UCR is largely a commuter school, and as such, many students have their own car. Since most entertainment is not within walking distance, access to a personal vehicle is certainly convenient, but there are many other travel opportunities for students.
The Riverside Transit Agency (RTA) bus system tours the campus and surrounding areas regularly, and the Metrolink train is available for those in need of long-distance transportation. Taxis can be acquired through appointment, and rent-a-cars are offered by Zipcar. The best method of transportation was the Highlander Hauler, the campus shuttle system including the Trolley Express and Braveheart Loop, which is now indefinitely dismantled due to budget cuts. Students now forced to rely on the RTA public buses should take precautions, though, as some downtown areas tend be rather rough. Basically, cars tend to be more practical for those who have an active social life or other personal commitments, but it is definitely possible to work around not having a car.