Before you graduate college you should probably know…

Kelly Skahan

Though move-in day was just last weekend and classes have only begun, for each student on campus one common goal looms far in the distance: graduation. However, a diploma isn’t the only piece of paper you’ll receive on that fateful day when you leave Villanova forever; with it comes a one-way ticket to the ever-present and ever-pressing locale affectionately known as “the real world.”

With that in mind, The Villanovan has decided to do its part in preparing students for heading out on their own in the coming years by explaining the things college doesn’t always teach you before graduation. From finding a job with benefits to finding a decent roommate in a new city to staying involved politically, religiously and socially when the Wildcat NewsWire is a thing of the past, we hope the topics covered will help you make that step into reality not only as an adult, but as a grown-up as well.

This week: Public Transportation

Transportation costs are minimal for most students during the school year, and aside from getting to and from class for those off campus, it’s not difficult to get around cheaply. For those interning in the city, aiming to go home for the weekend, or itching for a trip to the shore during the last few weeks of sunny weather, two SEPTA lines run right through Villanova’s campus, and a quick trip to the University homepage links students to train schedules that will take riders nearly anywhere in the area. Plainly put, students are well equipped to get where they need to go, whether they have a car on campus or not.

After graduation, however, things change.

A move to a new city leaves many graduates in the middle of an unfamiliar place with little to no idea how to get anywhere, whether it’s to work, the grocery store or out on the town each weekend. While the first few weeks at Villanova allowed for some SEPTA mishaps, the first few weeks of a new job aren’t ideal for being late due to a train mix-up. Luckily, most major cities on the East Coast are equipped with decent public transportation systems that make it relatively easy to get into and out of the city without too much trouble.


Boston is famous for being accessible to commuters who aren’t particularly prone to driving, and its massive public transportation system is evidence of the fact that a car is almost superfluous in the city and its surrounding areas. The famous Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) includes buses, commuter rail, ferries and a subway system lovingly dubbed the “T,” making it easy to get around town. Fees aren’t particularly exorbitant or hard to handle, with $1.70 tickets on the subway for pass-holders and $2 entry for everyone else, with free transfers to the bus above ground. As an added bonus, Boston is ranked as one of the best cities for walking in the country, and many residents who live in city limits choose to walk rather than deal with transportation at all.

New York City:

With the most miles of track in the world, New York’s transportation system is truly unparalleled, but admittedly intimidating for a novice. Luckily, as long as you’re polite, most locals are happy to steer you in the right direction if you get lost. With dozens of train routes and hundreds of buses across the city, it’s possible to get anywhere without much trouble, and an across-the-board $2 entry fee to the subway system ensures a cheap commute. Riders can stock their MetroCard with up to $100 at a time and swipe it to reach the train platform, with a free bus transfer within two hours of their entry to the subway. For those living outside the city, the Long Island Railroad makes it simple to get to Penn Station without trouble, and renovations will soon take it to Grand Central as well.

Washington D.C.:

D .C. is another city with brag-worthy public transportation, ranging from an extensive bus system to an almost unmatched commuter train. The Red, Green, Blue, Yellow and Orange Lines on Commuter Rail make it possible to get from even Baltimore to the Capitol without too much stress, and commuters indeed make up the majority of riders. Fares vary from $1.65 to almost $5 depending on the distance traveled, and riders need to hold on to their fare card, since it’s required for both entry and exit from the stations. For those itching to drive, D.C. is also home to a FlexCar program that makes a vehicle accessible to members for a monthly fee.