OCTA: Not Your Magic School Bus

ANNA NGUYEN/New University

I am one of the many commuters at UC Irvine. Every day, I walk, or sometimes run, to the bus stop in order to get to campus on time. I live at home with my family and find it convenient because they do not make me pay rent; all of my utility bills are covered, I have my own room and my mom makes amazing home-cooked meals for me.

It is also convenient to ride the bus to school rather than drive a car. A yearlong bus pass for UCI students only costs $95 while a commuter parking pass starts at $150 per quarter. (And don’t get me started on the rising gas prices!)

People say that I miss out on the college experience of living on campus and away from home, but I am very close with my family and am glad to be sharing a few extra years with them. I have the rest of my life to move out and live away from home.

This way, I save thousands of dollars every year in rent and utilities because I am lucky to live close enough to commute to school.

My house is about 15 minutes away from campus by car, but the bus trip can take up to 40 minutes. I find the bus safe to travel in. I have been commuting by bus for about two and a half years and have never encountered any sort of accident. I feel comforted by the fact that any accident will barely put a dent in the extremely large and durable metal of the bus.

Another advantage to the bus is that I never have to arrive super early to find myself a parking spot in the already-packed structures on campus.

I will be honest, though: while there are the few perks of saving money when it comes to commuting by bus, there are also a few downsides too. There are all types of people that you see on the bus. The bus can be a private sanctuary for some who wish to study, read, listen to music or just sit and quietly contemplate, but other times, it can be loud and boisterous – it can be distracting.

There are also the annoying people who make phone calls loudly, shouting above the bus noises. There are the mothers that travel with their crying babies or young children.

And girls, you know what I am talking about when I say there are also those creepers on the bus who try to hit on you as you try to ignore them.

These experiences are nothing compared to one bus ride I had last year where a man’s genitalia was indecently exposed. I was riding the bus, sitting in the back but looking forward, and a man was sitting in the middle wearing shorts and out of nowhere his genitalia came out. Not only did I gasp, but others sitting around me did as well. The person next to me elbowed me and we both looked up at the ceiling until the man exited the bus. I have been lucky to never cross paths with that gentleman again. One never forgets an experience like that so my advice is try to stare straight ahead as much as you can but do keep yourself aware of your surroundings at all times.
nowhere his genitalia came out. Not only did I gasp, but others sitting around me did as well.

The person next to me elbowed me and we both looked up at the ceiling until the man exited the bus. I have been lucky to never cross paths with that gentleman again. One never forgets an experience like that so my advice is try to stare straight ahead as much as you can but do keep yourself aware of your surroundings at all times.