Getting around Tallahassee as an out-of-town college student may not be the quickest thing to pick up. It’s new and may seem difficult initially for freshmen who aren’t allowed to have cars on Florida A&M’s campus.
More experienced students develop different ways to travel around Tallahassee that better suit their lifestyles.
Exner Dumel, a third-year occupational therapy student from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., uses the bus and a couple of other methods for transportation.
“I also catch rides with friends from time to time, and as a last resort I’ll walk to some of my destinations,” said Dumel.
StarMetro, the city bus, is a form of transportation many students are aware of. There are several routes throughout Tallahassee with FAMU as a stop.
“When it comes to StarMetro, it’s dependable,” Dumel said. “There’s usually enough space on the bus, and you can sometimes end up meeting new people.”
Although carpooling with friends is another method Dumel uses to commute, he understands that there are pros and cons that take getting used to.
Monika Williams, a senior animal science student also from Ft. Lauderdale, said her main method of travel in the past two years has been carpooling.
“I don’t have to worry about the high gas prices, other than maybe a small fee for the driver sometimes,” Williams said. “It’s better than waiting on and riding the bus. Plus, I don’t ever have to worry about driving.”
Williams also shared some cons to carpooling.
“You’re on other people’s time schedule,” she said. “You don’t have the convenience of being able to leave when you choose.” Students who are fortunate enough to drive a car throughout their college career say driving is the most convenient way to travel.
Robert Boursiquot, a senior allied health occupational therapy student from Miami, said he drives to almost all of his destinations and enjoys the freedom.
“I can access the city anytime I need it as opposed to public transportation like the bus, which runs at certain times,” Boursiquot said.
Like other drivers, he finds it to be the most reliable method, having only a few minor setbacks.
“Gas prices, that’s the main thing I can think of,” Boursiquot said. “There’s also the occasional car maintenance, like checking the oil and stuff. And also people asking for rides often.”
While some students may have their own methods, many said they’re open to trying new methods of transportation.
Commuter Services of North Florida is a regional commuter assistance program funded by the Florida Department of Transportation and provides many free services.
Pat Maurer, a spokeswoman for the program, briefly explained how it is designed to help improve mobility for work and student commuters using carpooling, vanpooling and many other methods of transportation and services by registering online.
Online computerized ride matching is one service Maurer said some students may find useful.
“It’s kind of like the eHarmony for carpoolers,” he said. “This service helps you identify potential carpoolers with whom you can share your daily commute with.”
Another service is the Emergency Ride Home Program that provides free taxi transportation for registered commuters who carpool, vanpool, walk, bike or ride the bus at least three times a week. If for example you have to stay out late or leave early unexpectedly, you are eligible to receive a free taxi ride after completing a few steps. More information about this program can be found on their website, commuterservices.org.