Q: I don’t mind driving to and from UI, but are there other options?

There are other options for you to send your child back to school safely, rather than spending a pretty penny and putting hundreds of miles on your car.

As gas prices continue to fluctuate, filling the tank for the drive to campus can cost quite a bit. There’s no denying that driving back and forth to campus for holidays, visiting, or if you want to come home for a weekend can really start to add up.

But there are other options to return back to school safely, rather than spending a pretty penny and putting hundreds of miles on your car.

Consider carpooling. There’s a good chance at least one other person from your high school or neighborhood goes to the University. You’ll have to drive here less often, resulting in fewer tanks of gas and fewer hours on the road. It’s also a place for you to develop another relationship and establish a familiar face on campus.

Also, there are a number of shuttle and coach bus lines on campus that travel to areas all over the state. A few stops include areas in the Chicagoland suburbs, Springfield, Peoria and St. Louis. These buses also travel to other schools. Bus tickets prices vary and stops are limited to where the bus services. Buses are extremely convenient for parents and do make frequent stops.

Traveling by Amtrak is a third option if you don’t want to consistently drive by car to Champaign-Urbana. Tickets can be relatively expensive, depending on the train and the rail. For example, there is one train that comes from New Orleans, as well as a more local train. But if you don’t live along the railway, like in Bloomington-Normal or another city, you may not be able to use the train.