Alternative Ways of Getting to School

Spencer Harris

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James Cope use to drive to school, but now he is one of many SRJC students trying to save money by finding alternative ways of getting to school.

Cope is attending his second semester at SRJC. This semester he has class at 9 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, then at 6 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays. All semester he has struggled to get to school because in January his Ford Explorer broke down. So this semester he has resorted to taking the bus and in some instances riding his bike. “I was pissed when my Explorer broke down, but this semester my bike and the bus have saved me some money, except sometimes I get screwed,” said Cope.

 

Cope lives at 646 Cordelia Dr., Santa Rosa, CA and has to travel on two buses to get to school in the morning. The first bus he takes arrives at 8:22 a.m. and it’s the Santa Rosa Transit number 8. The bus stop where he gets on is located on the corner of Summerfield Dr. and Sonoma Ave. and from there he travels all the way to the Santa Rosa Transit Mall. Once at the transit mall he takes the Santa Rosa Transit number 1 at 8:48 a.m. and doesn’t arrive at SRJC till 9:06 a.m. Since his bus arrives a bit late at school he is usually running to class even though his teacher is going to mark him tardy anyways.

When Cope has his night class, he usually rides his bike because no buses come in his time frame. Cope has to attend Judo training class at 6 p.m. and no buses arrive at his bus stop until 5:47 p.m. So he’s forced to ride his bike unless he wants to be late. “I would take the bus at night, but it’s always running late,” said Cope.

 

Taking the bus or riding your bike can be an effective and moneysaving opportunity for

students, but in some cases students can experience problems. If you take the bus daily instead of driving your car you can save up to $29 a week. Sometimes if you take the bus it can cause problems like being late.

 

Riding your bike has many benefits also. Your bike costs no money to ride and you get

steady exercise. People can save money and stay fit all by just riding their bikes to school. Although, sometimes it’s raining outside and your not able to ride your bike, so that’s when you take the bus. Also students need to be careful riding their bikes around Mendocino Ave. since there is heavy traffic.

Another moneysaving alternative is Carpooling to school. Carpooling can be especially

effective when you live out of Santa Rosa and you need to commute. It can also help if you have friends that live close by you because both of you can save money and hopefully time. One SRJC student, Kevin Wilmunder, who lives in Novato and commutes with other friends that live in Novato says he likes carpooling. “We switch off days. Some days I’ll drive and then some days they’ll drive,” said Wilmunder. Wilmunder added, “We both save gas money which is cool, but sometimes we have to deal with parking or traffic.”

 

If you chose to carpool you have to wake up early, unless the person lives close to you. Also you have to be careful for traffic if you have to commute. Then of course, there is the chaos of parking at the SRJC. If you chose to either take the bus or ride your bike you never have to deal with the crazy parking at the SRJC and that can be a huge benefit by itself. With carpooling you do have to deal with packed parking-lots and traffic.

Being in college now-a-days isn’t an easy task, especially when your on a tight budget. Before Cope’s Explorer broke down he really wasn’t thinking about taking the bus or riding his bike to save money. Now that Cope has experienced the alternative ways of getting to school, he doesn’t know if he wants to go back to driving his car. “I might just keep riding my bike to school when I get my Explorer back. It‘s saved me money” said Cope.

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