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How does your kid get around?

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Replies to: How does your kid get around?

  • UndercrackersUndercrackers Registered User Posts: 299 Junior Member
    Walking, bus, BART (train). As a freshman, none of D's friends have cars, so this is a great opportunity for her to get comfortable with public transportation. Builds confidence and is boatloads cheaper than trying to park it somewhere. With the ease of Uber and Lyft, there are so many options now. A little pre-planning will help OP's daughter get the rides she needs. More incentive to get out of school and on your own so you can manage your own transportation!
  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 Registered User Posts: 9,254 Senior Member
    Uber/Lyft or taxi company, free city bus line, walking, college sponsored shuttle for airport at breaks.

    Uber/Lyft can be difficult in areas with few drivers (our area is one like that, at times there are simply no drivers close enough to get the call), but it doesn't sound like that is the case for her if there's "high traffic of use near campus" - that means as many kids being dropped off as picked up so lots of drivers around. If you have both apps you can try it yourself and see how long a ride will take to get by putting in her location for pickup and getting an estimate.

    Anyway, if it does take a half hour, it's a half hour spent in the dorm room or library or dining hall or whatever, not standing out on a freezing street corner. The app shows you where your driver is as s/he approaches, you go outside to meet it when they arrive.

    I agree I think she just wants her car.
  • ARTCCARTCC Registered User Posts: 58 Junior Member
    Our D, currently a sophomore, attends a college in a suburb of a large city over 4800 miles from where we live. She doesn't have a car, but she has been very successful using Uber and Lyft to get around when the campus shuttle or her friends can't give her rides. She has taken Amtrak several times to go sightseeing on college breaks when she doesn't come home. She hasn't complained once about not having her own car.
  • mycupofteamycupoftea Registered User Posts: 370 Member
    edited February 18
    I must say that, as full-pay parents, we were always concerned about raising spoiled kids, but now I feel better! We could easily afford to buy cars and parking for both, but have never even considered such option, and would never tolerate such request (not to mention getting "some heat"). But it was not necessary - the kids never asked. The oldest walked to all classes, grocery shopping etc, in spite of a very large campus, and extremely cold winters. The youngest uses a skateboard to get everywhere. They also use public transportation, and uber in some rare cases.
  • northwestynorthwesty Registered User Posts: 2,460 Senior Member
    Eye roll.

    How many of you suburban parents gave your high school kid access to a car? Probably most of you. Yet somehow you avoided turning your kids into spoiled brats. But a car at college will poison them? Puhh-lease.

    Once a kid moves away from dorm/meal plan, a car often makes sense and will often be funded by the substantial savings of a shared house/home cooking vs. pricey university accomodations. And usually the apartment parking is free -- my kids have never paid for parking where they lived. And they appear to have avoided moral rot from having college cars (at least so far).

    College kids with apartments rarely use cars to get to/from classes. Bike, bus, skateboard or walk is fine.

    But a Costco run is pretty silly to do via Uber. Most often, your kid will get to Costco by catching a ride from a friend whose parents have supplied that friend with a college car. That's what my kids often did -- they mooched rides from friends. Not at Columbia or NYU, but at lots of suburban or rural colleges.

    Also pretty silly to Uber the typical 100-200 miles or so that most kids live away from home. If your kid doesn't have a car, they are most likely to mooch a ride from another kid.

  • Waiting2exhaleWaiting2exhale Registered User Posts: 2,462 Senior Member
    My kid is on a first-name basis with Zipcar and she uses it responsibly and plans out (one must in order to be assured a vehicle is available) when she will use it and how far she will go. If she plans a big excursion, she is always with a group for that, so they split the cost.

    Don't know if you know, but sometimes Zipcar has steep specials on the rental fees, though it probably varies by region of the country.
  • eh1234eh1234 Registered User Posts: 324 Member
    I have a college freshman who lives in a dorm and gets around by longboard, bike, walking and rides from friends, with an occasional Uber. She's moving into an apartment next year - it's not clear whether any of her roommates will have a car.

