Free rides may come to an end

The Riverside Transit Authority’s Go Pass program, which allows Riverside Community College District students to ride RTA buses for free with a valid student ID, has been wildly successful.

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By Stephanie Holland / Editor in Chief

No Go- Students at the bus stop in front of Riverside City College may soon have to find another way to get to campus. (Jasmeet Singh / Editor’s Assistant)

By Stephanie Holland / Editor in Chief

The Riverside Transit Authority’s Go Pass program, which allows Riverside Community College District students to ride RTA buses for free with a valid student ID, has been wildly successful.

Unfortunately, the funds which came from grant money from the participating cities and Riverside county will run out, so students are being asked to help with a transportation fee.

The fee would be $5.50 and would be paid by all full-time RCCD students for the fall, spring and summer semesters, with a maximum of $16.50 per academic year. This fee would also be mandatory which means it would be non-waivable.

The idea of a mandatory fee for a service that all students don’t use has caused division on the campus.

“I don’t think it’s right if we’re already paying $40 for a parking permit, there’s no reason for us to have to pay a fee on top of gas and everything just to get here,” said RCC student Kimmy McMullan.

According to Bradley Weaver of RTA, ridership among RCCD students has risen from 2 percent to 10 percent since the program started.

The program has had approximately 1.3 million trips by RCCD students

With this many students taking the bus to campus, there are those like Perris resident and RCC student Jasmine Webb for whom the transportation fee is crucial.

“I wouldn’t be able to go to school if I didn’t take the bus,” she said. “I take the bus all the time, I don’t have a car, I need it to go places.”

Webb says she understands why some of her fellow students are against the fee, but still thinks they should be aware of what a no vote means.

“I understand if you don’t take the bus then why should you pay for it, but it’s the same as the health fee, if you don’t get sick it’s kind of a ripoff, but if you do get sick then you’re going to go in there and you’re going to benefit from it,” she said.

If the fee isn’t passed the program would end in August.

Students will have the opportunity to vote on this issue on March 31 and April 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4-6 p.m. in front of the Martin Luther King Learning and Resource Center.

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