University

Calif. RTA celebrates new record with giveaway

Posted on November 19, 2012

Chris Vergara lives on the bus.

Well, not exactly. But that’s how the 18-year-old Riverside City College student puts it. Most days, he’ll catch two Riverside Transit Agency (RTA) buses to get from his Riverside home to campus. Some days, he’ll hop on one to get to a job interview and catch another to grab a slice of pizza with some friends. On his busiest days, he’ll board as many as six different buses in one day.

“I actually like the atmosphere aboard a bus,” he said. “Sometimes my mom will want to give me a ride and I’ll take the bus instead. The drivers are nice, the buses are safe, on time and it gives me a chance to listen to music and text my friends.”

Pretty soon, he’ll have a brand-new iPad to take on his trips.

Chris is among a growing number of Riverside County students benefitting from the flourishing Go-Pass and U-Pass programs, which for six years, has given students unlimited rides on RTA buses by simply swiping their school IDs. To commemorate the program’s success, RTA will give away iPads to two lucky students — one from Riverside City College and another from Moreno Valley College — during a ceremony next Tuesday at 11 a.m. at the Riverside City College bus stop on the northeast corner of Magnolia Avenue and Terracina Drive. One of those students is Chris, who earned the grand-prize when his school ID was randomly picked during one of his many trips aboard the bus.

The Go-Pass and U-Pass programs now encompass a statewide record six partner schools: Cal Baptist University, La Sierra University, Moreno Valley College, Mt. San Jacinto College, Riverside City College and UC Riverside. All told, more than 1.3 million student boardings occurred during FY12, an all-time record.

“This program has been remarkable,” said RTA Chairman of the Board Doug McAllister. “It’s changing the mindset for a whole new generation of students. In so many cases, it’s making a student’s pursuit of a higher education possible.”

Cash-strapped students have credited the Go-Pass and U-Pass with saving them money as well as expanding their educational opportunities. Administrators have applauded the program for relieving traffic, reducing emissions around campus and minimizing the need to build expensive parking structures.

“The program has been an outstanding success,” said RCCD Chancellor Gregory W. Gray. “Without a doubt, it’s allowed the doors of access to be opened to students who wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend college.”

And there’s no sign of slowing down. During October, ridership at Riverside City College and Moreno Valley College skyrocketed nearly 30 percent compared to the same month a year ago. Some of that increase could be attributed to improvements in bus service around the two campuses. Thanks to those changes, students are spending less time waiting for the next bus to arrive.

“Even people who have cars are riding the bus,” said Jaimie Mitchell, a 27-year-old business major at Moreno Valley College who is also taking home an iPad on Tuesday. “I used to be surprised by how many students are riding the bus; nowadays it’s just become so common.”

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Duke, Durham DOT team to improve bicyclist, traffic safety

The team created an interactive website and app that helps users see how different factors like time of day, weather, and road conditions affect accident risk.

KCATA adds school to U-Pass program

The U-Pass gives students an easy way to make connections around the region without the expense of buying a bus pass. RideKC offers more than 90 routes throughout the Kansas City region.

UConn. partners with First Transit for campus transportation

The service provider will be responsible for the daily operations and management of 35 employees and 31 buses.

WMATA, Carnegie Mellon partner on U-Pass program

Carnegie Mellon joins American University and Washington College of Law, the first university to launch the U-Pass program on campus last year.

Penn State expanding campus shuttle service

With the addition of the new Campus Shuttle route, Transportation Services will replace its Paratransit Shuttle service, which provided transportation for pre-approved students, faculty, and staff with mobility impairments.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close