How to get to University without losing your sanity OR the environment

The struggle of getting to Uni

We all know the continuous daily struggle of a university student: getting in your car every morning expecting a convenient drive, but instead it goes more like this; first you end up stuck in traffic for a good 45 minutes and then, once you arrive at university you have to spend another 30 minutes looking for parking.

Apart from the fact that this causes a lot of frustration, which no one needs before a full day at university, it is also adding to the traffic and air quality problems that Malta currently has on its plate.

In 2018 the country saw a 6.7% increase of CO2 emissions compared to the previous year.  Couple this with the fact that an average of 78 new cars are joining our roads every day, this issue is only getting worse.  This is why it is imperative we start thinking of alternative ways to get around, and what better place to start with than travelling to university?

Public Transport

The most obvious and expected answer is public transport. Yes, we understand that this is not a popular choice with many people, especially since not everyone has the luxury of a direct route. However, it is the mode that has the largest impact on traffic congestion. It also offers students a more economical alternative, due to the fact that youths aged between 16 and 20 are eligible for free public transport with the use of their student tallinja card.  

As a bonus you don’t have to endure the added frustration and road rage yourself, but instead you can scroll through your phone (even if it is swiping through Tinder for 30 minutes) and relax for a bit before getting on with the rest of your day.

Carpooling

Whether it is by making use of the available carpooling services or by simply sharing lifts with your friends, carpooling is an encouraged alternative. Plan your week out and see who will be driving on which day.

Apart from the fact that you will be reducing 1 to 4 cars from the roads, there is the advantage of using KSU’s carpooling scheme whereby if you carpool, you secure a parking space on campus. This way, you also have a morning laugh as you watch your friends saying all sorts of delightful words, as they are hit with road rage.

Electric Vehicles

If you prefer getting to university on your own, you can always make use of electric vehicle rental services, which are very easy to use. Although, unfortunately, these still contribute to the traffic problem, you can arrive at university guilt free, knowing that the vehicle you drove made zero emissions. Both cars and scooters are available, with the appropriate license.

Cycling and Walking

The final two alternatives are the least impactful to the environment, and the infamous traffic is avoided. Cycling can be not only beneficial to the environment but to your health as well. Indeed, it can be dangerous on the road, as they are not known for being cyclist-friendly. But by making that extra effort to find a relatively safe route, you could find yourself getting to university on time while fitting in a morning workout (and this way you have an excuse not to go to the gym).

If you have the advantage of living close to university, walking is the best option for both your anxiety levels and the environment. Granted, sometimes the weather can be your worst enemy, but at least you don’t have to scream at anyone for not using their indicator.


Instead of telling yourself every morning, “Illami xi dwejjaq ta’ traffiku,” do something about it and switch to the many alternatives available to us.  Be one of the first to say ‘no’ to cars and ‘yes’ to something different, and to something greener.



The views expressed in this article are those of the author and are not reflective of ‘A Bird’s Eye View’ as a whole.


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