By Kyle Paul
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) an average gallon of gasoline releases 19.4 pounds of carbon dioxide gas into atmosphere. This makes the daily commute to school even more costly. On top of the money spent on commuting weekly, students are also having a negative effect on the environment. Luckily, UW Bothell offers multiple alternative ways to commute that give students the chance to save money and the environment.
Until recently the University of Washington’s Bothell campus has been solely a commuter campus, providing a university level learning experience for all those who either lived in the area or those who did not mind making some sort of daily commute. While the new school housing is convenient and available for some, UW Bothell is still for the most part a commuter campus, with more than 85 percent of its students coming from cities in the surrounding area such as Seattle, Lynwood and Bellevue.
One of the easiest and most effective ways for UW Bothell students to commute to school is via bus. King County offers an organized and effective transit system that can get you to just about anywhere in the area. The UW Bothell main entrance bus stop is served by nine different routes, all with different destinations in King County with a bus arriving every few minutes. These bus routes go to places such as Bellevue, Lynwood, Woodinville and Seattle. And with a transfer, the buses travel to more specific destinations such as Capitol Hill, the U District, Shoreline, and Lake City. Students can also purchase a “U-Pass” through the University of Washington, found here. These unique bus passes offer students unlimited travels on the King County buses for the price of $72 perquarter. With gas prices so high, the U-Pass is an effective way to save money.
According to the 2008 United States Census, 75 percent of workers and students drive alone to their destination, while only ten percent carpool and five percent use public transportation. With about 200 million vehicles registered in the United States compared to 800,000 public buses, the number of residents of the US using the bus as a mode of transportation is miniscule. The United States Department of Transportation states that the average bus has a capacity of about 50 riders. If every one of the nation’s 800,000 public buses were running at capacity; one-fifth of the 200 million registered vehicles would be kept from polluting the air.
However, public transportation isn’t the only way that UW Bothell students can get to class in an environmentally friendly manner. For those who live within a few miles of our campus and aren’t afraid to get a little wet, walking or riding a bike can effectively keep a car off of the road and prevent the carbon emissions that are endangering our environment. The school offers many different ways to keep your bike safe with sheltered bike lockers and multiple bike racks throughout the campus. Information on bike lockers can be found here on the UW Bothell webpage.
If you are dead set on commuting every day by car or the idea of taking a bus to school just troubles you, you needn’t worry. Zimride.com, a social network based on carpooling offers UW Bothell students the means to create, organize and find carpools to school. Zimride also gives students the opportunity to meet new people and to build relationships with their classmates. Their website, which can be found here, offers over 25 different locations from which students can carpool. With more locations being added every day, Zimride can be an effective way for students to reduce their daily carbon emissions while meeting new people.
Commuting daily can have tremendous effects on the environment. With 68 percent of working citizens and students from the Seattle area commuting by car every day, large amounts of carbon dioxide gasses are being released into the atmosphere, causing harm to our environment. By offering multiple environmentally friendly ways for students to get to school, UW Bothell is doing its part to preserve the earth. Are you?