Tag Archives | public transportation

Photo by Emile Séguin on Unsplash

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.

Image from Jan Natividad

Image from Jan Natividad

Bonjour! I am currently spending the semester studying abroad in Paris, France. Two months in, and it is undoubtedly one of the best experiences I have ever had. As much fun as I may be having right now, the process of getting to this point was very long and complicated. Here is some advice for avoiding the stress of pre-departure. Although some of these tips are specific to Paris, you can use them for practically any exchange location!


Tip 1: You don’t need to pack everything that you own, but don’t forget to pack essentials that you take for granted. I am having a difficult time finding baking soda here in Paris and a friend of mind couldn’t find any heat protection hair spray! Although you probably won’t find out if you can buy a product locally or not until you actually arrive, be sure to pack favourite hygiene products, food and anything else that you absolutely cannot live without. In some cases, they may sell what you need, but not in the brand that you prefer.

Tip 2: Don’t be afraid of the $100 extra baggage fee on an airplane. The contents of your extra bag are probably worth more than the $100 fee. This also gives you extra space for any souvenirs and gifts that you plan on bringing back home. Remember that things in France are in euros, meaning it is probably going to be significantly more expensive for your favourite shampoo or cereal in France than it is in Canada, so do the math! The only problem you may encounter with this is lugging it from the airport to your new apartment by yourself.

Tip 3: You should also remember to pack both regular sized and travel-sized hygiene products. If you plan on travelling while on exchange, $1 mini toothpaste from your local drugstore is a lot cheaper than buying €1 mini toothpaste in France.

Paris Tip: Parisian street fashion is very stylish but monochromatic. So, when packing clothes, you may want to skip your neon-green top. This may sound silly, but a decent sense of fashion is a matter of self-preservation! Aggressive beggars and pickpockets are less likely to attack you if you don’t have that neon-green “tourist” target on your back.

Everything Else

Tip 1: Don’t worry too much about banking, meeting new people, public transportation, cellphone plans and most other things. The international team at your host school will cover a lot of this during orientation week. Just remember to bring necessary documents, photocopies of IDs and an unlocked cellphone so that everything else will go by a lot smoother.

Tip 2: Remember to have fun! School is important, but don’t spend your whole day inside school or inside your apartment. If you’re not exploring your new environment and soaking all the culture in, you’re more susceptible to getting really home sick. Your new place – as great or as dingy as it may be – will be your new home for the next couple of months. Try to find the positive aspects of your new place such as a really cool nearby bar or your kind neighbour.