Being car-less during your first year at UCSB is possible—and don’t worry—you won't be alone. Most students choose not to bring a car for their first year because they don’t want to worry about the stress of parking and paying for a parking permit. The most popular mode of transportation is by bike, with more than 14,000 bikes cycling through campus on a given day. For those who don’t like to bike, the campus is fairly flat, and it takes 15 minutes to walk from one end of the campus to another. If you do happen to bring your car, you’ll appreciate the convenience of being able to go grocery shopping, drive to work, or go home for the weekend. However, if you’re one of the few people with a car, be prepared to have your friends ask you for rides.
One of the most underutilized forms of transportation is the bus system, which takes students to campus, off campus, and downtown. The bus system is clean, reliable, and, best of all, free. The one downside to riding the bus: You have to plan your schedule around that of the bus, but if you’re like most college students and run on your own time, you’re better off bringing a bike. Bike theft is the most common crime on campus, so remember to bring your bike lock—you’ll be thankful you did.