Active transportation– walking, bicycling, and transit– makes good financial sense for college students, since they are cheaper options than owning and maintaining a car on campus. One strong tenet of the CATS program is teaching college students the laws that govern biking and walking, since many students try active transportation for the first time in college and may have not yet learned the applicable laws.
College students also have another reason to choose bicycling: it’s a good way to stay in shape. New U.S. bicycle commuters lose, on average, 13 pounds in their first year of riding, a good thing for anyone worried about college weight gain. Riding a bike doesn’t just give someone great leg muscles– it also gives the cardiovascular system a workout and engages the core, even during an easy ride. By starting this healthy habit so early in life, college students can put themselves ahead of the curve when it comes to reducing the risk for diabetes, obesity, and some cancers.
Riding a bike can also reduce stress and sharpen the mind, two critical components for college success. Finally, for students who are trying to figure out optimal time management skills (some for the first time on their own), riding a bike is an easy way to get all these benefits without having to squeeze a trip to the gym into an already-full day. Replacing a driving commute with a bicycling commute makes good financial, time, and health sense for college students.