County buses give students safer travel

With the cost of tuition and living expenses on the rise, public transportation is becoming a more dependable option for Sonoma State University students. Computer science major and Rohnert Park resident Shelby Munsch prefers using the bus because he finds it safer. 

“I have totalled more cars than I should have already, and I can’t afford to buy a car,” Munsch said, “Being in the car with me isn’t safe, but taking the bus is safe.” 

Safety isn’t the only appeal for students interested in taking advanteage of the Sonoma County bus system.

“There is a benefit of using public transportation and being a student in Sonoma County. All rides within Sonoma County are absolutely free and all that one needs to show is a valid school identification card.” 

In December, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors extended the subsidized Transit Fare Pilot-program for Sonoma County college students.

According to the Bureau of Transportation statistics, the majority of Americans drive daily or are passengers in a motor vehicle, but how safe is a private vehicle in comparison with public bus transportation? A recent CNN report showed that cars and trucks accounted for more than 5.75 deaths per billion miles while buses accounted for only 0.4 deaths per billion miles. The report concluded that buses are one of the safest forms of travel.

Other than being safe and affordable, the Sonoma County bus services are easily accessible to Sonoma State students. There is an existing designated bus stop near the campus entrance. Buses numbers 44,10 and 46 access this pickup and drop-off zone with an interchanging interval of about 45 minutes between them. It’s an advantage for students who live on or near campus, for they are uniquely positioned to use the bus given the centralized location in which most of their activities occur. 

Students that use the bus won’t have to pay the cost of a parking permit, which makes it a good option for those trying to save money. With a general parking pass at Sonoma State costing $94and a motorcycle pass going for $22, using a bus seems a reasonable option for students.Students can save time by taking the bus because there’s no need to find parking when you get to school. 

Not only does bus transportation help in the conservation of energy, it also helps in the decongestion of the already filled freeways and highways. Plus the bonus of on-board wifi, public transportation can be a realistic option for many students.

On the contrary some students do not like using means of public transportation to get to school. Many claim that there is little comfort on the bus compared to driving their own cars or riding their bikes. Grant Hagstrom a junior and geology major uses his motorbike to get to school. 

“It’s fun riding my bike. I’m also comfortable in my own private space” Hagstrom said. 

He said that he does not mind paying the $22 to park his bike, because it’s still cheaper than buying a parking pass for a car.

“I would use the bike every time compared to the bus,” Hagstrom said when asked about his method of transportation.