The first day of college is an exciting step for a freshman — and may be ho-hum for returning upperclassmen. But both newbies and old hands can make life on campus air-friendly by going car-light or car-free. Keep these tips in mind as you send your student off on that next adventure:
- Carpooling is for cool kids. Sharing the ride between home and college with a new friend can save emissions and gas money, especially if each student would have otherwise driven separately. Plus, the long car trips provide an opportunity to get to know new friends. Try using RideShare’s single trip matching to find a carpool buddy.
- Consider car-sharing. Most colleges require that freshmen live on campus, and campuses are often easy to navigate by bike or on foot. For those occasional off-campus trips, research car sharing services such as ZipCar — available in our area at the University of Missouri–Kansas City — or look for a similar company in another city.
- Invest in two wheels instead of four. A bike — with a reliable lock — will often get a student closer to class in less time, compared to driving in circles searching for a spot in overcrowded parking lots. Try a folding bike for cramped dorm spaces. And don’t forget that your Kansas City B-Cycle membership works in more than 20 cities nationwide!
Staying local? Most of our region’s local colleges are served by public transportation. In fact, a UMKC student ID doubles as a KCATA bus pass and the JO’s K-10 Connector runs between KU’s Edwards and Lawrence campuses with a stop at Johnson County Community College in between. Try a combination of carpooling, biking and transit to get from home to class. All of Kansas City’s regional transportation systems use Google Maps, so finding a route is just a few clicks away.