Commuter complications

Heather Montoya

Commuters–warriors of the parking lot; each day is a battle. Timing is crucial, and skill is necessary for survival. . . I mean necessary for finding a parking spot.

As difficult as finding a parking space is for commuters, that only scratches the surface of the obstacles we face. There are difficulties leading up to and following the actual battle.

San Antonio is an an impressive city; it can turn a 20-minute drive into an hour long drive. Commuters dread the day when they run into traffic caused by accidents or bad weather. I would recommend planning on getting to campus an hour before class starts if you live more than 20 minutes away so unpredictable events won’t make you late to class (you can always use the extra time to find a closer parking spot).

Once you get on campus (if you don’t have class at seven or eight A.M.), finding a parking spot is like finding a needle in a haystack. If you’re lucky, you only have to drive around for a few minutes before finding a parking spot, but for most people, it can take much longer. I am thankful for the kind souls, truly heaven-sent, who point you in the direction of their vehicle so you can take their spot as they leave. Even after circling one of the lots near campus Brackenridge Avenue Lot 1, your efforts can end up being wasted as you have to search for a spot in Brackenridge Avenue Lots 2, 3 and 4, until you come across Brackenridge Avenue Lot 5–your oasis in the desert. 

Now you have parked, getting from your car to class (and vise-versa) is an entirely different battle. I have experienced days when my makeup melts off my face while walking to class and days when I use my body as a human shield to protect my rented books from the rain. Thank you Texas for your ever-changing weather. I’ve learned that keeping an umbrella in my car and regularly checking the weather can be helpful in fighting against Texas weather.

“Why don’t you just ride the ‘Runner?” Because if I walk, I don’t have to actually workout–walking 15 minutes to class and 15 minutes to my car is enough, thank you. 

However, if you are not jumping for joy at the idea of walking from Lot 5 to class, have no fear, the ‘Runner is here. The ‘Runner picks up commuters from various lots on campus–be sure to look up the routes either online, on the UTSA The ‘Runner App or at the shuttle stops. The ‘Runner may save you from walking across the desert to get to class, but there are some faults in the system.

The ‘Runner can take roughly 15 minutes to pick you up if you do not arrive at the stop as the shuttle arrives (enduring the Texas weather while waiting for a shuttle can be torturous). Occasionally, there is not enough room on a shuttle, causing you to wait another 15 minutes before the next one arrives. Once you get on the shuttle, there are nothing but clear skies ahead–unless you have to stand in the aisle because the shuttle is crowded. It is incredibly difficult to maintain your balance in a moving vehicle while carrying your school supplies in those conditions.

Commuters should be commended for developing intricate plans that get them to class efficiently. Commuters should be encouraged to keep up the fight and treat themselves to Starbucks (or whatever their guilty pleasure may be) when they are victorious–I know I always do.