In your first year at UCSB you will no doubt face obstacles that seem near impossible — transportation, however, will not be one of them. Getting past Go in the greater Santa Barbara area is an easy task, even for those who must reluctantly give up their beloved car.
One of the first things you may notice about UCSB’s campus is the sheer number of bikes — they are truly everywhere. Biking is undoubtedly the most popular way to get to and from class, and bikers rule the road on campus. This means if you accidentally step out onto the bike path before checking to see if it’s clear, you stand a good chance of being run over.
Of course, with so many bikes going this way and that, the occasional bike accident is a given, but don’t be disheartened if you find yourself in one, it happens to the best of us.
Bike racks can be found near all the lecture halls and major buildings. Remember to lock up your bike or odds are you’ll be walking home after class. Buy a sturdy U-lock, rather than a flimsy woven steel cable lock, and help to put an end to the saying, “Four years, four bikes.”
Additionally, Associated Students provides students with free air for bike tubes as well as chain lube, so be sure to check out A.S. B.I.K.E.S. when you get on campus.
Not everyone bikes, however, and you’ll see your fair share of students walking and skateboarding to class. Walkers must share the sidewalks with skateboarders, so if you’re walking to class be sure to keep a keen ear and sharp eye for skateboarders — not everyone has perfect control when on four wheels.
In order to get to downtown Santa Barbara, often referred to simply as State Street, students can take advantage of the free Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District bus service. Well actually, a chunk of your fees goes to that service, so you may as well use it. MTD has two stops on campus, as well as a few in Isla Vista.
In order to get a free ride however, students must request a registration sticker on GOLD. It normally takes two to four business days for the sticker to arrive in the mail, but once you receive it, simply stick it on your ACCESS card and entire bus system is at your disposal.
The 24X bus route is the easiest option if you’re heading downtown, and takes a direct route from campus to the transit center downtown — a quick 20-minute ride. The bus runs about every half hour during the week and every hour on the weekends.
If you should happen to want to leave Santa Barbara — not that you would want to — there are two Amtrak stations nearby where you can catch a train to pretty much anywhere along the coast. Despite the somewhat high cost, the train is an easy option for weekends home and you can always get tickets ahead of time online.
If you live farther than a train ride away, there is an airport conveniently located right on the edge of campus. Santa Barbara Airport is small and flights can be pricey, but it is a quick and convenient way of flying up to Northern California or beyond.