Commuter students struggle with increasing gas prices

By Liz Garrett
September 11, 2008

Shannon Keough

Commuter students across the nation are now committing to a more fuel-free lifestyle due to the increase in gasoline prices. The price of gas has more than doubled from 2005 to 2008, according to a recent report by Newsweek.

Since the cost at the pump has continued to rise, Cabrini commuter students find themselves in a bind when it comes to traveling to and from school and work.However, some students have learned to improvise with the intention of saving a gallon or two.

“The rising gas prices aren’t benefiting me as a commuter,” Courtney Flaim, junior elementary education major, said. “It’s harder for me because I don’t drive a tiny car. I drive a big SUV and it is definitely a gas-guzzler.”

While some students at colleges throughout the United States have resorted to riding bicycles or scooters, according to Newsweek, other modes of transportation do not cut it for Cabrini students.

Many commute long driving distances away. Therefore utilizing bicycles is not an alternative.

Cabrini’s commuter students not only have the challenge of rationing gas in order to get to and from school, they also have to be at work several days a week.

“I have a job in Ardmore that I go to three days a week. Now that the prices are so high, I try to stay on campus in the library or at a friend’s house off campus until I have to go to work,” Amanda Alexandrowicz, senior exercise science and health promotion major, said. “I commute from Ridley, which is 20 minutes south on 476, so I pack a lunch or dinner depending on what time I go to work.”

According to Alexandrowicz, taking the train as opposed to driving is not even an option because the train line in Ridley, Pa. is either the R2 or R3, whereas in Radnor it is the R5.

However, commuter students attending Cabrini have found ways to work around rising gas prices. Some students design their schedules so that their classes are back-to-back.

By arranging their classes one after the other, students are able to avoid long gaps between classes, which keeps them from being forced to leave campus and then return again.

“I have classes mostly on Tuesdays and Thursdays and they are one after the other, so it’s worth the gas I guess you can say,” Alexandrowicz said.

Students search to develop different ways around the price at the pump. They take the initiative to drive together when making trips back and forth to Cabrini.

“I can’t drive as much as I would like so I try to carpool with my roommates as much as possible,” Jeff Moore, senior business major, said. “I don’t have any difficulties getting to school or other activities, it’s just an inconvenience with the gas prices.”

Additionally, in order to make carpooling more useful, commuters even have taken steps to create class schedules that sometimes coincide with those of their roommates.

“I am not as willing to drive as many places as I was last year, but I am fortunate that my roommates have a similar schedule so we are able to carpool to some of our classes,” Flaim said.

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Liz Garrett

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