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By: Ashley Conley

Have you ever been late to class (or just skipped all together) because of unreliable transportation? The PRT suffers break downs, the busses are sometimes overcrowded, there’s a decent amount of traffic and there are plenty of hills and stairs that make it difficult to ride a bike or skateboard to class; this is what West Virginia University students deal with on a daily basis. But is transportation at WVU and around Morgantown really as bad as it’s made out to be?

WVU Public Transportation

Your thoughts on the matter likely depend on your personal experiences. According to an article on the Mountaineer News Service, the PRT is fully functional only about 93 percent of the time, which means seven percent of the time, you’ll be stuck waiting at the station or trapped in a PRT car for an unknown length of repair. The bus system, on the other hand, isn’t much better. One WVU parent (name has been omitted for privacy) took to Facebook to rant her frustrations about her daughters’ horrible experience.

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Although the transportation isn’t totally reliable and can be a real hassle, WVU students are at least lucky enough to have so many options right here on campus and even around the Morgantown area. The PRT can take you from Walnut, to Beechurst, to Towers or Engineering or even the Health Sciences campus; Busses travel to the Morgantown Mall, over to the University Town Centre (near Walmart) and to Suncrest, which is on the other end of town; and Uber, a popular taxi-like service, is now available in our area.

While all these options are helpful, they’re still not as convenient as having your own car on campus.

Having your own vehicle at WVU

I spoke to a handful of WVU seniors who each have had varying experiences with or without their own car on campus during their four-year collegiate career. Here’s what they had to say:

I didn’t have a car until my second semester of freshman year and I just felt more comfortable knowing that if I needed to go to the store or wanted to get food or anything I had a way to do it. And if something ever went wrong or I was in a bad situation, knowing I had my own transportation was nice.

– Seth Barbarow, who has had a car on campus for most of his tenure at WVU.

I think the transportation offered can be good, but with the new road work, especially around engineering, bus schedules can be unreliable . . . It’s harder for me to get to classes because my (apartment) shuttle doesn’t have a good schedule and WVU’s bus line doesn’t go near my apartment. Having a car and being able to park on campus has made driving to classes a much more reliable option.

– Corey Whitlatch, who has experienced both scenarios of having a car and not having a car on campus. He also has experience driving a motorcycle to and from classes.

I think Morgantown tries very hard to accommodate every student with their transportation needs and does a decent job for the most part, but I don’t think they take into account the amount of students that rely on it. (Not having your own car) makes it difficult, especially if you’re a freshman and don’t really have any friends with cars!

– Zachary Duff, who doesn’t have his license and has never had a car on campus.

(Having a car) made everything more convenient, especially with all the changes going on with the PRT and bus schedules changing on Engineering because of the new Crossing. It’s also convenient when it comes to job searches because I was able to go to interviews easily where if I didn’t have a car on campus I wouldn’t have a way to get there. I really didn’t mind not having one my first few years, but I probably couldn’t go back to not having one now.

– David Petrelle, who did not have a car on campus until his senior year.

Bringing your own car to campus just makes everything easier. There are two downsides, however: 1. Parking rates (and violation ticket prices) are through the roof and 2. The atrocious potholes in Morgantown can easily damage your vehicle. You can check out Cayla Nolder‘s post from yesterday for more information on Pothole Problems around WVU’s campus!

When deciding whether or not WVU is the place for you, make sure you take all of the transportation options into account so you’ll be prepared for every scenario!

Cover Image: Ashley Conley

Ashley Conley is a senior journalism student at WVU. She aspires to become a writer or reporter in the sports industry upon graduation. You can follow her on Twitter @ashleyconleyyy