October 20, 2003

How Students Get Home

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The prospect of getting away from Cornell tingles in the air weeks before fall break begins. Yet Cornell’s 19,575 students all have to find ways of getting back home. With the student ride boards full of requests, many Cornell students look for more secure methods of transportation. Bus services, planes and rides from friends are among the most popular choices for students seeking a way to leave the Ithaca area.

The CB-Bus service, started in 1995 by the mother of a Cornell student, is one of the ways that many Maryland-bound Cornellians choose to take home. With stops on North and West Campuses and Collegetown, the bus offers direct transportation to the Montgomery Mall in Bethesda, Md. Over the years, the popularity of the CB-Bus has grown dramatically. “It started with only one bus, but has grown to include Thanksgiving and Spring Break,” said Elyse Grossman ’05, student coordinator for the bus.

In addition to the increased number of bus rides each year, each bus is normally filled to capacity, although Grossman said that “usually fall and winter break sell out immediately after ticket sales begin.”

Future generations of Cornell students should be able to count on the CB-Bus for convenient rides home, as Grossman said the service “hopes to continue.”

Fast and fun, the bus service is “really cool. You get to meet people from the area, and it’s like one giant party,” Grossman said.

For students who don’t want to take the bus or pay for expensive plane tickets, rides from other students with cars can be the best option for the trip home. The Cornell ride board allows students to request and post opportunities for rides online. Often, obscure connections provide students with a ride.

Emma Hamme ’07 received a ride from “my friend’s friend’s apartment-mate’s frat brother.” In exchange for gas money, Hamme was able to obtain a ride that was “from the same town … [and] there on time.” Often cheaper then public transportation, many Cornell students opt to give and use rides from each other.

While many Cornellians find it easy to get home for the fall break, it’s often inconvenient for West-coast and international students to go home. Unless they are willing to spend money on long-distance plane rides, these students hang around campus for the break while their friends leave.

“It’s definitely tough, especially when I saw the other people packing,” said Jane Jeong ’07. From Korea but living in China, Jeong can look forward to going home for the long winter break when she will “definitely take a plane.” But no matter where or how students spent there fall break, the long weekend was certainly a welcome respite from the rigors and stress of Cornell academics.

Archived article by Sarah Van Duyn