As students return to campus for the 2022 fall semester, a new question looms over Cabrini’s student population: how they will budget getting to campus? With gas prices fluctuating across the country, students commuting to Cabrini keep their heads held high as they navigate this complicated economic situation.
The summer was dominated by talk about recent inflation impacting the price of consumer goods. One of the most notable increases came in gasoline prices. National prices for gasoline peaked during the month of June, with the average recorded price in Pennsylvania reaching $5.071 on June 12. Although prices have steadily lowered after measures being taken by members of the Biden administration and Federal Reserve, gas prices remain around 50 cents higher per gallon than a year ago at this time.
With prices continuing to fluctuate, students commuting to Cabrini are having to watch their wallets when filling up at the pump.
Adapting to change
Junior and criminology major Yariliz Forestier commutes to school every day and offered insight into how prices have impacted her driving decisions. She said over the summer her driving patterns didn’t change but worried about how this would impact her ability to get to school.
“[Gas prices] were going up and down so much,” Forestier said. “It was just like, what are we going to do when school comes?”
Forestier is not alone in struggling with this new dilemma.
“During the 2021-2022 year we sold a total of 213 permits,” Cabrini’s Director of Public Safety, Joe Fusco, said. “We have only sold 122 for the 2022-2023 year. We have another semester to sell, and we still have more students purchasing more permits as we go, but right now, I would say that we have fewer commuters purchasing.”
While Fusco notes a decline in parking permits, the shuttle service on campus is getting more traffic.
The Cabrini shuttle makes daily stops at both the Norristown high-speed line and the Paoli/Thorndale line, making it an accessible alternative form of transportation for students commuting from the Philadelphia area.
When asked about how demand for the Cabrini shuttle service has changed so far this semester, Fusco said he notices more students using it. “Actually, we see about 40-50 new students using it per week,” Fusco said. “So we do have a good amount that are starting to use the shuttle service.”
Going with the flow
The current gas crisis is felt in communities all around the country, but it isn’t stopping students from figuring out how to get to campus. Commuters have been able to figure out alternative transportation, and carpooling systems, or they’ve simply been more conscious when filling up their car at the pump.
“It’s annoying,” Forestier said, laughing. “Sometimes it’s really annoying, but what can we do?”