Traveling home for the holidays

by Ally Larrick —

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Blacksburg, Va., Dec. 4 – Bus Options: Along with many other transportation options, the Smart Way, which connects downtown Roanoke to Virginia Tech, is available to students. This option is useful for students who may be local to the New River Valley, but do not have a car with them at school. Photo: Ally Larrick


As the semester wraps up, Virginia Tech students are looking forward to going home for the holidays. Since a majority of the campus will be traveling around mid-December, it is important for Virginia Tech and the surrounding New River Valley to provide transportation options to its students. Whether people prefer to travel by car, bus, plane, or train, there is a way to get home for everyone.

The success of the Virginia Breeze bus has been noted among transportation leaders. On the Virginia Breeze website, the bus is described as, “a new intercity bus service connecting Blacksburg, Virginia, with Union Station in Washington, D.C. The daily route includes several stops in the New River Valley, Shenandoah Valley and Northern Virginia.”

Virginia Tech’s Transportation Network Manager, Nick Quint, feels as though these bus options are popular among students, even those out of state.

“If someone needs to go to Pennsylvania, New Jersey, or New York, during major breaks there’s a bus service that stops in each of those states,” Quint states, “If people can get to D.C. there’s usually other options there whether it is train or bus.”

In addition to bus options, carpooling has become very popular. There are even Facebook pages out there for carpooling. For example, on the Facebook page, Virginia Tech Carpool, students write posts like, “Anybody driving to the ROA airport before 10 a.m. on Sunday 12/15? If so, let me know. I can pay in money or baked goods.”

Although this may be a good option for some, the Senior Planner at New River Valley Regional Commission, Christy Straight, is working on an application, called RIDE Solutions, which she says will create a safer and more efficient way to carpool. 

“For students, it’s a valuable way if students are going home to the D.C. area, maybe to Hampton Roads, or somewhere in North Carolina, wherever there is enough students going that they can find each other on this app. I see it valuable for that,” Straight states.

The app utilizes ride-matching to give carpooling options to students after they input their information. Straight hopes that the successes of this app will reach beyond Virginia.

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Nick Quint, Transportation Network Manager at Virginia Tech
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Christy Straight, Senior Planner at New River Valley Regional Commission


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