The advantages of owning a car

It’s a question that all ASU students must answer sometime before or during their student careers: to light rail or not to light rail?

For most students living on campus, there are only two real ways of getting anywhere you might need to go in the Valley: driving your own car or taking advantage of the illustrious Valley Metro Light Rail.

There are various pros and cons to both situations, but after having been at the mercy of Arizona’s public transportation system, one would say that the more appealing and favorable option is, indeed, driving your own vehicle.

For one, I absolutely love the independence and freedom having my own car on campus gives me. Sometimes, it’s a necessity. With many students getting internships and jobs, many of which are off campus, a car is the only reasonable and timely way of getting where you need to go.

“I love the convenience of having my car,” said Alec Tripp, a nursing junior who has to travel to clinicals twice a week in order to satisfy a requirement for his major. “I could take the bus or light rail, but it would take me an hour and a half to get there.”

“I like having access to my vehicle when I want it,” said elementary education sophomore Amy Ostroff. “I can come and go as I please.”

But the ease of being able to transport yourself from place to place does not come without a hefty price tag.

According to the ASU Parking and Transit Services website, resident hall parking permits at various lots on campus can range anywhere from $720 to $780. It just depends on how much you are willing to spend, and how far away from your certain resident hall you are willing to park.

“(The prices are) outrageous, but isn’t everything that you buy from campus?” said Ostroff.

But parking spaces invariably pay for themselves, especially considering the possibility of receiving a ticket for parking too long in a metered space.

The benefits of always having a space to park a little farther away from the dorms greatly outweighed the risk of potentially having a car towed away or cited from staying too long in a space close to the resident hall.

Some options are still available for those who don’t need or want to necessarily have their own vehicle with them on campus. Taking the light rail and the bus will simply be a fact of life for some students.

“I don’t need a car to get to Tempe. I can just take the light rail,” said journalism sophomore Lee Menke.

Yes, public transportation is fairly cheaper than a car, especially since there's no need to worry about gas, maintenance and parking. Yes, it will get you to where you need to go (if you have the time to make a stop every 5 minutes).

But the cramped riding space I have to share with strangers, paired with the inconvenience of only going a few miles or so in each direction on the light rail, has given me all the more reason to enjoy the independence and freedom I have with a car.


Hitch a ride with Raffy at

Get the best of State Press delivered straight to your inbox.