The struggle to find transportation in and out of Lexington

Cassidy Fuller

One amazing aspect of Washington and Lee is that we are able to have a weeklong break each semester, Thanksgiving and Washington Break, in addition to breaks at the end of each semester. During these weeks, students are able to go home and detox from their hectic lives at school. It’s a time to sleep until noon and have home-cooked meals or to go on trips with friends and just have fun. Regardless of where students end up, most are just happy that they have a chance to get out of Lexington and away from school for a short time.

For any student who lives far from school or is traveling far, flying is often the only mode of transportation. Students who do not have cars on campus and have to fly home, are forced to figure out rides to and from airports. This can quickly add an extra hundred dollars to their trip, depending which airport they fly out of.

When I lived in California my freshman year, I remember asking my parents if I would be able to fly home for Washington Break and being told that if I could find a ride to and from the airport, then I could. At the time, I was very confused by my parents’ condition. Shouldn’t they be more concerned with flight prices rather than a taxi service? After looking at the prices of transportation services out of Lexington, I realized how reasonable my parents’ thoughts were.

There are six options listed on the Washington and Lee website for ride services: Lexington Limousine and Transportation Service, Transportation Car Service, Roanoke Airport Transportation Services, Executive Town Car and Limousine Services, A Goff Limo and Calvary Transportation.

Because a flight with only one to two connections can be hard to find to California, I was often forced to fly out of Dulles. Using the Lexington Limousine and Transportation as an example, a ride for just me would cost $315 plus a 15% tip. Even going to Roanoke, which is only an hour away, would still cost $90.

Luckily for me, I was often able to figure out rides with friends, and I would just compensate them for gas money, which was at most $20. But for students who might have flight times that don’t coincide with others or just aren’t able to find rides in time, they have to decide between spending an extra $100+ on a flight home or staying on campus for breaks when they are able to.

Before almost any break, you can see students frantically posting in their class page begging for rides. Thankfully, some students on campus have already thought of a solution to this problem. On Facebook, there is a “Ride Shares Over Breaks” page where students can post about needing rides or having extra spots available in their cars. Unfortunately, there are only 550 members in this group. If more students joined this group or figured out other ways to coordinate rides, we would not only save students a lot of money but would also allow others to earn some.