Students and staff board the campus shuttle, which averages 500 riders per day. (Photo: Elias Barboza)
While some students circle the parking lot looking for an empty space, senior Ian Lacey steers his way easily through cars on his mountain bike. Making a sharp turn, he slows down and finds a perfect corner to park his bicycle near the North Science building. By the time he’s done taking off his helmet, he’s ready to head to class at the Hayward campus without delays caused by traffic, parking permits or counting his gas money.
“I have a car but choose not to drive it,” Lacey said.
While most people who walk or bike to school live on or near campus, he treks daily from the Hayward or Castro Valley BART stations from his home in Castro Valley. Already used to the commute time, Lacey doesn’t mind the ride and suggests others do the same. “I’d recommend it.”
Whether interested in exercise, parking convenience or cutting car exhaust on campus, members of the university community who prefer not to drive enjoy several benefits, including reducing expenses.
The Hayward campus offers 4,400 parking spaces, and some 3,000 cars make their way to CSUEB every weekday. During peak hours between noon and 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the school’s parking lots come within a couple hundred spaces of filling up, when around 4,000 cars are on site.
Plenty of options exist for those who don’t want to drive, said Derrick Lobo, parking services coordinator. The campus shuttle, ZipCars, 511 RideMatch Service and the Alameda County Guaranteed Ride Home Program are among alternatives available at CSUEB. Details are available on the university Web site.
Lobo said that CSUEB is doing its part to benefit the environment by offering alternate modes of transportation.
“Our alternative transportation options help to reduce emissions and work toward the campuswide sustainability goal,” Lobo said.
The campus shuttle continues to be the most popular form of public transportation for those coming to the Hayward campus, Lobo said. The campus shuttle averaged 250 riders every day traveling to and from the Hayward Bart station during summer quarter. Lobo estimated that the number increased during fall quarter.
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District, which regulates sources of air pollution in the nine counties of the Bay Area, reports that, on average, individuals spend $20,160 in four years on car expenses such as insurance, parking, gas and maintenance driving to a CSU campus. In 2009, the average Bay Area college student saved more than $4,700 dollars taking the bus to school instead of a car.
Alumnus and CSUEB Web Developer Cagdas Cubukcu prefers taking public transportation to work. Every day, he walks half an hour from his home in Fremont to the nearest BART station. Arriving at the Hayward BART station, he boards the school shuttle or takes AC Transit.
“I get my exercise done,” Cubukcu ’09 said about walking to the BART station. “When I’m on the bus or BART, I don’t worry about getting nervous while driving or have to deal with traffic.” Cubukcu also encouraged others to walk or try public transportation, because it is better for the environment.
Back at the science building, Lacey grabs a bike handle and lifts a foot onto a pedal. He adjusts his backpack before settling on to the seat.
“Parking wastes time and money,” he said, as he adjusted his chin strap. “Driving just isn’t sustainable, and more people should try getting off the road.”