Opinion: A rite of Passage

Celia Fernandez

Celia Fernandez

Celia Fernandez is a sophomore news major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected]

It’s the day you look forward to as soon as you know that you can learn, the day that you can finally hang out with your friends and not have your parents tagging along: the day you finally get your driver’s license, or for me, a New Yorker, the day I got to ride the subway by myself.

I have been living in New York for 19 years, and the first time I ever rode the subway by myself, I was 13 years old. My friends and I would normally ride the bus all together, but that was an hour ride just to get home, while on the train it was only 20 minutes.

My mom hadn’t given me permission to ride the subway by myself yet, but I did anyway, and it was one of the most exhilarating feelings of my life.

In New York, the prominent form of transportation is riding the bus or the subway, but in Ohio it’s all about being able to get behind the wheel. The only comfortable way to get around is driving, and the key to that is to pass the road test.

I have a friend who didn’t pass the road test twice, and, luckily for her, the third time was the charm. In New York, there is no test to be able to take the subway; the only real “test” is your parent or guardian trusting you enough to ride public transportation on your own.

As far as safety, there is a higher percentage of getting into an accident on the road than riding transportation, but not by much. On the road, there are many factors that can affect your driving, such as weather, other drivers and, of course, your skill at driving. Riding public transportation, you depend on other people to be 100 percent in the perfect condition to get millions of people where they need to go and on time.

As far as cost, both are equally expensive. Just as the price of gas fluctuates, riding public transportation also costs $2.25 for a single ride, meaning you can only get off at one stop until you have to pay again.

Driving is necessary in a state like Ohio because everything is so spaced out, but in New York it is easier to take public transportation or just walk everywhere because there are thousands of business and places that are all next to each other and easily accessible to the public.

Riding the subway is something that I have known my whole life, and driving isn’t something that I think I will get used to. Driving is helpful because you get to places more quickly, but riding the subway is a part of who I am, and it’s better because it costs less and I don’t have to go through the hassle of parking or getting gas.