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Public transportation is convenient and affordable, not scary

By Denny West
On September 20, 2018

Alternative ways to save money and prevent hassle are always focal points on a college student’s radar. Many individuals, myself included, have to travel on and off campus to attend classes and complete tasks of everyday life. 

It is important to remember local public transportation options as they provide benefits that meet needs of students and are cost effective, even if you own a vehicle. 

This is where your friendly metro bus system, Cedar Rapids Transit, comes into the picture. 

Many of us have been on a school bus when younger but public transportation is a whole different scenario.  I didn’t have any real experience with a public bus system until arriving in Cedar Rapids some time ago.  

Never considering myself a “bus guy”, it turns out I was even more of a “don’t miss work or school guy” after deciding to not let being sans car keep me from my goals.  

You may find yourself in similar straights so here’s my take on riding the bus that I would like to share in the hopes of opening an avenue on which to travel, both figurative and literally speaking. 

For the most part the buses here in town are pretty clean.  There may be the occasional Dorito’s wrapper or piece of paper on the floor but nary anything that would cause harm.  

Sure, the winters bring slushy shoes tramping through aisles and slightly messy windows but that’s the norm for winter around here, isn’t it?   

It’s likely you have seen a bus around town and honestly, they don’t look bad from the outside and appear to be in good shape mechanically as well.   

The schedule is typically reliable and relatively convenient. 

They generally run out of the main terminal downtown at fifteen minutes after the hour.  At certain times on route 7, the Kirkwood route, they go every half hour.   

Obviously, this means you have to make plans and adjust accordingly but it’s not that bad and I have always used that as a reason to get some work in while commuting. 

One can do things on a bus that cannot be done while driving, like reading or doing a little impromptu studying for an exam or quiz.  

Here’s the best part: Public transportation is affordable not only for academic but personal needs as well. As a Kirkwood student with your EagleCard, there is no cost to ride Route 7 and other discounts are available with Saturdays being free all day no matter why or where you are riding. 

A pass can be obtained in the Allsop Lab in Nielsen Hall, along with information about stops and times around campus. 

So, with this option being a reasonable solution to transportation woes, why doesn’t everyone take the bus? The question here becomes the answer: All the crazies use public transit, right?  Only the worse dregs of humanity need the bus!   

Nothing could be further from the truth my friends, especially on Route 7.  

Sure, if you’re claustrophobic you may want to consider another option but the people are diverse and it can make for interesting experiences.  

Sure, there are some frustrations but really nothing in life comes easy or without challenge so when looking to move about the city and campus, keep in mind that public transportation is a decent solution and can be a resource to be utilized without much effort or cost.  

So, get some information on campus or visit www.cedar-rapids.org (hover over “For Residents” then choose “City Buses”), make a plan and see if your local bus system can help you achieve your goals. You may even get a laugh, learn something you didn’t know or make a friend or two along the way. Enjoy the ride!

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