Bike, run, ride or walk: CSU commuters have options

Pamela Shapiro

Getting to and from campus can be a hassle for students who have to commute every day. Weather, traffic and even parking can make the simple task of getting to school a challenging one for Colorado State University students.

Alternative Transportation Manager Aaron Fodge said students who live closer to CSU will have more options in terms of how to commute to and from the University’s campus. Luckily, Fodge said 90 percent of CSU students live in Fort Collins, which means the majority of students have various options for transportation.

Ad

Students walk their bikes in the dismount zone Monday afternoon. Many students and staff at CSU commute to campus using alternate transportation. Fort Collins is a bike-friendly community and CSU is continuing efforts to increase bike-friendly areas and focuses on biking safety. (Photo Credit: Megan Fischer)
Students walk their bikes in the dismount zone Monday afternoon. Many students and staff at CSU commute to campus using alternate transportation. Fort Collins is a bike-friendly community and CSU is continuing efforts to increase bike-friendly areas and focuses on biking safety. (Photo Credit: Megan Fischer)

Another factor that students must consider when they decide if they can commute to campus everyday is the expenses of owning a personal vehicle.

“That is going to drive a lot of decision making for students — they have to think about how much they are going to spend throughout the academic year,” Fodge said. “As long as each of those people don’t have a vehicle on campus at the same time, they can split the cost as a carpool permit.”

There are 1,977 students living on campus who purchase parking permits and 3,004 students living off campus who purchase parking permits, Fodge said.

If students do not think that driving a personal vehicle will work for them, there are many other options. Long boarding and biking are popular for CSU students.

“Over 95 percent of the students that live in Fort Collins are within a quarter mile of a bike trail or bike lane,” Fodge said. Many students are biking to class more and more now, and there are also a lot of students who use long boards to get to their destinations.

For students who have a longer distance to travel, ZipCar is another option.

“ZipCar is a car share service on campus — you just get a membership card and pay hourly for the car,” Fodge said. “It’s a way for students to get to the mountains or just the grocery store.”

The Bustang is yet another option for students who are commuting to and from Denver. Fodge said this bus comes to campus now and provides on-campus pick up for students.

Director of Off-Campus Life Jean Ortega said there are many benefits to living off-campus.

“Living off-campus gives you a sense of independence that’s certainly different than living on-campus,” Ortega said. “Students get the opportunity to manage a home, have a dog and have a very diverse community.”

Ad

In terms of challenges, weather is the biggest, Ortega said.

“Students living off campus have to navigate the roads,” Ortega said. “There’s construction in various locations and sometimes the roads can get backed up.”  

The most practical and popular way for students to get to campus is by biking or using mass transit, Ortega said.  

“Given the current landscape in Fort Collins with construction both on and off-campus, using mass transit could actually save students time and stress, and biking into campus is not only good for health, but there are far more bike rack spots on campus than parking spots,” Ortega said.

Weather, traffic and even parking may make the simple task of getting to school a challenging one for CSU students.

Community Liaison Emily Allen, who works both for the City of Fort Collins and CSU off campus life, said she sees the pros and cons of living off campus and having to commute.

“I would always advocate for a student to live on campus as long as possible, but when you live off campus you really get to start to experience more of Fort Collins,” Allen said.

Allen said the most rewarding part of her job is getting to watch students turn into neighbors.

“I love helping students develop into incredible citizens and taking what they learn here and applying it to anywhere they live,” Allen said.

Collegian Reporter Pamela Shapiro can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @pb_shapiro.