A student rests on his bike on Winona State University Campus.

Biking is a great way to get around Winona.

Freshmen, are you thinking about bringing your car to campus with you? Think again! You are coming to Winona State, a campus that is located within minutes of grocery stores, movie theaters, exercise facilities, the downtown area, shopping centers and much more!

Not only is walking always an option, but the WSU campus and city of Winona provide us with great transportation resources. You can walk, run, bike rent a bike from the WSU Purple Bike Program, rent a Zipcar, ride the city bus, take a cab, take the Amtrak or arrange a ride with a fellow student on the WSU Rideboard. These options can get you from campus to anywhere in Winona or even further throughout and beyond the state.

If you have your own bike, skateboard, longboard, scooter, or whatever, bring it with and use that instead! If you bring a bike definitely look into the bike registration program to guarantee protection of your bike. This is by no means supposed to scare you and make you think that your bike will be stolen, but really who knows!

If you don’t have one of these options don’t fret! There is always the WSU shuttle too. The shuttle can get you between West campus and Main campus and East Lake apartments throughout the day. If you are a planner like I am, then you will want to know when the bus is coming, especially if it is running late or ahead of time. If that’s the case use the bus tracker.

If money is the issue, you would be pleasantly surprised to learn that these options would save you buckets of money compared to bringing your own car. If you don’t have a car now, there a plenty of transportation options to get to Winona and around Winona so a personal car is definitely not a necessity. And let me tell you that they can bring quite the costs! Not only do you have a car payment, but there is insurance, regular maintenance and, of course, the unexpected costs when something goes wrong.

I experienced this first hand this year. I purchased a car during January of my sophomore year of college. It was a great car– 2009 Pontiac G6 with only 50,000 miles on it! It gets pretty good gas mileage, costing me just under $100 a month on gas and gets me where I need to be. About a year and 2 months after I purchased it, I started noticing a puddle of standing water on the floor of my backseat. After a visit to the auto repair shop, I found out that the entire draining system for my sunroof was malfunctioning. $700 later, the car is back in working condition. That was $700 I didn’t have to spend, and I’m sure you will feel the same once you are a student as well. That money could pay a whole lot more!

My advice is to live on campus, walk places and get to know the area where you are going to spend four amazing years! Don’t worry about money anymore than you already need to and use Winona’s services to aid you in all of your transportation needs!

Be sure to check out all of your options at the Winona State Getting Around Photo Album.

–Caitlin Reineke

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