Students come from all over North County to attend school at Palomar, which raises the question of how they all get here.
Out of seven students interviewed recently, most of them said they drove to school. The Sprinter option was either overlooked, or just too much effort. For students living farther away than a couple of train stops, the Sprinter takes almost double the amount of time, requiring the student leave earlier and arrive later. Time seems to be the most important concern of college students today.
Proponents say that although the Sprinter may take more time to use, there are a multitude of benefits that come from using the train. For starters, the student does not have to drive. Unless the whole train gets into a wreck, the immediate danger of California roads is avoided, possibly saving the student injury, repair money, and possibly even time to stop and trade information with someone they crossed paths with.
Palomar student Tiern Osterfeld rides the Sprinter five days a week to get to school. She said she is saving money using the monthly pass, and enjoys the benefits as well.
“It’s faster than driving, there is no traffic to deal with,” Osterfeld said.
Monthly Sprinter passes are on sale to students at a discounted rate of $49. Students could possibly save money on gas if they committed to taking the train every day to school, avoiding paying for the pass then using their car.
Palomar student Esmeralda Flores, who lives in Escondido, said she spends about $30 a week driving to school. In only two weeks she could save money by buying a Sprinter pass and taking the train, assuming the Escondido Sprinter station wasn’t too far out of her way.
But there is a cost of time. Osterfeld said that the only downside to the Sprinter is that she has to get up about an hour earlier that normal to use the Sprinter, and it is always crowded around the time she rides. But she added that it is still faster when taking traffic into consideration.
Driving is the cheapest option for Palomar student Kellie Stern, who estimated she only spends about $8 a week getting to school. She lives near San Marcos, and it seems she lives just close enough to campus that taking the Sprinter doesn’t actually save money, and it certainly doesn’t save time.
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