How to Get Around IV

May 15, 2023 2 min read

This blog post is an excerpt from IVO's We Gaucho Back: UCSB Freshman Student Guide

Transportation is a big thing to understand coming into UCSB, so let’s get to it! One of the biggest questions parents and incoming students alike ask: is a car needed? The general consensus you'd get from the majority of folks: absolutely not

bike or skateboard is highly recommended to get around both IV and campus. Trust us, while some people don’t mind footing it, you don’t want to walk from 65 block to 68 block in IV when the weather is turning and it goes from being 80 degrees all day to 55 and windy at night. Either of these two options will for sure help out, but if you want, you can also use one of the electric scooters-by-the-minute that are just floating around IV. All you need to do for those is download the app and scan the QR code and you should be set to go - just remember these are usually unavailable from 2AM to 7AM.

The big difference between the rentable scooters and the more permanent options, like bikes and skateboards, is that rentable scooters are not currently allowed on campus, and if you are caught riding one on campus you can be sure to receive a fine. We would also like to point out that we have a fully developed guide to biking.

A final word of wisdom would be to mind the buses. The buses are constantly running and your student access card (with your Student ID, you ride free) is all you need to hitch a ride. The bus destinations range from Campus and IV all the way to Goleta and Santa Barbara. We highly recommend getting the MTM App for routes and up to date data on the buses. As far as getting to areas such as Target, Costco, and Albertsons (all located in the Storke and Hollister regions), taking the #27 and #28 busses are definitely the call. Also, we highly recommend making sure you know which buses stay solely in IV, because it would not be fun to wind up in downtown Santa Barbara by mistake. 

Swinging back to the car question: what are the benefits to a first-year having a car? Outside of just ease of access around town, as well as the ability to commute to work or back home, not much. Most of your first-year life will consist of spending time in the residence halls, studying on campus, eating at the dining commons, and heading out to Isla Vista by foot/bike/board for some food, social activities, or other events.

There may be a few times here and there it is important to run over to Target or Costco, however, it doesn’t justify the cost of a car, a car permit, and/or the risk of parking it in Isla Vista, which is already compacted enough with cars. Must supplies are easily purchased at markets in Isla Vista (support local!).

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