August 15, 2014

Transportation options plentiful for students at The Hub

Residents of The Hub of Columbia will have lots of transportation options for getting to class this semester.

Amid the poolside chats, tanning booths, volleyball matches and other luxuries awaiting new tenants of The Hub at Columbia, there are, after all, classes to be considered.

And for the 850 tenants, mostly University of South Carolina students, who have taken up residence at the new apartment complex on Main Street, planning their weekday commutes will be important before classes begin Thursday.

To be sure, the seventh-tenths mile trip from the complex at 1426 Main St. to USC’s Horseshoe – a major campus connector – is on par with (or even shorter than) many distances on-campus students must travel to get to class each day. What’s more, The Hub is closer to campus than many other student-dominated apartment complexes in the area.

But without a dedicated shuttle service like those offered at many of the other complexes, Hub residents will have to explore other options for making their way to and from class.

Those options include driving, walking, biking or taking the city bus.

Brandon Muniz, a senior biology major from Greenville who lives at The Hub, said he knew he’d have to arrange his transportation when he decided to move in. “I figured I would try to drive to campus each day and maybe pay for a parking pass on campus,” he said, adding that getting some occasional exercise might also be a smart idea. “Maybe if it’s not too hot, I’ll take the walk to class.”

Hub residents can lease spots in a parking lot behind the building for $40 a month, Muniz said.

Those who elect to drive to class can try and locate a metered space close to campus or lease a spot in one of the on-campus parking garages and other lots. USC officials said Friday that on-campus parking spaces were available for lease in limited areas. The average lease price is $350 per semester.

For some students, that might make biking to class a more preferable option.

City of Columbia planning and development director, Krista Hampton, said city ordinances require private dormitories to provide bike rack spaces at a rate of 25 percent of the beds. For The Hub, that would mean a little more than 200 bike spaces, but it was not clear Friday if all those spaces were available yet.

Another travel option available to students, particularly on rainy days, is the city’s COMET bus system. While there is no dedicated route between The Hub and the USC campus, outgoing buses generally depart from the nearby Sumter and Blanding street stop the bottom of each hour on weekdays and arrive at Blossom and Pickens streets on the USC campus about 10 minutes later.

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