Five Ways for Students to Cut Transportation Costs
Travel costs for students can really add up over time. Between travelling to and from campus, commuting to your job or internship, and leaving on weekends to visit friends and family, you may find that half of your budget goes to fuel or train tickets. Cutting down on your transportation costs will leave you with more money left over for extra trips, books, and even a night out or two! Try using the following techniques to cut down on transportation costs as a student.
Image Source: Terence Ong/Wikimedia Commons
1. Dust off your bike.
If you don’t have long distances to cover, try hopping on your bicycle. Not only will it keep you in shape for the summer party season, but it can also save you a load of cash. Many university towns are extremely bike-friendly, providing plenty of parking spaces and designated bike lanes.
2. Buy a seasonal pass.
Public transport is usually more cost-effective than driving, but this will depend on the area you study in and how frequently you need to use the network. If you travel regularly to visit your parents on weekends or need to hop on the bus every day to get to class, look at seasonal tickets. Paying for rides in bulk usually works out to give you some sort of discount. Buying tickets in advance can also save you some cash on travel expenses.
3. Become a more efficient driver.
Sources like this article claim that you can halve your fuel use by becoming a green driver, which is greatly promising. If you can’t imagine getting rid of your car, try changing the way you drive to save money on fuel costs. It helps if you have a fuel-efficient car to begin with, but you can also stretch your mileage by maintaining your car, avoiding rush hour traffic, and even avoiding gas-wasting left turns. Don’t start and stop aggressively or you’ll stress the engine. Instead, try driving as smoothly as possible and coming to a slow, gradual stop.
4. Share a ride.
You can also cut your commuting costs by sharing your car with other students or co-workers. If your roommate needs a ride to class, split the cost of gas and parking. You can use online services like Liftshare to find ridesharing buddies, put an ad out on sites like Craigslist, or put up a note on the student bulletin boards in common areas at school. You may even make some new friends as a side bonus.
5. Look for youth or student discounts.
Most public transport networks offer discounts to students or those under the age of 25. Ask in your student services office if there are any discounts that you should know about, or buy student-oriented passes for coach and rail trips.
By looking for youth discounts, buying public transport tickets in advance, and driving more efficiently, you could shave a significant percentage off of your student transportation budget. The savings may seem small at first, but over time you’ll see a noticeable change in your student checking account.