By Victoria Lewis / Staff writer
Students who travel the country, or even the world, for college may seem like they are living the dream, but in doing so they give up one thing that is crucial to any college student’s survival – a car.
Moving away for college can feel like a big step in the direction of independence, but without reliable access to transportation for necessities such as groceries and doctor’s visits, it can instead feel like a backwards step.
Kaden Anderson, a freshman from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has found the lack of transportation options around campus to be “a challenge”.
“I do have a car back home, I use it everyday, mainly to go to the gym and to the store. I can’t go to the store here,” Anderson said of his travel arrangements in his hometown.
Limited transport options in Hutchinson leave some HutchCC students struggling to gain access to the basic needs.
“There a couple of times I needed something and I couldn’t get it, it makes me feel frustrated coming all the here and not being able to be as independent as I’d like,” Anderson said. “If I want to go places I can’t go on foot, I have to ask for a ride. I hate it.”
Anderson said that “there are a couple of teammates who drive me places, but it’s not fun having to do on a regular basis. I do sometimes feel like I’m annoying them always asking.”
The Hutchinson community does have the Reno Country Area Transit (RCAT) service, which has stops that are local to the college campus and dorms. The RCAT has several services which include a fixed route wave-and-ride service that incorporates routes that stop at Walmart, Prairiestar Health Center and Main Street.
“I didn’t know that there was a bus service in Hutchinson, I wish they’d have told us that sooner, I don’t think any of the guys even know about it,” Anderson said.
Another student who has experienced troubles with transport is freshman Adam Mustow, who has come to Hutchinson from Australia’s most populated city, Sydney.
“I didn’t really need to use public transport because I did have a car, but was a lot easier to use at home,” Mustow said.
Mustow has had to find creative ways to get around Hutchison without his own vehicle.
“I manage to get around by my teammates,” Mustow said. “If not, I do walk or even ride a scooter.
“I find it hard sometimes when teammates are busy and there isn’t any public buses to catch. Just going to do my own thing, I have to get a teammate to take me when he has time instead of being able to catch a bus when I need. Even getting an Uber here is impossible, not like back home at all.”
The RCAT bus service is available to the general public and runs from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. on weekdays, and from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturdays. Costs for the fixed route services are $1 and costs for on demand services when the bus is called or flagged down are $2.