As the weather gets warmer and spring quarter begins, students have established a daily routine, including how they get to class. While there are many ways to get to campus (some more efficient than others), modes of transportation are typically dictated by one’s proximity to campus. Students that live miles away must resort to either driving or taking public transportation. However, both of these options have drawbacks, such as carbon dioxide emissions and infamous Los Angeles traffic. On the other hand, students who live close to campus rely on other options such as walking, biking, skating or taking a Bird scooter.
From a strictly financial standpoint, walking or public transportation are the best choices for students who aren’t commuting from miles away. Many students have likely heard of or seen the UCLA BruinBus driving around or near campus. This campus shuttle is free and runs all year long which makes it a great, convenient, and cost-effective option for students. Students who are not close to a UCLA BruinBus stop have the option of taking the UCLA Campus express, which is also a free shuttle.
While public transportation and walking are financially great options, they aren’t always the quickest or easiest mode of transportation. The drawbacks of public transportation are that shuttles have limited hours, take many stops, and tend to get very busy during peak hours. The alternative, walking, isn’t always the best option either because it can take longer and is dependent on weather conditions.
From an efficiency standpoint, biking, skateboarding and taking a Bird are all attractive options. One benefit of these options is that they are dependent on the student’s schedule, rather than a predetermined schedule, such as those that shuttles follow. Furthermore, students can use any of these modes of transportation at any time of the day. However, the drawback of these options is that in the short run, they are more expensive than free public transportation and walking. A new bike costs $500 on average, a new skateboard can run for $75 to $150, and a Bird usually costs about $5 per ride. While they may get you to campus faster and easier, they are likely to also break the bank. These options also include certain dangers because one must travel in close proximity to cars, which in Los Angeles traffic can be oftentimes chaotic. Biking, skateboarding and Birding are all inherently more dangerous than walking because you are constantly sharing the road with cars. With these modes of transportation, one’s safety can easily be compromised by unsafe drivers.
When it comes to transportation to campus, each student’s preference is different. If your priority is efficiency, then biking, Birding or skateboarding are all great options since they are convenient and quick. If you are looking for a cost-effective option, then public transportation and walking are better suited for you.