    However, I think she's going to miss out on volunteer and internship opportunities if she doesn't have a car moving forward. I'll encourage her to try to save enough for an old used car this summer (and maybe help out a little with that). If not this year, I think she'll need a car by her junior year. By then, we might be ready to replace our 10 year old Outback and she might just get that.
  • happy1happy1 Registered User Posts: 15,974 Senior Member
    @Northwesty
    Like many parents I try to tread that line between giving my kids everything I can and not having them turn into entitled people. There is no one thing that will turn a kid into a "spoiled brat" but IMO kids need to be taught the value of things, develop an appreciation for what they have, and not compare what they have to what others have.

    1) Having access to a car in HS is IMO is different that having a car in college. At least in our house my kids had access to a shared family car. We did not purchase separate cars for each child -- they had to learn to talk to each other, compromise, and share. And if H or I needed the third car for something (ex. one of ours was being repaired) it was understood that we had priority.

    2) High school for most people who utilize the public school system is free. College is for most people an expensive proposition. At many schools keeping a car at the college adds to that expense. IMO most students should not EXPECT a car and absolutely should not complain if they don't have a car on campus freshman year (which is what happened in the OP).

  • doschicosdoschicos Registered User Posts: 12,087 Senior Member
    Need vs want. For the vast majority, a car on campus is a want.
  • rosered55rosered55 Registered User Posts: 2,368 Senior Member
    Some colleges don't allow students to have cars or they make it very difficult to do so. D2's college makes it difficult by having limited parking lot spaces for students and by making it clear that street parking is either not allowed or is heavily restricted by the community.
  • 1214mom1214mom Registered User Posts: 3,624 Senior Member
    My kids both got cars during HS, because you honestly can't leave our neighborhood without a car. There are no bus routes for miles, and we live near two highways, so walking isn't an option. My H and I both work more than 40 hours a week, so them having cars helped us all. (And older had to help younger with transportation as part of driving privileges).
    I did not let them take cars to college until they moved off campus. Older couldn't BC younger got the car for the last part of HS. Then we got younger his own car, and let older take car as a junior.
    Younger moved off campus as a sophomore, and since his roommates don't have cars, he got the space designated for them. He does the grocery shopping for all, or drives them to Costco, etc.
  • WellspringWellspring Registered User Posts: 934 Member
    Both my kids were given cars in high school. My mother-in-law gave up driving and gave her car to my daughter. I got a newer used car and gave the beater to my son. Both had to be persuaded to learn to drive. Both took their cars to college. I guess because they never got particularly excited about having cars it didn't seem like a big deal. My niece went to a school that didn't allow first years to have cars so she found a place to garage it privately off campus. She needed it to get home on weekends to work the very lucrative wait staff job at a high end restaurant which is how she bought the car to begin with.
  • mycupofteamycupoftea Registered User Posts: 370 Member
    edited February 19
    @northwesty I think you are projecting. A lot.

    Suburban parents?
    Most students living the typical 100-200 miles away from home?
    College freshman students with apartments?
    Free apartment parking?
    Car ownership funded by the substantial savings?
    Students mooching rides from friends?
    And my personal favorite - college students buying groceries in Costco.

    These may be true in some cases, but far from typical. Either way, in our household, no one is entitled to a car unless it makes financial sense. Perks must be earned. I would only get my college students a car if it was the matter of their safety, getting internships, or jobs. And I would still expect them to be very appreciative. Your mileage may vary.
  • oldfortoldfort Registered User Posts: 20,677 Senior Member
    I do not understand why people get so judgmental. Just because a kid has a car in college, doesn't make him/her spoiled. One doesn't raise a better kid because one doesn't think a car is a necessity for his/her kid while in college. I had two kids in college, D1 had a car and D2 didn't. It didn't make one feel more entitled than another.

    What about parents just come out to say, "I gave a car to my kid in college because I wanted to and I could afford to" or "I didn't give a car to my kid because I didn't think it was necessary (but it is just me)."
  • mycupofteamycupoftea Registered User Posts: 370 Member
    edited February 19
    @Oldfort. Not sure if your question was directed at me, but I'll answer. OP indicated that the parking fees were prohibitively expensive for them, and the car was not necessary for their daughter. Yet he and his wife got some heat from her, in spite of offering to pay for Uber rides. He did not indicate that D offered to pick up the additional costs, so I assume that she expects those paid by her parents. I guess it rubbed me the wrong way, I have very low tolerance level for ungrateful students. Of course, there is nothing wrong with those situations when parents can and want to provide a car - this is not what was described in OP
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