Pros and Cons of Using Public Transportation in College

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If you don’t live within walking or biking distance of your campus, you’ll need to decide how you’re going to get there every day. Commuting to school is becoming the norm for many campuses around the country. The two most common options are driving or taking public transportation, such as buses and trains. As cities have worked on improving their public transportation, this option has become more popular among modern students. Here are just a few pros and cons to keep in mind if you’re planning to use public transportation while in college.

Less Expensive

The biggest benefit of public transportation is undoubtedly the cost. You may spend $1 a day or less to get to and from school, which is very little, especially compared to the cost of maintaining and fueling a car. Any decent car will likely cost well over $1,000. Even if you have a car already, you’d still need to pay for gas and insurance, which could run you over $100 per month, plus any fees for a parking pass at your school. When you want to keep costs to a minimum, public transportation is the way to go.

You’ll Spend More Time Commuting

When you take public transportation, you may save money, but it’s at the expense of your time. Since buses and trains run on a schedule, you may need to wait around for yours, and they usually won’t get you to school as quickly as you would get there if you drove. Finding public transportation that fits your schedule can help with this, but your commute will still likely be slower than if you drove, which means you need to plan to leave a bit earlier.

You Can Study or Complete Assignments During Your Commute

That longer commute isn’t necessarily a big deal, because you can get schoolwork or studying done on the road. You obviously wouldn’t be able to do this if you were driving, which means that extra time you spend commuting could result in more free time the rest of your day.

You May End Up Stuck on Campus or Late to Class

Whenever you’re relying on public transportation, there’s a chance you could miss a bus or there could be a cancellation, leaving you either stuck on campus or showing up late to a class. This is why it’s important to have alternate options in mind in case you ever need them. Become familiar with the buses, trains, and other transport that comes and goes near your school.

Added Safety

A simple benefit you may not consider with public transport is that many times it’s a lot safer than driving yourself. Because trains are on their own rails, there’s never a chance you’ll get stuck in traffic. According to The Levin Injury Firm, victims of car accidents commonly suffer injuries like whiplash to even more severe brain trauma. While there is a chance of crashing on a bus, it’s much lower than if you were in your own vehicle.

Even though public transportation has its drawbacks, they aren’t too big of a deal, and the benefits far outweigh these disadvantages. With proper planning, you can get to school without spending much money.

This article was contributed by guest author Eileen O’Shanassy.

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