ASU student liked public transit so much he sold his car

April 16, 2018

Political science junior Ryan Wadding's life changed about six months ago when he sold his car.

Wadding, who works at Arizona State University's Pat Tillman Veterans Center doing community and student engagement, is in Barrett, The Honors College and was in the Marine Corps for four years. ryan wadding Political science junior Ryan Wadding, a Marine Corps veteran, was frustrated with the hassles of driving and parking at ASU so he started taking the light rail and busses with the U-Pass. With no need for a car, he sold it. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now Download Full Image

“I was using my car to commute and parking in a structure. I paid $720 to park per academic year,” he said. “I also paid for gas, vehicle insurance, registration costs and regular maintenance.”

In Munich last summer, Wadding saw how simple and enjoyable public transit and walking can be. Public transportation is less stressful, more sustainable and gives you an opportunity to get some work done, he said.

He now uses a U-Pass, the light rail and the intercampus shuttle to get to campus.

“Many times (on public transit), I saw things I knew I would have missed in a car. I observed people I rode with and saw into the culture of wherever I was,” Wadding said.

He also saves more than $500 a year. Wadding’s U-Pass costs $200 for the academic year. A summer U-Pass costs $75.

“A U-Pass means that your fare is ready when you are,” said Susan Tierney, Valley Metro communications manager. "Tap (the U-Pass) and ride the train or bus."

In addition to the U-Pass, Wadding also takes the Orbit to campus, a free Tempe neighborhood bus. After he gets off the Orbit, he walks to class and work. For work-related trips, he takes the free intercampus shuttle to other ASU campuses.

“The intercampus shuttles are by far the best way to get to another campus,” he said. “I only take the light rail to the Downtown Phoenix campus or back to Tempe during rush hour.”

ASU provides many opportunities to save time, money and stress on your commute, said JC Porter, commuter services assistant director.

“We invested in connecting students to campus in whatever way works best for them,” he said. “Ryan is an example for all of us to consider a less expensive and stress-free alternative.”

Read more about campus transportation solutions. To ask questions and find the right product for you, contact Parking and Transit Services

Peter Northfelt

Editor assistant, Business and Finance Support – Communications


Innovative ASU students play key role in Pulitzer-winning project

April 16, 2018

Arizona State University students at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication were part of a groundbreaking USA Today Network project that has won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in Explanatory Reporting.

Cronkite students played an important role in “The Wall,” a USA Today Network project, which featured video footage of every foot of the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border. The unprecedented project, published on Sept. 22, 2017, on and USA Today, allows users to travel the border virtually, viewing barriers, examining topography and learning about the people who live in the border region. Okechi Apakama, Gregory Walsh and Brendan Walker were among the students that played an important role in “The Wall,” which featured video footage of every foot of the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border. Download Full Image

Nicole Carroll, a 1991 graduate of the Cronkite School and a member of the school’s Alumni Hall of Fame, led the project as vice president of news and executive editor of The Arizona Republic/, which is part of the USA Today Network. In February, she was promoted to editor in chief of USA Today.

Cronkite School Dean Christopher Callahan said the project exemplifies the quality journalism produced by Cronkite alumni and students.

“We sincerely appreciate our partnership with the USA Today Network and The Arizona Republic and congratulate all of the journalists who worked on this outstanding project,” he said. “For our students to be a part of a Pulitzer Prize-winning project is a fantastic illustration of what makes the Cronkite School such a special place.”

To create the map, the Cronkite students Okechi Apakama, Brendan Walker and Gregory Walsh worked with Shea Lemar, geographic information system project manager at ASU’s School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, utilizing aerial footage from a helicopter. The students combed through the video, linking every second to its location on the map.

Walsh said the project, which involved reviewing 20-plus hours of footage multiple times, took 12 weeks to complete. He said it was inspiring to work on the project, which helped people to experience the entire U.S.-Mexico border in a new way.

“I’m really honored that our team was a part of this special project,” Walsh said. “I’m just really excited and proud of the work that we all did.”

Cronkite students Nicole Gimpl, Robert Gundran and Ryan Santistevan also worked on the project, providing key research. Santistevan was a Pulliam Fellow at The Arizona Republic and worked with reporter Daniel González on a story that looked into migrants who died during the treacherous journey crossing the Sonoran Desert.

“Working on this project was an amazing experience because I want to become an investigative border reporter,” Santistevan said. “And to be in the newsroom today and hear that we won was so incredible. It was so surreal to be a part of that today.”

In all, the Pulitzer Prize-winning project included the work of 30 reporters and photographers at The Arizona Republic who interviewed migrants, farmers, families, tribal members — even a human smuggler. They joined Border Patrol agents on the ground, in a tunnel, at sea. They also scoured government maps and fought for property records.

Mi-Ai Parrish, the Cronkite School’s Sue Clark-Johnson Professor in Media Innovation and Leadership, was president and publisher of The Arizona Republic during the project. She said “The Wall” broke new ground in coverage of the U.S-Mexico border.

 “The Arizona Republic and the Walter Cronkite School teamed up to produce inspiring, innovative digital journalism that helped educate a nation,” Parrish said. “I’m proud of the work, the tremendous people and the figure-it-out-together spirit that is a hallmark of both organizations. These kinds of partnerships will enable quality journalism to flourish for our communities.”

Also, in the 2018 Pulitzer Prizes, The Cincinnati Enquirer, also part of the USA Today Network, won the Pulitzer for Local Reporting for a series on heroin addiction. The project was led by Peter Bhatia, former editor and vice President of The Cincinnati Enquirer and who previously taught at the Cronkite School as the Edith Kinney Gaylord Visiting Professor of Ethics. He is now the editor at the Detroit Free Press.

Communications manager, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication