Bus passes still possible

Students show interest according to surveys


Irvin Trigueros

A Tri Delta Transit bus picks up students at the bus stop in front of the LMC campus. The cost of passes is key in the potential program.

As costs for education and transportation continue to rise, transportation to and from school can be an added burden for those students who do not own their own vehicle and have no other way to get to school aside from public transportation. What happens if your car breaks down? How does a student who does not live in walking distance get to classes?  Last November, the Experience reported a story about Quiana Shaw, an LMC student, spearheading an effort to bring back some form of a discount bus pass program back to LMC.

In the early to mid 2000’s, LMC and Tri Delta had a pilot program in place for students to ride buses at a discount. In 2009, funding ran out and Tri Delta declined a continuance as they were having financial difficulties as well. Tri Delta Director of Marketing Mike Furnary inquired about the possibility of other programs.

“Not at this time. First we need to know how many students are actually interested and how much they are willing to pay,” said Furnary. Any program put into place has to have the necessary funds to keep it alive and utilized.

LMCAS members came up with a four question survey asking students just that. The questions were; “Would you use a pass if provided? Would you use it monthly or weekly? Should passes be provided to all students? Would you pay a transportation fee?”

With approximately 500 surveys returned it was clear LMC students showed an interested and provided some great feedback. A few surveys provided comments related to the exact cost of the proposed passes.

One student who requested his/her name not be printed stated, “Yes, definitely I’d be interested. Right now I pay approximately $35, because sometimes I car pool, so the current bus pass is expensive for me.”

Some students come to the Pittsburg campus once a week, maybe twice. Some come 4-5 times a week whether it is for class or other activities.

Of course we all know the money and funds have to come from somewhere. And there are programs out there. Cal Berkley, for example, has a program called “Class Pass” for students. Each student, regardless of using public transportation or their own vehicle is charged a fee with registration. They are then given a card with a sticker for the semester. Other suggestions for alternative transportation are given on the school site as well.

LMCAS President Brianna Klipp, said, “Our next step is to write a formal letter to Tri Delta Transit and take our findings to them.”

It may take some time for LMC students to get a break on public transportation costs since the board will have to approve any agreements or suggestions.