DON’T BE CAR-LESS, THERE’S PLENTY OF OPTIONS AVAILABLE TO MAKE YOUR WAY AROUND FAIRFAX
By Angelique Arintok, Staff Writer
Students at the Mason Fairfax campus have various forms of transportation available to them. Whether it would be a trip to the Fair Lakes Target or an attempt to tour Washington, DC—not having a car is no problem at all.
With local gas rate and annual parking pass fees always seemingly up in price, students without a car on campus can still get around the Fairfax & greater area through the following options listed below.
Data aggregated through an anonymous form surveyed about 10 different Mason students without a vehicle directly accessible to them. Listed from top to bottom, and correspondingly the most popular to least popular, the results reveal students’ most preferred forms of transportation.
Your probable first choice, Uber:
“The company has blossomed to serve nearly 500 cities in 66 countries,” said Jordan Valinsky of CNN Tech. This platform is one of the most well-known transportation options available to college students, and regular commuters alike. Fairfax, Virginia is a hub for Uber drivers at all times during the day and night. The easy-to-use app is meant to serve the consumer as quickly as possible, matching them with a well-rated Uber driver. A trip to the Fair Oaks or Tysons Corner Mall can be as easy as confirming your ride on options available such as uberPOOL, uberX, BLACK CAR, uberXL, uberWAV, uberX/SUV and Car Seat and more.
The second-best favorite, Lyft:
Lyft is the, “quieter, gentler rideshare company,” said founder and CTO of Wordstream on an Inc. listicle. Second to popularity following Uber, Lyft is also considered a solid option for transportation. Compared to Uber, Lyft is just as accessible as a mobile app. Lyft and its ambassadors can often be found on college campuses and sporting events promoting their services with handy coupon cards perfect to fit the college budget. This app notably offers less vehicle selection than Uber. Perhaps a Lyft order is ideal for that simple & quick trip to Fairfax Corner or Lee Highway Walmart.
Mobile apps such as Uber and Lyft are guaranteed to be safe, and drivers are evaluated for total credibility; however, taking caution when ordering such cars is crucial to a safe ride to and from.
Go with no driver, and order a Zipcar:
Drive yourself to the destination, billed by hour or by day. Reserving a Zipcar starts with setting up an account in order to receive the essential “keys” for the vehicle: a Zipcard. A Zipcar membership for a Mason student entails an application fee reduced from $25 to $0, and an annual fee reduced from $70 to $15. The savings on these fees are glorious for the on-the-go student also on a budget. Do keep in mind, however, that these fees are add-ons to billing reservations for an approved Zipcar request.
Book the Zipcar at any time you please for a duration ranging between one hour to seven days; gas and insurance are included. The old saying goes, “drive responsibly.” Ensure you have a valid driver’s license upon registration.
Connect with other students like yourself on the George Mason University Rideshare! Facebook page:
Periodically, time and again, students post on the Rideshare Facebook page of either requests or invitations for carpooling to locations that are farther than the Fairfax area. If you’re looking to travel south of Fairfax, perhaps to visit friends at Virginia Tech, CNU or VCU—the Rideshare page is a great fit. The agreements happen as simple as a comment back or private message to the driver/passenger. Interaction on Facebook cuts the stresses and worries associated with other apps like Swifte, Loop or Zimride by Enterprise (zimride.gmu.edu). Nevertheless, these apps are still viable options when you are in a pinch for carpooling last minute.
Don’t forget about the free & three classics of Public Transportation:
Utilizing the City-University Energy (CUE) bus, shuttle and Metro can get you where you need to be—for free. Although not as fast as the Lyft driver you can constantly track, these modes of transportation are perfect for your commute to a DC internship or Fairfax job.
The Mason Shuttles services offer an extensive list, schedule and resources for all three public modes on their website at shuttle.gmu.edu. The website mason.ridesystems.net also provides an up-to-date timeline of the shuttles, and their respective stops and locations for the current day. A valid George Mason ID is required upon entering Mason-sponsored vehicles; all shuttle services are free of charge.
A trip to the grocery store, or even as far as other universities can all be done with these various modes of transportation. The plentiful resources available ensure that a car-less student shall not drive themselves crazy.
Photos by Angelique Arintok