Students make trek to university despite costly gas prices, lack of cars

Published 2012-01-30T18:02:00Z”/>


Marisela Pulido

Not every student owns a car and some live too far from campus to walk. However, through rain, sleet or scorching hot weather, students still make it to class day after day. 

Demanding schedules generally require some kind of motorized transportation, said Bianka Perez, a senior education major.

“I bike or drive,” Perez said. “If I plan to be on campus after 7 p.m., which is almost always, I usually drive.”

Many of those without cars take the Butte Regional Transit system to destinations. Others opt to ride bikes or walk to campus. There are a variety of options offered to travel around town, including ride-sharing and renting a car for less than $10 an hour.

Having to walk around town can be a challenge when the weather isn’t so forgiving. In these cases some students, like undeclared senior Tania Hernandez, carpool.

“I either take the bus, walk or carpool with friends,” Hernandez said.

Nicollette Singleton, a freshman pre-nursing major, often shares rides with her friends, she said.

“I have a car, but sometimes I hitch a ride with one of my friends because gas is so expensive,” Singleton said.

Students looking to share car rides can also find willing motorists on Craigslist or join Zimride, a private Chico State social network designed specifically to coordinate car-sharing among students, according to Chico State’s website.

Grocery shopping without a car can be challenging when having to walk home carrying bags filled with a gallon of milk, cans of soup and your month’s supply of Hot Pockets and ramen.

There are ways to avoid these treks, including the use of Zipcar, a rental car service offered to students. The cars are rented to those 18 and older with hourly and daily rates that include insurance and start at $8 an hour, according to Chico State’s website.

Repeated use of one Zipcar is equivalent to 15 to 20 personally owned vehicles.

Those with cars can download GasBuddy, an application that shows users where to find the cheapest gas in town.

The cheapest gas in Chico is $3.55 at the Arco gas station on West Ninth and Main streets, according to GasBuddy.

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