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Transportation options grow on campus

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A car2go smart car sign on OSU's campus. Credit: Muyao Shen | Assistant Photo Editor

A car2go smart car sign on OSU’s campus. Credit: Muyao Shen | Assistant Photo Editor

Public transportation is used in and around Ohio State’s campus, and there are plenty of ways for students to get where they need to be.

These modes of transportation provide students with ways to get to class, home and any other areas around campus they need to go. They all operate differently, whether it be a traditional bus route, picking up a bike from a bike rack or taking a Car2Go from one spot to another.

Brandon Nehrkorn, the community marketing manager for Car2Go Columbus, said that the flexibility of the rent-a-car type of service has contributed to Car2Go’s popularity.

“Car2Go offers that flexibility for an impromptu trip whether you are late for class or forgot a book at home,” Nehrkorn said. “I think flexibility is the biggest reason for student use because you can go wherever you want whenever you want.”

According to data supplied by the external communications manager of Car2Go, Bradley Ducey, there are 200 Car2Go’s in Columbus and 7,536 OSU students signed up as members. During the first full week of Autumn 2015, there were 611 Car2Go trips on or near the OSU campus.

Ducey also provided data about Car2Go’s “smartest car.”  This was the Car2Go that spent the most time on or near campus during the first week of school. The car was rented 11 times by nine different members, traveling a total of 36 miles by the end of the week.

Nehrkorn said that instead of competing against other transportation services like the CABS buses, Car2Go has actually been co-existing very well with other modes of travel — people just have more options.

Nehrkorn said that Car2Go prides itself on helping people by being there whenever someone needs a planned or spontaneous ride.

There are 24 CABS buses that run every weekday, according to Nicole Holman, assistant director of marketing and communications for the Office of Transportation and Traffic Management for OSU.

“Bus service operations are reviewed on an annual basis,” Holman said. “Once a review has been completed, changes may be made to the alignment of routes, schedule and frequency of service.”

CABS usage has stayed relatively the same the past few years, and in fiscal year 2015, the service gave around 4.9 million rides, she said.

Students who want to use CABS can get real-time bus arrival information on the OSU app and the Transportation Route Information Program website, Holman said.

Holman also said that OSU’s bike-sharing program — which began in August 2015 — has been very popular with students.

“Right now, 88 percent of the annual memberships are held by students,” Holman said. “We anticipate that this number will increase once the warmer weather returns in the spring.”

The bike-sharing locations receiving the highest usage so far have been river residential, north residential district, Neil and Woodruff avenues, College Road and the Ohio Union, she said.

Kathryn Wrightsman, a third-year in business, was a first-year when Car2Go first started at OSU and said she has noticed the increase in use.

“During freshman year, I knew one or two people that actually used Car2Go,” Wrightsman said. “Now I can’t walk to class without seeing one parked on the street or someone driving one around.”

Wrightsman also said that each kind of student transportation at OSU has its own time and place.

“If I needed to get to class from my house off campus, I could take the CABS bus,” Wrightsman said. “But if I was going to the grocery store, I could take a Car2Go. If I had to be different places on campus all day, I could rent a bike.”

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