On the commute

While several of the CUNY senior colleges do offer a residence hall for students, the overwhelming majority of CUNY students commute to campus for classes and other commitments. Most CUNY students live in the five boroughs of New York City and commute via public transportation, though some come from further afield. We’ve learned a lot about how CUNY students navigate, manage, and recoup time in their commutes — a more detailed discussion is included in our articles Serving the commuter college student in urban academic libraries and Commuter students using technology.

Student: My favorite part of the day: catching the bus!

Interviewer: To school or home again?

Student: Both.

Interviewer: So, why is catching the bus your favorite part of the day?

Student: Because when I catch it I have a good day. When I don’t catch it, I have a bad day.

–Bronx Community College student, Spring 2011

Student: Well, my train ride to school now is probably about 45 minutes to an hour, but when I used to go to high school it used to be an hour and a half.

Interviewer: What can you say about to the quality of studying on the train?

Student: It’s less distraction I would say. At home I have all the technology, TV, you know, everything. Laptop especially, you know, so the most you can look at on the train is other people. Sometimes I get distracted by that but you have a long commute there is nothing else to do, so, might as well study.

Interviewer: Now, you’ve taken a picture of a relative empty car as your commute, you find it generally you are not at a crowded time?

Student: It’s empty. Yeah.

–Brooklyn College student, Fall 2009

Um, I think that’s “something that makes you happy” or something, because that’s the end of my day, or… So it’s like my last little adventure. I mean, you know, if I want now I could be on the [Staten Island] ferry and just chill out.

You can either take the ferry or rather the bus to the ferry, and then I take the R for one train stop, or um, I could take this other bus called the 53 which brings me to the Verrazano bridge, then I can take the R train pretty much to here.

–City Tech student, Fall 2009

Interviewer: Do you have a long commute?

Student: Yeah, I do. Real long. I do the subway, actually I do the subway and then I do MetroNorth, so. This picture is of MetroNorth as well. So it’s one or the other.

Interviewer: And what do you usually do on your commute?

Student: Just study. I mean, that’s what I’m doing. I’m studying.

–City College student, Fall 2010

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