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Cut the car: other campus transportation options

Submitted by Rachel Wright on November 11, 2013 – 5:21 pmNo Comment

Illustration by Byron Buslig

Is it quicker to walk or to drive?

When navigating around campus, students have many choices of transportation: trolley, bike, skateboard, motorcycle, car or feet. Which is more convenient, and most efficient?

According to an article in USA Today, people between the ages of 16 and 34 approach travel differently than their parents. Because of increase in gas prices, many people are choosing not to drive and finding alternate forms of transportation.

When trying to maneuver around campus, students want a quick and efficient mode of transportation. But what are the choices and how can a student decide what the best fit is?

Cars are convenient for off campus trips, but when traveling from the dorms or village to class, is it worth trying to find parking?

“That is a waste of gas, in my opinion, it is not a far enough distance to drive every day,” Chenesia Brown, a junior criminal justice major, said about driving from the East Hall parking lot to her classes in Stabler Hall. Traveling from the Village or dorms to the Business Building by car, and parking by the Jack Stevens Center, especially for a night class, is a different story.

The University has provided students with trolleys that run around Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. The trolleys have two routes: the Maroon route and Sliver route.

The Maroon Route travels around the south side of campus, and stops at the Village, University Plaza, the bus shelter on Campus Drive across from the Donaghey Student Center and South Oaks Apartments.

The Sliver Route travels the south side of campus, and stops at Lot 14, Lot 13, Lot 8 (College of Business), Fine Arts Building, across from the Donaghey Student Center and the north end of West Hall. Students can follow the trolley’s route by pulling up the Trojan Trolley Tracker system on the university website with their phone, laptop or tablet.

Students who want to take a more active approach when traveling around campus can ride a bicycle, skateboard, or longboard. There are bike stands all around campus: by the Information Technology Building, the Fine Arts Building, Stabler Hall, the library, the admissions building, the main campus dorms and the DSC. Bikes are a way for students to stay fit while going to and from class, and cut down the time it takes to get across campus. By cutting down the time it takes to get to class, students might find they have more time to get ready.

Students who skateboard or longboard also say it cuts down the time it takes to get to class, “A walk that usually takes 15 minutes only takes five minutes on the board,” said John Brewster, a junior management information systems major. Compared to driving, “it’s more enjoyable, a good light exercise, and better for the environment (saves on gas),” said longboarder Jerett Wemette, a sophomore mechanical systems engineering major.

Though bicycles, skateboards and longboards help with travel and the environment, they will need upkeep, so be ready for minor investments. UALR is not responsible for bikes that are lost or stolen. It is a student’s job to make sure their bike is properly secured to a bike rack.

Motorcycles can be a major investment for students, but could pay off in the long run. Motorcycles are cheap on gas and easy to maneuver around campus and find parking. To legally operate a motorcycle the person should have a motorcycle license.

“Riding is a stress reliever, and is enjoyable,” a source said. When riding a motorcycle it is recommended that riders wear proper attire such as a leather jacket and helmet for protection. If a student decides to invest in a motorcycle, they might want to consider weather changes that could prevent them from riding.

When in doubt, a student can always walk to class.

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