A.S. President Launches Transportation Campaign

Photo by Ji Kim/Guardian
Photo by Ji Kim/Guardian

Photo by Ji Kim/Guardian
Photo by Ji Kim/Guardian

Called “Keep it Moving, We Decide, Let’s Ride,” the initiative aims to inform students about ongoing transportation changes and solicit students’ involvement.

A.S. Council launched a new campaign to solicit more student involvement in resolving the transportation crisis at a special meeting Wednesday evening. The campaign, called “Keep it Moving, We Decide, Let’s Ride,” aims at informing students in hopes of receiving as much student input as possible to instate a democratic decision-making process for transportation services.

Transportation and Parking Services says it has experienced a $2.2 million deficit since the introduction of the free UCSD Bus Zone program in 2006. Students do not pay for bus or shuttle services, but TPS is charged $1.16 for each student that rides the MTS buses. Because revenue only comes from parking permits, parking citations and parking meters, both council and administration have searched for ways to increase revenue.

At Wednesday’s meeting, council heard suggestions from the Transportation Task Force, including the possibility of consolidating Arriba and Nobel into a single route and reducing Campus Loop to run in only one direction. The administration proposed to charge $10 per month for free Bus Zone stickers and a 10- to  15-percent parking rate increase. Council has taken many steps to make UCSD a more bike-friendly campus, an issue that is relevant to many students. Projects that are en route to being actualized include painting bike lanes as well as creating bypasses on Library Walk and on unsafe hills, like Peterson Hill. Proposed projects for the future are bike parking, a bike “cleanse” that would rid campus of old, abandoned bikes to make way for new bikes, theft prevention, locked bike storage and bike sharing.

“We identified the problems with students, met with admin, were in agreement and made a lot of progress,” Director of Urban Development and Transportation Kyle Heiskala said. “If this project were to be implemented, it would be the best thing to happen to bikes at UCSD so far.”

Another new introduction at the meeting was ASUCSD Moves, a proposed new commission to be voted on next week that would work with the transportation advisory board. The commission would aim to give students the power to influence decisions made by TPS.

“The other big issue that we, as undergrads, have had [is] that the decision-making process to get us where we’re at, so far, has not been a democratic one,” Revelle Senator Soren Nelson said. “Because we don’t pay fees into the system as a student body, we don’t have a role, and that’s something we need to change.”

As a part of the push for student input, council launched a survey to better understand which transportation issues are important to students. In distributing the survey, council intends to address these salient issues with TPS to better serve students and the community. Robert Holden, Director of Auxiliary Business Services, which oversees Transportation and Parking Services, also values open discussion with the community.

“We have reached out to students, student groups and student government, and we continue to welcome ongoing input from students,” Holden said. “We are looking at viable solutions. Changes to the program are necessary, whether they are service reductions or changes to the way programs are paid for.”

Correction: An earlier version of this article referred to the transportation campaign as “Keep it Moving, We Decide, Let’s Rise.” The actual name of the campaign is “Keep it Moving, We Decide, Let’s Ride.”

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