Students at Citrus College have begun to question why they do not have access to discounted Foothill Transit passes like those available at nearby community colleges.
Mount San Antonio College students recently approved a new fee to continue the Class Pass program, which offers them a TAP card to access all Foothill Transit buses.
A TAP card is a plastic card that can be electronically loaded and purchased to access Foothill Transit along with 23 other transit agencies in the Los Angeles Area.
The 2014 Class Pass Vote was approved by an overwhelming 81 percent of student votes.
A mandatory fee of $8 for part-time students and $9 for full-time students has been added to the Mt. SAC student activities fees to cover the price of the passes, according to the Foothill Transit website.
Mt. SAC is not the only San Gabriel Valley school to initiate a bus pass program, Rio Hondo College and the University of La Verne also offer their students passes to access Foothill Transit buses.
Pasadena City College does not have a bus pass program like the ones at Mt. SAC and Rio Hondo, but it does offer students a $30 bus pass for the entire semester.
Citrus College seems to be the only college or university in the area who does not offer their student’s bus passes or even discounted passes.
“Foothill Transit in the past has been in negotiation about the possibility of instituting a Class Pass program like we have at Mt. Sac,” said Felicia Friesema, a spokesperson for Foothill Transit. “The understanding we have from the administration at this time is that the students don’t need a specific bus pass program.”
“If there is a student need for a bus pass program like the one we have at Mt. SAC, its going to be up to the students to communicate this with the administration,” said Friesema.
Citrus College has in the past explored a bus pass program.
“We did explore this, I think it was a couple of years ago. We did some research here at the college within our own students,” Martha McDonald, Ed.D., vice president of student services.
“The bookstore used to offer the bus pass at a lower cost and EOP & S used to provide the bus pass too but essentially happened is that the program was dropped because students weren’t really buying them,” said McDonald.
Every day Citrus College students board Foothill Transit to get to school; these students pay a fare of $1.25 or $1.75, if they take more than one bus.
These prices seem low but can add up if a student takes the bus every single day to and back from school.
A student would be spending an average of $77.50 in 31 days.
If Citrus College were to approve a bus pass program like the one implanted at Mt. SAC, the school would have to raise the student services fee.
“I wouldn’t mind paying for extra fees because that would mean I would have secure transportation to get to school,” said Garrett Laporte, 19, social science major.
“Realistically I don’t see the bus pass program being installed anytime soon but as a student who takes the bus I would find it very convenient and I would find it very affordable if they were to do it”, said Laporte.
However, not all students would be happy to see an increase in student fees in support of a bus pass.
“I would be pretty mad if I had to pay extra money for something that I don’t need. I already drive so I won’t need to use the bus,” said Kevin Tran, 19, math major.
Even without a bus pass program at Citrus, students can still take advantage of the student discount Foothill Transit has to offer for every college student in the area.
Only full-time students who are taking 12 units or more are eligible for a $33 local 31-day pass.
Students need to provide a student ID along with proof of full-time status.
Students can obtain their bus pass at any of the five Foothill Transit stores located in the Claremont Transit Center, El Monte Bus Station, Pomona Transit Center, Puente Hills Mall and West Covina.