In light of the recent ending of the Pitzer Transportation Coalition (PTC), students are searching for new transportation options to get off campus.
PTC, which had been in operation for three years before ceasing services this year, had been a popular option for students to get to the airport cheaply. According to PTC founder Zachary Strom PZ ’12, PTC evolved from airport
transportation to include spontaneous trips to Target or In-N-Out, and
even a shuttle between Pitzer College and Pomona College.
As Fall Break approaches many students may be searching for alternatives to paying double the price for a Super Shuttle to the airport. However, new programs are evolving each year, such as the Wheelz program new at Pomona.
The Student Life breaks down options for transportation for students without cars. Depending on the distance and length of time to a destination, there is sure to be a way to get there and back.
Many campuses offer bikes to students on either 24-hour or semester free loans.
The Pitzer Green Bike Program lets Pitzer students borrow bikes for free. This is a great option if students want to get some exercise, don’t have time to walk to another campus for class or are looking for an eco-friendly way to get off-campus (like to Trader Joe’s or the Village). The Pitzer Green Bike Program also offers tools and lessons and will help repair bikes for anyone in the 5C community from their little shop located next to the Gold Student Center.
Similarly, the Scripps College Tiernan Field House offers day rentals and teaches students to repair their bikes. In addition, Scripps has a raffle each semester for free semester bike loans for students.
Harvey Mudd College also has the Mudder bike program through the Linde Activity Center. Mudd students can rent a bike for a few hours or for a day to make it easier to get around.
If a bike doesn’t seem feasible, all of the campuses have vans that they rent to students. In most cases, it’s necessary to have a group of people wanting to go somewhere and one of them has to be certified to drive the van through the school. The school will let you rent the van, for a small fee or the price of gas. It depends on the campus, but most are 7 or 8 passenger vans, so if you have a large group of people, the vans are a great option. Scripps Associated Students also recently purchased a Honda Fit for students as a less gas-intensive option for fewer passengers, which can be rented by Scripps students who are certified drivers.
Car rental programs
Currently, there are two programs on campus that let you register and rent cars by the hour, including the new Wheelz program.
“For Pomona College, Wheelz offers another way for our students to explore the region beyond our campus, pursue internships, and take advantage of LA,” Miriam Feldblum, Vice President and Dean of Students at Pomona College, wrote in a press release. “Even better, it is a sustainable, affordable and accessible solution and is a great complement to our other transportation options.”
Though recently introduced in Claremont, Wheelz has been working at UCLA, USC, UC Berkeley and Stanford. Students
register through the organization’s website to rent cars by the hour, but
instead of the cars being owned by the company, students list
their cars for others to borrow. Wheelz provides insurance to the
students loaning out their cars and installs a small Drivebox on the
With the Drivebox, renters can access cars using a special Wheelz
card or mobile app when their rental is about to begin. The Drivebox
also includes a GPS tracker which serves a double purpose: car owners
can locate their car after a rental or if something goes wrong, and
renters can find the car before their rental starts.
Additionally, the college offer Zipcar services. Zipcar is a car co-op. Students register online for an initial $25 fee, and then have access to available cars for around $8 an hour.
“Zipcar is cool because as a freshman I wasn’t allowed to have a car on campus, but I was still able to get off campus and even go to the beach,” Michael Culhane HMC ’15 said.
This seems like a no brainer–if your friends have cars, chances are that if you bribe them with gas money or baked goods they will be willing to give you a ride. Students without car-wielding friends can also utilize 5C Facebook Groups and other websites to find other students offering rides.
Hunter Reardon PO’15 offers rides to friends across all of the 5Cs.
“I’m simply a student giving rides,” Reardon said. “The way I think about it is that I’m giving rides to people to the airport out of the kindness of my heart, and people are reimbursing me for gas, plus a little extra.”
Reardon likes to keep himself organized so he uses a website to schedule those rides. Depending on if you want a ride to or from a location, the forms can be found at http://www.tinyurl.com/claremont-airports-oct2012-to and www.tinyurl.com/claremont-airports-oct2012-fr.
Another option to catch a ride with some 5C classmates is the 5C ride share website, 5crideshare.com. It helps coordinate rides to and from Ontario and LAX. Students can log in with Facebook.
“The main purpose of the website is to allow people to easily find other students who need to go to the airport at the same time and then connect those people so they can share a ride and save money,” said website founder Jesse Pollak PO ’15.
The website lists the date, arrival or departure time of the flights and lets you create your schedule. Around breaks, this is a helpful site to connect with others to get to and from the airport.
The transportation trend on campus seems to be moving toward more sustainable options that students can use when necessary. With the introduction of Wheelz and similar programs, new transportation options can also be a way for students to make a little extra money while they are at school, without having to spend too much extra time.