Going to the car wash is one of my favorite activities. It’s one of life’s simple pleasures. For a few
fleeting instants, I’m able to take my hands off the steering wheel, sit back, and stop worrying. It
doesn’t matter that I’m the one in the driver’s seat; nothing is required of me for the next two and a
half minutes. Soap surrounds the car, dirt washes away, and I emerge from the other end of the tunnel
sparkling clean, feeling almost virtuous...especially as I look at all the filth caked onto the other
cars I share the road with. In short: I love my car, and pretty much everything that goes with it.
That having been said, it costs me $50 to fill up my tank every week. With rent to pay, textbooks to
buy, and groceries to purchase, believe me: if I thought it were possible, my car and I would have
parted ways a long time ago. I’d be having my moments of zen in the shower or something. Traveling
everywhere by car is an expensive habit, and it’s one that I’d rather not have to fund at this point.
Unfortunately, I still need to get around, and RIT’s bus system far from meets my needs. As of right
now, I really have no choice but to fork over the cash, grab the wheel, and make the best of it.
To date, my experience with the transportation services RIT provides has been very poor. Attempts
to get off campus during my first two years at RIT met a red light at seemingly every turn; there
was simply no good way for me to get into the city. Although I was able to make use of the “Golden
Memories” shuttle bus which goes to the Marketplace Mall, the serpentine route it traveled on (in
order to loop past the RIT Inn and various apartment complexes) meant that it took nearly an hour
to get back to the dorms—usually more, since the bus always seemed to be running late. Not at all
convenient. And if I wanted to venture any further than that? Well, I was just out of luck.
Flexcar provided a unique solution to this problem. Although I never used it myself (I
moved off campus before it was available), it was encouraging to hear that RIT was taking action
to address student concerns. Now that Flexcar seems to be reaching the end of the road, however,
students will be stuck in the same situation as before.
Although I’ve heard some upperclassmen whisper of a bus which used to transport students downtown,
this service has long since stopped; the bus’ main purpose was to give students a ride to the
bars, and the Administration disapproved. Now, there is no system in place to allow on-campus students
to go downtown, for the purpose of visiting the bars or otherwise. Considering the interesting
attractions Rochester has to offer (movies at the Little Theatre, sushi at Village Gate, photography
at the George Eastman House, etc.), this is a downright shame. I wasn’t even aware of most of these
treasures until I had a car of my own—and why would I be, with no means of getting to them?
With construction for Park Point racing forward at near breakneck speed, I hope the Administration
isn’t too proud to pull over and consult a map from time to time. Ask the students for directions.
Here is what many of us will say: It’s great that there’s going to be something of a nightlife closer to
campus, but that’s no excuse for not allowing us to travel off of it. We don’t need a hand to hold as
we cross the street. We’re capable young adults, and we’re old enough to decide where we want to
spend our Friday nights—whether that includes the bar scene or not. All we need now is a lift.
This is the perfect opportunity for RIT to overhaul its transportation system—specifically, the busing
options that are available to students. Stop and think about it; surely, you have at least a few
minutes to spare. Perhaps now would be a good time to go get your car washed.
Editor in Chief