Special Issues » 2008 College Student Guide

A quick look at the Holy City's transportation options

Gettin' Around

by

comment

With gas at four bucks a gallon, it's easy to spend all the money you have set aside for life's essentials — like beer and cigarettes. Our advice, ditch the car and go with these alternative modes of transportation.

Skateboard

Where: If you can't snatch a skateboard from your younger siblings, try one of the area's skateshops or thrift stores.

There aren't any posers in this town. Once you get the basics down, it's an easy form of stowable transportation. And dude, kick it up a notch by riding tandem on a long board to class.

Price: Unless you can land a used one, expect to drop at least 100 smackers.

Beware: From the cracked sidewalks to pothole-ridden roads, riding a board in Charleston is a less than fantastic ride. Keep plenty of Band-Aids and Bactine on hand.

Bike

Where: Bike shops, Craigslist, CofC bike auctions, thrift stores

So you don't have one? One of the easiest ways to land a cheap bike is to flag down a homeless guy on an $800 bike and offer him 50 bucks — not that we recommend that you do that. Your best bet is doing it the legit way. (See above.) Once you've secured a bike, be sure to invest in a U-lock and hit the road — with a helmet, of course. (No one wants to make an asphalt noggin omelet out of their skull.)

Price: Bikes can get expensive fast. Be creative and you can get a good bike cheap and then splurge on drink holders and baskets — for your little dog too.

Beware: Just remember that when you are buying a bike, the chances of getting it stolen are really high. Don't leave them locked up unattended — bike thieves are nearly as prevalent in these parts as Palmetto bugs. And riding the wrong way down a one-way can get you a ticket.

Pedicab

Where: You can catch them on the fly at any major street corner downtown or call in advance.

Hop in the back of one of Charleston's pedicabs and meet some of the coolest cats on the peninsula — any time of the day. No helmet required. For less than you would spend on a table dance from a Chippendales dancer, the rickshaw is an awesome way to stare at some seriously toned buttocks, while getting from Point A to B.

Price: $4.50 per person for 10 minutes, donations

Beware: This alternative form of transportation forces you to put your life in someone else's hands. If you're drunk and start pawing body parts, you might get left on the side of the road.

Moped

Where: Check out Cycle Trader magazine, Craigslist, City Paper classifieds

Mopeds — the mode of transportation formerly known as the DUI-mobile — have quickly become a hot commodity thanks to their ultra-low gas mileage.

Price: $1,000 for a reliable moped

Beware: SUVs still can't see you, so watch out for soccer moms. Wear a helmet and obey traffic laws.

Scooter

Where: Bike shops, the Mega-Low Mart

There is nothing like trying to ride a scooter — one that requires a leg to get moving, not a gas engine — down our amazing sidewalks. It's like the running of the bulls and a downhill slalom at the same time. Maintaining your balance may end up being more difficult than maintaining a 3.5 GPA.

Price: Somewhere around 100 bones

Beware: Scooters love to get stolen. Some say they even ride off on their own.

CARTA

Where: Pick up a bus schedule on campus or at the Charleston Visitors Center. Even better, just hop on the bus.

Riding the bus is like carpooling without a car and hands-down the best people-watching opportunity in the Lowcountry. Definitely cheaper than paying to park your car, and it takes you practically everywhere.

Price: One way, $1.25. Semester tickets, $50.

Beware: Lots of people, lots of sticky stuff, sneezes, and germs. Be sure to stash a bottle of hand sanitizer. Also, be sure to stay out of stabbing range of any Donnie Darkos having a conversation with Albert Einstein and a clone of George Washington, both of whom are as invisible as Harvey the pooka.

Your own two freakin' legs

Location: Your body

Shocking, I know. Bipeddlin' around is an awesome way to get from point A to B. You'll find yourself doing it all the time, stumbling around at night from keg party to keg party. It's so hip to be green. And by that, we don't mean the color of your skin seconds before you ralph.

Price: Nada

Beware: Tourists use their own two freakin' legs to get lost and induce heat strokes all the time. If you come across one passed out on the sidewalk, resist the urge to snatch their fanny packs. Be smart. And girls, leave those heels at home. And dontcha know that galoshes are the new Uggs! This will help you get through our rainy summers, rainy winters, rainy ... wait! When doesn't it rain?

Add a comment