Son off to Irvine Part 2!

Jul 25th, 2004, 10:41 AM
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Son off to Irvine Part 2!

Last month many of you provided some invaluable help to me and my family as we prepare for our son to attend Irvine University in September (we live in England). As the date for his departure grows ever nearer we have another set of questions about Irvine itself, mainly about the ease of travelling around the area. This is really worrying us! My son is 20, has litle experience of driving, and we are not even sure if he is insured to drive abroad (we are just checking this out). In my last posting some people from Irvine itself provided really useful advice. I do hope some of them will read this and maybe be prepared for a load of questions? We would be so grateful!In the meantime I'll go away and sort my questions out!
Morgana is offline  
Jul 25th, 2004, 10:49 AM
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You and your son will find that there are plenty of students who don't have a car. When I went to college, less than 10% of the freshman had cars...and maybe 1/3 of the seniors. I am not familiar with the Irvine campus, but I would expect that many necessities can be bought right on campus, and that there is some kind of public transportation (within campus and possibly to off-campus sites such as bars or shopping areas). Plus, owning a car costs money...with insurance, parking and gas it really adds up (that's why most students don't have cars). Of course the best thing to do is make lots of friends...chances are, one of them will have a car!
suzanne is offline  
Jul 25th, 2004, 11:07 AM
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Contrary to what what many will have you to believe, many people in southern California do not have cars or prefer to use public transportation. Granted, the public transportation system in SoCal cannot compete with systems in eastern cities like New York, it still exists.

Orange County Transist Authority serves Irvine and connects to transit in Los Angeles and to the Metrolink light rail. You can get scheule and point to point route information online at
There an Irvine Metrolink station from where he can get a train rigth into downtown Los Angeles or down to north county in San Diego.
here_today_gone2Maui is offline  
Jul 25th, 2004, 11:52 AM
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My son went to Irvine and still lives in the area. I am sure I can find out whatever it is you may need to know. The first question will probably be how to get to the beach?? LOL.

PMB is offline  
Jul 25th, 2004, 10:18 PM
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Morgana, He might want to try without a car, st least at first. You would have to buy a car for your son and buy insurance in California. For young men his age, with no US driving experience, it would be very, very expensive.
Barbara is online now  
Jul 25th, 2004, 11:08 PM
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Thank you all so much!
I have spoken to Alex and this evening when we get home from work we are going to draw up a list of questions. Will post them ASAP.
Morgana is offline  
Jul 25th, 2004, 11:44 PM
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I went to UCIrvine years ago, and many of my friends did not have a car. Your son just has to make sure he makes lots of friends so he has a large pool of buddies who can offer him a lift!

crazymina is offline  
Jul 26th, 2004, 10:43 AM
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I've spoken to my son tonight and his biggest worry at the moment is transport around Irvine. It's difficult for us to picture California- we live in the Yorkshire Dales in Ebngland where people walk, cycle and take the bus as well as use cars. I am now thinking of abandoning any idea of a car for him. Apologies if these questions sound daft - do people bicycle around the area? Alex reckons it will be too hot! And going to the beach - he's worrying about taking a surfboard on a bus! And are there buses to the local Malls? I tell him to find friends with cars, and he's very sociable so I am sure he will, but at the moment all these worries are giving him sleepless nights! He knows he can buy things on campus but he's keen to explore the area and experience all he can - and I think he's frightened he's going to end up going nowhere without a car!
Morgana is offline  
Jul 26th, 2004, 10:54 AM
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It is true-- lots of people do make do without cars in southern CA. It can be done (I've done it for short periods of time).

OCTA bus service is pretty good, and I'm sure the UC Irvine campus has some lines serving it.

Bicycles? Yes, people do use them to get around. However, many of them (myself included) use them for weekend exercise rather than primary transportation. I don't ride around Orange County, however, so I don't know how well the roads put aside bike lanes.

Getting a car if he's not used to driving? Not a great idea. He should take driving lessons here before even considering that. We have enough slow drivers out here....
rjw_lgb_ca is offline  
Jul 26th, 2004, 11:10 AM
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Yes, I recall there are a lot of bike lanes around Irvine. You will see tons of students biking to school. In fact, Irvine has some great bike/run paths near the campus. I used to run all the time.

No, I don't think it will be too hot. Irvine is quite temperate over the year, and during first month of summer, there's June Gloom just like everywhere else (I remember it was very cool every summer for the first few weeks). There won't always be perfect days, but more often than not, the weather is nice.

If he is living in a dorm, he can always decide what he is comfortable with and try to get a car in year two, if he is planning to do his entire undergrad career there. Or is this an exchange program?
crazymina is offline  
Jul 26th, 2004, 11:27 AM
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Hi, I am assuming that your son is starting his freshman year at UC Irvine. I have lived in Irvine and grew up in this area. Lots of kids in So. California have cars, hopefully one of his roomates will have one. But there are buses, I believe that UCI has its own bus down to the beach area("the Peninsula" and Balboa Island) where lots of UCI students rent apartments. There are shopping and dining areas within walking distance of campus though. Most of the bike riding is for recreation/fitness. There are some really nice bike paths near campus which go down around the Back Bay portion of Newport Harbor. Just to let you know the hottest months of the year here in So. California are September and October. Has your son meet his roomate yet? Lots of colleges will let you know ahead of time so that they can email each other over the summer. Does UCI subscribe to "The Facebook" a sort of online blog thing that the kids from each campus can post stuff about themselves, their major and the classes that they have registered for so students can meet people before they get to campus. If so have you sone register with the UCI facebook and he will get connected to kids from his school and dorm. Also you might have him post on and see if he can meet any students through their website. Good luck and have him bring lots of sunscreen!!
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