Leave the car at home, freshmen

by Maddie Eaton

Many students find it tempting to keep a car on campus — and it is appealing for a select few. However, there are a lot of reasons to leave the car at home.
First, parking is very expensive. The average parking spot at the University of Minnesota costs about $100 per month, which adds up over the course of the year. While street parking is a temporary solution, it tends to be unreliable in the long run. Additionally, traffic control is incredibly active and drivers often receive violations for failing to comply with parking laws.
Secondly, Metro Transit is incredibly cheap — especially in comparison to the rising price of gas — and it can get students pretty much anywhere they need to be in the local area. Public transportation is also better for the environment than driving. Using it can help to clear traffic congestion around campus.
While having a car is necessary for students who live off-campus, most people I know live within walking distance of either a bus or the light rail — and buying a U-Pass covers fares for the semester.
Finally, we should remember that leaving the car at home can prevent students from driving drunk. Young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 are responsible for more than 25 percent of traffic-related accidents. Leaving the car at home completely eliminates the temptation to get behind the wheel when intoxicated — a risk that’s always present when students have easy access to a vehicle.
As a student who lives in Dinkytown, I find Metro Transit to meet my needs completely. The freedom of driving a car wherever you want is a nice, but there’s really no reason why it can’t wait a couple of years until you’re out of school.
Maddie Eaton welcomes comments at [email protected].