Vijeta BusThis isn’t a poem, so I guess it technically can’t be labeled an “ode,” but the point is that public transportation (and safety, but that comes later) deserves a round of applause.

Before coming to college I had always been concerned about how I would be able to get around without a car if I wanted to go off-campus. I was personally okay with the idea of using public transportation, but it seemed to have a generally bad rep from a lot of people I talked to.

Maybe my standards for transportation are lower than average though, because I think LA’s public transportation system is perfectly adequate. Sure it takes a longer amount of time to get places as compared to driving, but obviously bus and metro lines are placed on a general grid and won’t be perfectly laid out in accordance with every trip one takes.

My friends and I wanted to explore Santa Monica last weekend, and the locale itself was absolutely phenomenal. So phenomenal infact, that we didn’t realize how late it had gotten. 4 girls, after sunset, armed with 1 iPhone trying to get back to USC from Santa Monica. Obviously this wasn’t the safest or smartest situation to be in, but armed with common sense, street smarts, and pepper spray (just in case) we made it back to USC in perfectly fine condition. All thanks to the LA Bus system.

Even regarding the USC Campus, the question of safety always comes up. My point is, it’s important to be vigilant no matter what area you’re in. And by placing additional emphasis on safety as a campus concern, regardless of how big of an issue it actually is, the university has made me into a more conscientious individual too. I like that I have Department of Public Safety phone numbers in my Contacts list, because I believe that regardless of where one lives it’s important to have that information.

I’ve never felt unsafe while walking on campus itself, and even around campus there are so many DPS and other security officers stationed that I know that as long as I use common sense I will be fine.

Basically, I think that there are a lot of rumors and perceptions that we have of different aspects of college life (both at USC and elsewhere) that often turn out to be entirely different once we actually have those specific experiences. And ultimately, services such as public transportation and safety are there for a reason and they are effective. As much as we all love to generalize and criticize, the point is that a lot of things in the world do work. It’s just up to us to decide whether we have enough faith in them to give them a chance.

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