No stigma attached to riding bus

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    By Hilary Connelly

    Taking the bus is no longer an embarrassing experience. Students find Utah Transit Authority buses provide convenience and a unique social opportunity.

    “Taking the bus is the easiest way to get to class since finding close parking on campus is such a hassle,” said Alisha Thawley, 19, a sophomore from Lodi, Calif. majoring in English teaching. “The bus is very social, I always see a lot of my friends and get to catch up with them on the bus. It”s not the lame thing to do like it was before college.”

    Thawley said she takes the bus everyday from the Belmont apartment complex because it is faster and more convenient than driving around looking for a parking space.

    Students can ride the UTA bus for free when they present their student identification cards.

    “It”s so easy, convenient and free. Everyone should take the bus,” said Jessica Penquist, 20, a junior from Morgan, Morgan County, majoring in exercise science. “Taking the bus is much better than walking from my apartment, especially when it starts getting cold out. I hate to walk through the snow during winter.”

    The bus seems to be the “cool” way to get to school some students said, especially when the weather turns bad and walking is less desirable.

    “Riding the bus is so fun and gives me a chance to visit with friends,” said Abby Nordstrom, 19, a sophomore from Spokane, Wash. majoring in English teaching.

    More than just socializing with friends her age, Nordstrom said she has made friends with the bus drivers.

    “They are so friendly and make me start off the day with a smile. Once the bus was taking off when I got to the stop. The bus driver saw me running and waited for me,” she said.

    Despite the warm seats and social opportunities, some students find the stress of waiting for the bus or missing the bus too much of a hassle.

    “The only downside to taking the bus is sometimes it arrives late, and then I don”t make it to class on time,” said Nordstrom.

    “One time the bus didn”t even come to my stop,” she said. “That”s when I get frustrated, waiting in the cold and the bus never even comes.”

    UTA buses are scheduled to run from 6 a.m. to midnight every weekday and 7 a.m. to midnight on Saturday. The buses also provide ski services to students during the ski season.

    “It”s so great to be able to ride the bus to go skiing I am really looking forwards to taking the bus this ski season,” said Thawley.

    “It saves money on gas and drops riders off right in front on the slopes. Why would people not want to ride the bus? It”s the in thing to do.”

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