When you don’t have your own car, use someone else’s — Uber has been my saving grace for getting to and from campus in a timely manner.
Parking passes at Long Beach State are $140 per semester and $80 in the summer, according to the Parking and Transportation Services. The cost of the pass combined with the time you’ll spend circling the lot for a space, just isn’t worth it.
When the transportation network company started up in 2009, I just used it to get my drunken friends and I home from bars and nightclubs. It easily became my first choice when needing a driver quickly. Through my experience, the average wait time for an Uber is no more than five minutes, so I thought, if Uber is so punctual, it just might get me to class on time.
When I’m done getting ready for school, I order an Uber 30 minutes before my class starts. The ride to campus is about 12 minutes from my apartment with an average cost of $7 per ride. With slight traffic, I usually arrive 10 minutes before my class begins. After almost a month of using Uber, the service has never made me late.
Along with skipping the hefty parking pass fee, in a personal sacrifice, I also gave up getting a hot Venti caramel macchiato every day in order to pay for my Uber rides.
Yes, there are other options that may be cheaper. Both Uber and Lyft offer ride sharing options where students can carpool with others in one trip which makes it that much cheaper. One shared Lyft trip can cost as little as $3 for someone who lives 15 minutes from campus. However, not everyone is comfortable sitting in a car with other riders.
Most, if not all campuses, offer students free bus passes to get around the city so using the Long Beach Transit buses are the more obvious choice when it comes to pinching pennies. The problem with this option is the schedule. Buses aren’t always reliable; some are late to the stops and sometimes are too full to hold more passengers. Even if you’ve been waiting at a stop for 20 minutes, a seat on the bus is never guaranteed.
Some people choose a more active mode of transportation by riding their bikes or skateboards to campus. As awesome as that may be, getting sweaty is not exactly at the top of my list when I think about how I want to arrive on campus.
Uber gets you from point A to B, quickly and without a scratch. You may even strike up some good conversation with the driver.
People may be hesitant to have a stranger drive them around, but I’ve never met an Uber driver I didn’t like and with background checks for any record within the past seven years, you have a greater sense of security.
With stories about Uber drivers kidnapping or even assaulting their riders, passengers have a tough time trusting their drivers and are wary of their safety. To combat this, Uber added the ability to share the details of your trip with friends, an emergency 911 button within the app and a rerun of background checks on drivers, according to a CNN Tech article published in June.
So not only is Uber a safe bet and more convenient, it is also not as expensive as most people might think. The Uber app is simple to use and all of the information you need is included, such as navigation and payment methods. If you ride multiple times, Uber offers up to 10 rides at a discounted price.
If you want to reduce your amount of trips, because the cost can add up, stay on campus until you’re done with classes or until a friend you can carpool with gets out of class.
Even though I know that with just the tip of my fingers I can head back home any time I want, carpooling motivates me to actually stay on campus. Staying on campus for those two or three more hours is more productive because that way I am able to get a lot of homework done while waiting for my ride.
So Happy Uber-ing and maybe we’ll share a ride one day.