The Commute is Getting Costly: How You Can Get to Class on a Dime
After nearly four weeks of daily gas price increases, the budget of your everyday college student is getting tight. Right now, the national average for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.76 a gallon, or the equivalent of 22 packs of Ramen Noodles! We can’t have students missing lunch, so Rasmussen College has gathered some cost efficient ways to get to class without having to dip into the grocery money.
It may sound like an ancient way of doing things, but hitching a ride to class with a classmate is a huge money saver. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), the average cost of driving a mid-size car 15,000 miles a year is around $7,500. If you're driving an SUV, the cost reaches almost $8,000 a year and these numbers don’t even include the cost of parking or suggested maintenance.
How do these numbers break down for a student? Here’s an example – if you drive 10 miles to class solo with gas averaging $4.00 a gallon, according to AAA, the monthly cost is $51. However, if you drive with two fellow classmates the cost drops to $26, and if there are three people, even lower to $17. The more classmates you take along for the ride, the more the merrier, and the more money you save.
However, you don’t necessarily need classmates to ride with. Erideshare.com is one example of a website that connects people looking to carpool. There are people carpooling everywhere from Fargo, ND to Aurora, IL.
Bike to Class
With spring fast approaching, enjoying the weather outside will be something everyone wants and plans to do. According to the City of Chicago website, the windy city has more than 177 miles of on-street bike lanes and more than 12,000 bike racks. Minneapolis was also named the 4th best biking city in the nation by the U.S. Census Bureau American Fact Finder and according to the city of Minneapolis nearly 10,000 people in the Twin Cities commute by bike.
The cost savings is big. For example, as a student if you have a 10-mile commute and spend $5 daily on parking, according to Kiplinger.com you would save $9 a day by biking to class.
We’re so used to jumping in the car and heading out, but have you ever thought about hopping on the bus instead? Using public transportation is an easy way to save on commuter costs. Every city posts public transportation schedules and pick-up locations on its website, so check out the daily routes to see if there are any headed in your direction.
According to Metrotransit.org, it would cost Twin Cities students just $2.25 to take the bus or light rail during weekday rush hours. It’s even less during non-rush hours times. In Fort Myers, FL, a bus pass would cost $3.50 a day with unlimited rides, according to Rideleetran.com.
There are many ways to save, but one thing is for sure; getting to class doesn’t have to break the bank.