The A.S. Transportation Task Force will use the results to propose a fee referendum
A.S. Council passed a resolution stating its support of a transportation fee referendum last Wednesday, which would help address nearly 12 months of debate over how to resolve a series of transportation changes proposed by UCSD Transportation Services. The choice to battle transportation issues with a referendum comes as a result of responses to the “We Decide, Let’s Ride” campaign survey from earlier this quarter.
The language of the referendum has yet to be finalized and approved by A.S. Council. The earliest a referendum could be presented to the student body is some time during Winter Quarter 2014.
There were a total of 2,621 respondents to the survey — roughly 36 percent live on campus, 27 percent use the UCSD City Shuttles to get to campus and smaller percentages use other means.
The options listed on the survey included converting some “S” parking spots into more expensive “Commuter S” spots, a $117-per-quarter, user-based fee, a $25 to $45 student-based fee to partially cover expenses or a $45 to $60 student-based fee to fully cover expenses.
“More than 60 percent marked either support or strongly support a fee referendum and so that was sort of our go-ahead to continue with the referendum,” Revelle College Senator and Transportation Task Force member Soren Nelson said. “We’re confident that we have a lot of support behind the referendum.”
Over 60 percent marked disagree or strongly disagree on a user-based fee — where students would pay an out-of-pocket price if they chose to ride shuttles within the Bus Zone — while responses for increased parking permit prices were more evenly distributed between strongly agree and strongly disagree.
Another question proposed reducing the frequency of Campus Loop buses in order to “preserve coverage to off-campus student housing.” Over 75 percent of respondents marked agree or strongly agree.
However, in a letter to Vice Chancellor Matthews, this proposal was not discussed. The ideas suggested in the letter were the instituting of the referendum and a Student Transportation Advisory Committee that would have oversight of these funds.
“In addition to the student advisory committee, we are looking at forming a transportation advisory board that, in essence, would become a more effective governing body than what we have now,” ASUCSD Moves Executive Director Kyle Heiskala said. “There is a dramatic need for a change; [administration] has expressed it, and the people who run transportation have discussed the ineffectiveness of the current committee.”
In moving forward with these proposals, there are many governing bodies that must approve of them before they are finalized in a vote, which A.S. President and Transportation Task Force member Andy Buselt said the task force hopes will be no later than Winter Quarter 2014.
“A referendum requires Council to approve it, GSA to approve it and all the administrative bodies to approve it, but first and foremost, we want to be transparent that referendum is the direction that we want to go,” Buselt said. “The general takeaway is that overall, folks were very receptive to having a referendum.”