If you are tired of asking your friends for rides, are looking to cut down on your gas bill, or want to pick up more sustainable habits, you should give public transportation a try.

If you are an individual who does not have a car here at school, you may feel like you are sometimes trapped within the square block that encompasses most of our campus. Thankfully, you are able to curb this feeling by utilizing public transportation. The MATBUS has two stops on campus, the first located along 8th street and the second located along 5th street. This makes it possible for students to use our local bus system without having to walk a long distance. According to the MATBUS Student Transit Guide, which can be found on www.matbus.com, a MATBUS stops for pickups at both bus stop locations on campus every half an hour. This guide is easy to use and will help you get to your desired destination.

Having no gas bill sounds appealing, does it not? College students are already preoccupied with figuring out how they are going to budget for late night pizza and early morning coffee, and not having to factor in a gas bill every few weeks sounds appealing. Through the U-Pass program instilled by MATBUS, Concordia students, faculty, and staff are able to ride the bus for free. By spending less money on gas each month, just imagine where that extra money could go.

Even if that extra money leads to more bucks in the bookstore or at the Maize, you are still helping in an even bigger way by being more sustainable. I am not saying that you have to go out and sell your car to utilize the bus system for the rest of your life, but by using the bus just a few times a month, you are able to help make a difference. According to the Federal Transit Administration, transportation currently accounts for 29 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. By transporting a larger number of people with fewer vehicles, public transportation is able to help cut down on greenhouse gas emissions. Senior Ali Miller points out that the bus can serve two purposes by being an environmentally friendly option as well as an option that can give students a sense of freedom.

“A perk [of the bus] is that you are reducing what nasty toxins you are putting into the air by using public transportation. Plus, I do not have a car, so it is always nice not to have to try and rely on someone else,” she said.

Miller explained that she first discovered the bus while with friends.

“We had heard that it was a free service available to us and it was a great way to learn something new as well as gain some independence when I first came to school,” she said.

As a MATBUS newbie, I have no grievances with the system yet. I would even consider myself a fan thus far. What I do know is that I feel better by taking the bus. Though it is a small contribution, I like knowing that I was able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by not taking a car. I like having a sense of independence. I like knowing that I am getting to my destination safely. I like how unbelievably easy it is to use. I like that public transportation is affordable and cuts down on road congestion.

Though taking the bus is not your only course of action in helping save the universe, it is better to try it than to not have tried it at all.