Free bus pass services more than 2,500 students


With the fall 2016 semester underway, Citrus College students have been able to take advantage of a program that has already been successfully implemented at other local colleges.

The Class Pass program has allowed more than 2,500 Citrus students free bus rides six weeks into semester.

After a year of trying out free rides, students will be able to vote on whether or not to raise student fees to keep the program in the future.

Vice President of Student Services Martha McDonald, said she is “very pleased and excited that students are taking advantage of this pilot program.”

The Class Pass allows access to Foothill buses in 22 different cities and also the silver streak bus reaching up to Downtown Los Angeles. Those who have to take multiple buses to and from campus now have alternatives to spending money on getting to school.

As of Sept. 7, there have been over 12,300 boardings by Citrus students onto Foothill buses and this number continues to grow.

The feedback received by staff has been overwhelmingly positive, with only around 53 students facing problems.

Dean of Students Maryann Tolano-Leveque said “sometimes the stickers can malfunction…but 53 out of more than 2,500 is actually really good, that is less than one percent.”

It is projected by Tolano-Leveque that by the end of the spring semester there should be about 3500 students who have acquired a class pass.

Tolano-Leveque, who has been spearheading the Class Pass project, said she encourages any feedback from students.

“It’s been all good but I actually want to hear any glitches or any problems that students are having because that’s how we solve it,” Tolano-Leveque said. “Foothill transit is great at accommodating so if I don’t hear the problems … we can’t solve them.”

Students with malfunctioning passes are given receipts to show bus drivers when their pass is denied.

Class Passes are being offered for a year for free to gather data on how much will potentially be spent next fall if the student body votes to keep this program running.

The increase in student fees would be presented to the student body after the spring semester.

“I know it’s making a difference in their lives and making a difference in them being able to accomplish their educational goals,” McDonald said. “ Sometimes students don’t have the funds available to buy the bus pass.”

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