by Sean Kim ’26
While most of Bellarmine’s students to choose to arrive to school every morning in a car, another common method of transportation to and from the Bellarmine campus is the Caltrain. With a station reserved almost exclusively for Bellarmine students – College Park – the train is a great way to get to school. And for many, its reliable days make it so many Bellarmine students depend on train transport in order to get to and from school every day. However, the Caltrain doesn’t come without its own downsides. Frustrating delays and cancellations can be a hassle for students wishing to get on campus on time, and without any other means of transport, it can prove a massive pain.
Caltrain provides many benefits to students who are unable to use other transportation methods. While most Bellarmine students drive a car or ride in a car to school, some lack this option, whether that is because of their caretakers’ schedule or simply the lack of a car. When asked about the reason for taking the train, many students simply said, “it’s convenient,” or expressed their lack of an alternative. The train is also relatively cheap, with a dedicated student card for the train or a monthly pass reducing the price further. Bellarmine also has its own near-exclusive train station, meaning the train station is just a few paces away from the campus itself. There are some downsides to the train, however.
The main reason some students dislike the train is due to how often it is late. The reason the delays are frustrating are not for the reason you may think: any student late to a class due to a train delay is automatically excused. The true reason the delays bother students is because of missing the classes themselves. An important test or a critical lesson in the beginning of the day could be missed due to a train arriving five minutes late. Many students who take the train to and from Bellarmine mentioned similar things about the train: the delays happened too commonly. While some claimed the delays happen once or twice a week, and others claimed they happen twice a month, most of the students said they were frustrated with how common the delays are. Han Li ’26, a freshman who takes the train to and from Bellarmine, mentioned he “[finds] the delays annoying… since it can make [him] miss important classes.” Many of the students at Bell ride the train out of necessity, so these delays can be especially frustrating: many have no other backup. Another student, Will Goodman ’26, expressed similarly how “you either have to hitch a ride with someone else or call your parents,” both very undesirable options.
Overall, the train is a convenient transportation method for anyone who needs it. It is in many ways inferior to the form of transportation the majority of students take, by car, but it has its own upsides and can be a desirable alternative if for any reason a car isn’t available. Bellarmine has recognized that riding the train can be a frustrating experience and excuses any tardies that train delays may cause. It doesn’t make up for lost class time, though. Typically though, for anyone that needs it, trains are solid alternative to get to the Bellarmine campus.