The University Network

Surviving on Campus Without a Car

Though it may seem impossible to do so, especially if you’re attending school in a large city, it is very possible to survive on your college campus without owning or having access to a car.

Ride-share companies like Zipcar and Enterprise Car Share allow individuals to rent cars, SUVs and more at specified locations hourly, daily, or weekly. As long as you’re at least 18 with a valid driver’s license and credit or debit card, you’re good to go.

Companies like these allow students to travel locally or on longer trips if they wish. This option is perfect for students who want to do some nearby grocery or clothes shopping on their own time, without relying on a ride or a taxi.

Of course, not every college campus or city has ride-share companies, so if yours doesn’t, you would have to catch a taxi or an Uber or Lyft.

While Uber or Lyft are unlikely to offer discounts to college students, local taxi companies in your area might. Call ahead or ask around to see if you could possibly get a discount when riding with them.

If you’re not too keen on hopping in a vehicle with a stranger, it might be worth it to check out what opportunities your campus offers.

Your school’s bus system likely offers a route that travels to local shopping centers or grocery stores, or a specified bus that runs on a specific day to various areas. You already pay for transportation in your fees, so why not take advantage of them?

Taking advantage of activities and events that are within walking distance helps as well. While it would be nice to take a long drive somewhere, the best events are often right on or in the heart of campus. Search on Facebook and Twitter for events going on that you can walk to.

Making friends with people who have cars can also help with transportation burdens. All they’d likely ask in return is gas money.

If you’d still like your own way and think you’ll get tired of asking people for rides, why not invest in a bicycle? More and more college campuses are becoming bike friendly–that is, providing more sidewalks and bike racks for students to ride their bicycles to and from class.

A bicycle is a nice way to not only help with air pollution, but get some exercise as well. Bikes are often sold for cheap online on websites like Craigslist, or even available to rent for a semester at some colleges.

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Not having a car might seem like a burden, but with the right planning, you can easily survive a year (or even all four) without one.

Tandra Smith is a journalism major at Georgia Southern University and an avid news junkie. When she's not consuming as much news as she can, she is attempting to watch something from her infinitely growing My List on Netflix. Sarcasm is one her greatest joys in life.