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David Rodriguez, CommUNITY Voices guest columnist

There are many benefits to adding a bicycle to your daily commute.

Whether you drive, take public transportation or walk to get around UTA, riding a bike can save money and time.

Driving to campus means spending time sitting in traffic and driving through parking lots looking for somewhere to park. Parking rates get higher the closer you park to campus, and remote parking involves waiting on an unreliable shuttle system. Instead of waiting on a shuttle, add a bike to your remote parking pass and take your commute into your own hands. There are many places students can park within a 1 mile radius of UTA — reducing your 15-minute shuttle commute to a simple 5-minute bike ride. Once you find a parking spot you can then add a bicycle to your commute to quickly get you to class.

Before I moved to Arlington from Dallas, I would spend time waiting for a bus or train trying to get to UTA. Public transportation in the Metroplex consists of multiple agencies that work together to provide service to commuters. However, the long multi-region routes often involve paying different rates.

Like other students who rely on public transit to get to campus, my multi-regional pass paid for a route that was a combination of buses and trains. Over time, I realized that adding a bicycle to my route allowed me to save money on fares by allowing me to pick one form of transportation over the other, depending on which was more convenient at the time. Students can do the same by riding a bicycle to the nearest transportation hub, which have more payment options than a machine on a bus. Adding a bicycle to your public transportation commute would allow you to connect your routes efficiently, so you spend less time waiting for the next bus or train.

There is no doubt that the majority of students end up walking if they don’t own a car and live within a reasonable distance of UTA. I became one of those students when I sold my car and moved closer to campus. Even if you’re a student who prefers to walk, add a bicycle to your commute to save money and time. A bicycle allows me to ride to restaurants with more affordable food options or to a grocery store, so I can prepare a quick meal instead of going out. Riding a bicycle to campus or between classes permits me to use the time I save to prepare my notes for class or prepare mentally for my campus job.

Saving money and time should be every college student’s priority while attending UTA. Adding a bicycle would allow you to do both at the same time. Your primary mode of transportation can be complimented with a bicycle. Making this decision would keep dollars in your wallet and add minutes to your schedule.

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