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Why You Do (or Don’t!) Need a Car on Campus

I know that I whined and complained last year, wishing I had my car on campus. I lived in Bassett, a lovely dorm, but very far from the bus stop. I always imagined (especially on those days when I woke up at 10:00 for my 10:05 on West) how wonderful it must be to have my car to whisk me away to class. Little did I realize how badly parking sucks on this campus.
If you live on West Campus, you know how far Blue Zone parking is. From everything. You also know that Blue Zone 1 (the closest lot) should be known as the miracle lot, because that’s what it takes to get a spot there: divine intervention. After factoring in the time it takes to walk to your car, drive to class, and then park, driving to class on a different campus takes just as long as taking the dreaded C-1.

Despite promises for reform every year, the bus system has not gotten any better. The bottom line remains: you’re better off taking a bus than your car to class.
I also scoffed at the idea of using a bicycle to get around campus last year, but I’ve realized it definitely has some merit. Though weather is a factor, biking around campus saves you from being crushed on a bus, and is also a fabulous source of exercise.
Getting off campus, though, is a different story. Admissions officers try to push the DATA or Bull City Connector bus systems as a manageable way to get around Durham, but we all know what a hassle busses can be—didn’t we just complain about using them to get to class? Biking isn’t really an option, especially at night. That leaves automobiles as the best source of transportation.
If you drive off campus often, you pay $240 a year for a pass to park in Egypt (aka the Blue Zone). If you only drive off campus every once in a while, you’re better off paying $8 an hour for a WeCar. These cars are parked at much more convenient locations on campus, like the Bryan Center, the West Campus bus loop, and the East Duke building. Plus, they’re environmentally friendly!

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