When considering Anderson and making the move to Los Angeles, one of my worries was that I did not own a car. Coming from Washington, D.C., or any other walk-able, carless-commuter-friendly city, this is a huge consideration. Not only had I grown to enjoy not having a car and taking alternate modes of transportation, but I also wasn’t prepared to incur the costs of buying one. However, after living in LA for two months sans automobile, I can officially report that you really don’t need one. Here’s why:
1. Live very close to campus. I decided to live in the Hilgard Avenue Apartments offered through UCLA Graduate Student Housing. I live in one of the approximately 30 studio apartments, located on the eastern side of campus, just a 15-minute walk to Anderson. Electricity, water, gas, and cable/internet are all included meaning I have just one bill a month, which is great. Considering that I spend about 11-13 hours on campus a day (yes, you will spend A LOT of time on campus in your first quarter), living within walking distance has been a godsend.
2. The Big Blue Bus. As a UCLA student, when I show my Bruin card, a one-way trip on the Big Blue Bus costs me just $0.50. The Big Blue runs all over West LA and I take it to Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Culver City, etc. It is extremely navigable and I have a stop directly across from my apartment building.
3. Carpooling. Off-campus bschool activities are widely attended by my fellow classmates and there is always an opportunity to jump in with someone who has a car. Plus for larger events, like tailgating at the Rose Bowl for UCLA games or Anderween, our Halloween party downtown, the social chairs always arrange for buses to drive Anderson students.
4. Not driving under the influence. To be honest, a number of the off-campus events take place at bars or somewhere alcohol is served. In these instances, I wouldn’t be driving even if I did have a car. Ride sharing through companies like Uber and Lyft is widely used by my classmates and offers a great, reasonably priced alternative.
5. Renting a car is cheaper than paying for a parking spot or the inevitable LA street sweeping tickets suffered by anyone parking on the street. If I’m dying to get out and explore, maybe go for a drive up to Malibu or down to Laguna Beach, I rent a car through any one of the many car rental companies that run continuous deals on one or two-day rentals. This ultimately ends up costing me less than just paying for parking.
6. Rent a bike for the quarter. The UCLA Bike Shop rents bikes to students for just $50 per quarter. While LA isn't as bike friendly as some other major cities, as long as I take a road less traveled that doesn't feed right onto the 405, I find biking fairly safe. Plus, the bike path along the beach that runs from Santa Monica to Redondo Beach makes for an amazing weekend ride.
Hilgard Avenue Graduate Student Apartments
The Big Blue Bus - Making life for carless students in West LA easy for only two quarters a ride.