Use VIA’s U-Pass during construction

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U-Pass offers a greener wallet, environment and easier parking.

The struggle for students, faculty and staff to find parking will undoubtedly intensify as construction eliminates parking Lots 20, 21, 22 and 29 until spring 2020.

Students taking morning classes may choose to arrive earlier, put on gloves and brawl over limited parking or take advantage of this college’s solution: a partnership with VIA Metropolitan Transit offering free bus rides to campus.

The service, called VIA U-Pass, is offered to all Alamo Colleges students, falculty and staff.

All they need to do is show the bus driver their Alamo Colleges ID.

Campus commuters should take advantage of this opportunity because it can save money and prevent a few headaches.

Riding on a bus can be more fuel efficient than driving alone, which benefits the environment and students’ wallets.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Alter-native Fuels Data Center, in 2018, transit buses had lower per-passenger fuel economy than cars because of low ridership rates nationally.

One solution is to fill buses with more passengers, a closer goal because of U-Pass.

As more passengers are transported together, the fuel consumed per-passenger decreases.

This is the same reason airlines are listed as having the second best per-passenger fuel economy, second only to  intercity rail systems.

If environmental benefits alone don’t convince more students to ride buses, maybe financial benefits will.

Consider the amount of money spent on gas compared to the practically free method of transportation U-Pass offers.

The savings will add up and serve as a lifted burden on many students’ bank accounts.

Riding a bus also allows students to be more productive.

The time spent paying attention to the road, changing lanes and blowing through yellow lights while driving can now be repurposed.

There is additional time to read a book, study or relax during a stress-free commute to school.

The last thing any student needs before an exam is a bit of road rage.

Students can also take advantage of VIA’s Park & Ride service.

The service allows drivers to park in a free designated parking spot and ride a bus to their destination.

There are eight free parking locations, spanning from Stone Oak to Elmendorf, which can be found at www.viainfo.net/park-ride-commuting/.

One downside to taking a bus to this campus is not being able to leave at any time and travel directly somewhere else.

Driving to this campus means a student can be more independent. However, this does not change the limited parking on campus during construction of the new parking garage.

Leaving campus during the day still puts a driver at risk of not finding a parking spot upon return.

While driving gives a commuter more options, riding a bus is a more consistent and reliable method of travel.

Instead of driving to campus, students should consider a more consistent schedule, more time to be productive and a greener environment and wallet as reasons to use the U-Pass.

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