class schedule, your budget and the distance you need to travel on any given day, and decide from there which mode of transportation makes the most sense.