No Car? No Problem

Tai Jackson, Staff Reporter

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Many students choose to bring their cars with them when they come to college, but choosing not to bring a car isn’t a bad idea either. There are many ways to get around Ellensburg without having a car or breaking the bank.

Kiana McElroy, a sophomore majoring in biology, explained that not having a car had its difficulties at first when trying to commute places, but she soon learned that there were ways around it.

“When it came to not having a car, I would sometimes be late to class or since I used to work downtown and lived far away I would have to get up really early to get to work. But once I got a bike it made things a lot easier to commute to places,” McElroy said.

In town

Riding a bike is a great way to get from place to place, however if you don’t want to break a sweat by riding a bike or walking around Ellensburg, there are other options.

Central Transit has a fare-free system and now offers four routes to get you all over town. It is open to the public. The program is funded by CWU students. A portion of the mandatory fees that students pay at the beginning of the year goes to help fund Central Transit, so it’s a great resource for students without cars to take advantage of.

The red route runs clockwise from W. Helena (north), to Brooklane Village (east), Super 1 Foods (south), and Fred Meyer (west). Service days are Monday- Friday starting at 7 a.m.

The green route is the same as the red route, except the flow of travel is counterclockwise. It runs from Monday through Sunday with weekday service starting at 7:30 a.m., Saturday service starting at 8:30 a.m., and Sunday service starting at 9:30 a.m.

The orange route heads from the city center towards the West Interchange of I-90, linking residents in West Ellensburg, businesses along Dolarway and W. University Way, as well as connecting with the Greyhound bus station. Service is seven days a week starting at 8:10 a.m.

The blue route goes from north and east of the Ellensburg city center. This route travels up Water Street to Bender Road, passes the CWU campus on Alder before heading south on Chestnut, then loops past the Ellensburg School District office, Valley View Elementary and the Ellensburg High School. Service is seven days a week starting at 7:45 a.m.

All buses are wheelchair accessible using the onboard lift and have two full-size single-rider bicycle racks.

Out of town

If you’re trying to leave for the weekend and want to head back to the westside but don’t have a car, check out the Bellaire Shuttle. Bellaire picks riders up in Ellensburg at the CWU Starbucks located across the street from campus. They have drop off locations at Sea-Tac airport, Seattle, North Bend, Ellensburg, Cle Elum, Yakima and more.

Each rider gets two bags and a carry-on that they can check on board for free. The price for round trip depends on your destination and age. Prices differ for adults and youth, but typically range from $70-$104 for a round trip ticket. If you are looking to only go one-way, tickets range in price as well, but typically are priced around $25-$50 a person.

Reservations can be made online at the website, and once your reservation is made a confirmation email will be sent. It is important to make reservations 24 hours in advance.

The bus runs all year long and only has delays when the pass is closed. Normally an email or text will be sent to your phone to alert you about the delay. Busses run Monday through Sunday at various times depending on starting and ending locations, ranging from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

On-demand transportation

Another way to get around Ellensburg is by taxi or Uber. Once a person downloads the Uber app, they can see all the various Uber drivers available in town. The same goes for taxis. Rodeo Town Taxi is open 24 hours, seven days a week. They also do courier, deliveries, lockouts and jump starts.

K.C. Cab is another taxi service.  They are not only located in Ellensburg, but serve other places as well such as Chelan County, Douglas County, Grant County, Yakima County, Pierce County, King County, and Cle Elum. They are open Sunday through Monday 12 a.m.- 12 p.m. Each taxi, depending on how long it takes to get to your destination, normally costs around $7-$15 if you stay local.

Huimin Wu, an international student from China and senior ITAM major, explained that she uses another way to get around Ellensburg.

“Because my bigger cousin has a car, he normally takes me anywhere I want to go. I don’t have a problem getting places because my cousin drives me,” Wu said. Friends or family is another great way to get around town.

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