Wheels on the bus go…

Helen Tracey

Crap, late for class again.

After sitting in line on the Castillo off-ramp for 10 minutes and wasting another 20 minutes just to try and find a parking spot every day for the past week, I’m already down half a tank of gas. There has to be another way to get to school that will actually get me there on time.

Luckily there is the bus.

Sure the bus system has been villianized by such movies as “Crash” because “they have big windows so people can see the poor people who ride the bus,” but it’s efficient, predictable and is always there for me.

Like everyone else in this beach community, the Santa Barbara Metropolitan District is concerned about the environment. Already, the bus saves on emitting this greenhouse gas by having multiple people in one vehicle, but now SBMTD has new hybrid buses.

These clean-running machines ensure transportation while emitting less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which as Al Gore has told us, is good for the planet.

Not only does the bus help keep Santa Barbara green, but it also helps keep green in your pocket. City College students get to ride for free.

That’s right, it won’t cost you a dime. All you have to do is flash your student ID card with the updated semester sticker on it and you can ride any bus at any time, for a 100 percent price cut in what it would have cost you to drive there.

Along with being fuel and cash efficient, the bus is always on time. After a semester of early morning math classes that I get to by taking the bus, not once have I been late.

However, there is that ever-nagging problem of getting up an hour before your class starts just so you can catch the bus and ride it for half an hour before you arrive on campus.

When you don’t own a car, it’s a small sacrifice to make compared to the alternative of biking up Cliff Drive.

Plus, getting into Isla Vista during Halloween if you live downtown by car is virtually impossible. Why not take the bus?

After you’ve spent the weekend celebrating and can’t tell which car is yours and which is the drunk double, the bus can be your designated driver.

This saves on car repairs you might have to shell out money for or cab fare which is almost as ridiculous as taking a cab in New York.

I’m not saying that driving is the enemy here, I do own a car. But when I’m low on cash and have to choose between buying gas and paying rent, I’m going to have to go with paying rent and taking the bus. There are 32 buses that run all over Santa Barbara including those that go from Carpinteria or Lompoc and back.

Taking the bus is not a big sacrifice, it’s just more reliable, gas-efficient, and saves you some cash so you can afford to bring your own beer next time you’re out in Isla Vista.