Why GVSU students should get 'on board' with busing

By Lanthorn Editorial Board | 9/6/17 11:26pm

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At Grand Valley State University, students can get around campus in a variety of ways: walking, biking, longboarding, etc. Traveling between the Allendale and Pew campuses or to the grocery store is a different situation, though, and students are limited either to driving or taking the bus. 

For many students, owning and maintaining a car while attending school is impossible. Due to the cost of gas, repairs and parking permits, as well as the small annoyance of finding a close parking spot, owning a car may simply be impractical for a lot of students. That's where busing comes in.

Thanks to the university's partnership with The Rapid, students have free access to several bus lines to get around campus, travel from Allendale to Grand Rapids, ride from the off-campus apartment complexes to their classroom buildings and make direct stops at Meijer to shop for groceries.

Riding the bus in lieu of driving offers students a number of benefits ranging from financial to environmental. For starters, students save money on gas and vehicle maintenance when they ride the bus. Check out the statistics from GVSU Transportation Services on page 8 of this issue to learn how much you could save by taking the bus to class instead of hopping in your car.

Riding the bus is also an environmentally sustainable practice that helps cut down on carbon emissions from cars and other vehicles. GVSU has a strong commitment to sustainability, and the vast busing network available to students, faculty and staff is one practical example of this commitment. 

Another benefit of the bus system is that it gets people off campus and outside of their respective living centers. It can be frustrating at times to not have a car: You can feel a bit trapped with no way to get around besides your own two feet. The Rapid gives students, faculty and staff the chance to explore the greater Grand Rapids area. By simply hopping on the bus, you are able to cruise Grand Rapids' streets for free, stopping at a variety of popular locations. 

Some of these highly requested destinations include The Intersection, the DeVos Place Convention Center, the Grand Rapids Art Museum, the Civic Theatre, the Van Andel Arena and more. Visit page 9 for more information on how to get to these places from GVSU's Allendale Campus. 

Along with providing financial benefits, riding the bus can be a more convenient alternative to driving. With our busy school and work schedules, it is increasingly hard to find a free moment to just do nothing. Even when we are driving we are doing something, but sitting (or standing) on the bus gives us an opportunity to get a little relaxation, read a book or listen to music.

It's important for the university to offer this free transportation option to the campus community, particularly students, as they are paying good money to be here. Tuition was just recently raised by approximately 4.11 percent, so saving money, even if it is just a few dollars a day, is hugely beneficial. Students should take advantage of the busing system to get the most out of their tuition dollars.

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