Tips for handling transportation in and around campus, while you are in college.
Walking is usually how students get from one class to the next, so be sure that your schedule allows you enough time. Orientation is a great time to find out where your classes are located. You might want to arrange your class schedule so that you take classes nearest to each other on the same day.
If you’re living on campus, most schools recommend that first-year students don’t bring a car. Parking passes are often expensive and very limited for first-year students (and parking tickets will add up fast!). Cars also require insurance, gas money and maintenance, which eat into your budget.
There are lots of ways to tap into the carpool network. You can find student postings offering carpools, either online (like at Waze Carpool) or posted near the student center or cafeteria. This is probably most common around school breaks like Thanksgiving, Winter Break, and Spring Break.
In a carpool setup, a college student with a car may offer a ride to another student in exchange for gas money (and good company). If you’re considering carpooling, always prioritize your safety. Only catch a ride with someone you can trust, whether that’s the driver or you bringing along a friend.
Many campuses offer free shuttles that help you to get around campus. Become familiar with them, their hours and routes, and then use them! They’ll make it easier to get across campus, or possibly even off campus, ensuring that you can get home safely, especially after a late night.
In Chicago, a CTA U-Pass provides you unlimited rides on the CTA during your enrollment as a full-time student in a participating institution. This is usually factored into one of those student fees everyone pays. Participating schools include City Colleges of Chicago, DePaul University, Roosevelt University, UIC, and many others. Check your school’s website or ask your advisor to learn if you are eligible for a CTA U-Pass.
If you’re confident on a bike, consider getting a $5/year Divvy bike membership for the first year! Divvy bikes can be locked for free at 500+ public bike racks throughout Chicago, making them a convenient way to get around.
Ask on your campus about public transportation passes in your community. Many colleges provide these for students. For example, at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, students can use their student ID (their i-card) as a bus pass to ride the public MTD buses around Champaign and Urbana.