1. Why are there so many bus routes and which one do I take when multiple are supposed to get me to the same place? Attempting to ride the bus for the first time as a freshman at UCSD is close to the beginning script of a mystery novel. It’s one big question there and back. Am I on the right bus? Am I going the right direction? Did I type in the right place? And face it, chances you’ll get lost are high, even while using Google Maps.
2. Please let us know why the bus is always on time when you are in no rush to get to your destination, yet it decides to be 20 minutes late the day you’re trying to make it to the train station on time… Murphy’s law at its finest hour.
3. It’s mind boggling that the bus just occasionally shows up… invisibly. At least that’s what the app tells us? One moment you’re checking the app as it tells you the 101 Breeze is 3 minutes away, to losing your head in confusion when those 3 minutes have passed and the bus is no where to be seen. The app says its 4 stops past yours but you know for a fact that slow hunk of metal didn’t pass your bench in the blink of an eye.
4. Oh don’t forget about all those times that the buss casually passes up a crowd of regular riders in front of some of the apartments off campus. Well looks like you won’t be making it to class on time to today. And if you’re going to be late, what’s the point in going at all…
5. Why can’t there be late night public transportation, a 24 hour bus? It makes it hard to save when you want to go out late at night but have to spend $30 on an Uber back to campus.
And if you’re one of the lucky ones able to afford a car at UCSD, well you’ve got your fair share of problems… not even sure this deserves the title lucky.
6. It’d be nice to know why I can never find a parking space on campus during the week? The lack of student parking on the UCSD campus is so extreme that they decided to destroy two perfectly functional parking lots to build a 7th college (as if we needed any more). This seems like a cruel joke they’d tell you at orientation to scare you away from attempting to bring your car as a freshman because you have “sophomore standing” and want to beat the system. While in reality, they actually did this. They destroyed parking lots, BEFORE building new ones. Talk about being the creator of your own problem.
7. Be leery of asking friends and or parents to visit you on a weekday. Parking is only free on Saturdays and Sundays. As if parking per hour was not high enough as it was, they rose the price for this upcoming school year. (Probably because they decided to destroy so many parking spaces.) How to Make a Problem Worse: 101.
8. When you thought there would be speck of hope, the student asks “How can I even afford to bring a car on campus?” This would be the billion dollar question, or should I say the estimated $600 dollar question. Gas already costs more than one can make on a minimum wage salary in a day, but then they have to smack on that parking fee each quarter. We are broke college students, paying for school, going to school, and working. We barely have money or time to eat!
So the questions move on to the bikers and skateboarders… oh and the scooter-ers?
9. Riding a bike is the best way to travel across campus, correct? You can move from one side of the campus to the other in 15-20 minutes instead of 30-35 minutes. While it may seem like the perfect opportunity to get to class on time, the amount of stress the average biker at UCSD is under to find a parking space for their bike can be nearly as stressful as parking the car! In the transitioning moments between classes, finding a spot or maneuvering through Library Walk is like spending three hours to get out of the parking lot after a music festival.
10. And oh the skateboarders! While jealousy sinks in at their skills to maneuver on those four wheeled magical boards, one could ask “so how many people did you see wipe out on their skateboard today?” There are a lot of skateboard to person, skateboard to bike, skateboard to scooter collisions out there in the walking lanes. Sometimes it’s hard to feel safe when you hear the wheels of a skateboard rolling and bumping against the asphalt behind you.
Although there are many jokes about the bus system at UCSD, it really is a great way to save your money as a college student. It also helps the environment! You buy a pass at the beginning of the year for a fair price and can use the bus whenever you’d like. It definitely helps those looking to save a few pennies from driving and parking.
And when you have classes back to back across campus, definitely take your bike. You’ll be happy you’re not late to class… and so will your professor.
Alexandra Smith is majoring in Psychology, with a minor in Creative Writing. In her free time, she enjoys running, hanging out with family friends, and roaming the world with her camera in hand.