As an Edgewood student, at the beginning of every semester, you get a brand new free bus pass. This thing is a goldmine. The pass is valid for about four months, and if you would have to purchase the same bus pass plan, without being an Edgewood student, it would cost you about $240 a semester! Yikes!
I am a junior, and this is my first year commuting. My bus pass in invaluable to me. I use it to get to campus (I live too far to walk) and to get back home every single day. Not to mention to go grocery shopping, go to the mall, go to Target, and visit my friends who live even further off campus.
My sophomore year, I had a car on campus. Though it was nice to have if I wanted to just jump in my car and go back home for the weekend (only an hour and a half drive to Milwaukee,) it cost me more than it was worth. Money wise, I had monthly car insurance to pay, gas, oil changes and not to mention the parking tickets. Madison, let’s just say, isn’t a car friendly city. It’s so hard to find parking anywhere down town, and if you do then you have to plug the meter, and make sure you’re back in 2 hours to either re-plug your meter, or move your car. I had to pay so many parking tickets last year; I realized it just wasn’t worth it to bring my car up again.
My bus pass makes that possible. I’m literally saving hundreds of dollars a month and I get around just fine! So I encourage you, if you’re thinking about bringing a car to school, try learning the bus routes first. It’s completely free! It still amazes me that I would spend money on gas, spend so much time finding a parking spot, and then spend all my time freaking out about my car when I could have just gotten around for free that whole time, completely stress free.
And if you come from a town where the bus system isn’t fully developed, and you drive everywhere, a car may be a big comfort for you. Try to take the bus a few times, and then re-evaluate if you still need your car. You might just discover a brand new way to explore Madison!