Using alternative transportation could alleviate the parking stress at school.
International affairs are directly affecting student finances and some need alternate solutions to commute within their budgets.
This campus, specifically, is a large commuter school, serving students throughout the Wasatch area. The university does not provide on-campus housing, so every student has a commute, whether it’s 10 minutes or an hour.
“Students that have either a long or short drive commuting to campus or work will be affected. … A spike in gas prices is felt,” said Dr. Michael Minch of the Peace and Justice Studies Program.
Instead of students stretching their financial capacity, they could make joint efforts in finding alternate solutions for transportation.
One alternative for students is the UTA EdPass. The pass currently costs $20 for one year, but if a pass is purchased now, it will only last until September. Despite recent conflict surrounding the pass when UTA announced they would be cutting their subsidy for the EdPass program, options will be available. Although the student government initially voted to cut ties with UTA and no longer subsidize it either, student backlash has resulted in a new proposal by Vice President of Finance and Administration Val Peterson. Starting next fall, the annual EdPass will cost $120. It may be six times the price it is now, but it will still be more economical than driving.
Another alternative way of commuting to school would be to develop a carpool schedule with friends and take turns driving. This can greatly reduce a student’s demand for driving and will help reduce the amount spent on gas.
As the weather warms up, anyone who lives close enough can ride their bike to school, a cost-effective and physically beneficial transport. Depending upon how close someone lives to campus, walking is another option for students if they plan to leave in advance for class.
But even when gas prices are very low, everyone should be aware and efficient in how they use their automobiles, especially considering with the harm carbon emissions have on the planet and our reliance on that commodity.
Minch said, “[Reliance on personal vehicles] can create global warming and dependence on foreign oil and oil period.”
Decreased driving can also help improve the parking mayhem on campus. Fewer people driving means fewer people scavenging for spots throughout the day. As students become more aware of other transportation options and become committed to using them, it relieves the stress felt by students who have to drive themselves when finding a spot and making it to their classes.
The foreign affairs behind the gas prices are not alterable on the personal level, but as students and others make efforts to relieve the dependence upon oil, we will be more self-sufficient and cope better with the situation.