End the Bus Fuss

End the Bus Fuss

Vote - Jeff Lau

The transportation referendum will hit this spring’s general election ballot, but students will need to vote to end our ongoing transportation crisis

A.S. Council announced this week that they plan to move their transportation referendum to the general election rather than holding a special election, an idea we’ve floated during our editorial board meetings for the past few weeks. It’s basically like they read our minds.

Whether Council came to this conclusion on its own, or if the admin twisted its arms into changing the referendum, it’s a major win for everyone. Moving the resolution to the general election means it’s likely that more students will participate, and more opinions will be heard. Even the 20 percent student turnout we normally get for Council elections is probably more than we would have seen in a special election.

The transportation referendum as it stands is unfortunately vague in regards to where the funds will be going. We do applaud Council for taking a few extra weeks to modify the language in a move that will hopefully clarify what our money is being spent on. It’s perhaps most prudent to make the referendum about immediate solutions to our buses and shuttles. The much lauded bike paths seem like a major construction project that will take years to fully execute and to tie them to the shuttles just seems like a good way to slow down the entire process.

And we certainly don’t need to spend our money on any more videos.

There’s really no way around the fact that any transportation solution has to include price hikes. Transportation and Parking Services is broke in a big way, and they need the cash to continue operating the shuttles at all, not to mention to handle all the upgrades and repairs to the shuttles. However, it is important for students that the price increase is reasonable and that we get our money’s worth. A good way to do that is to give us a transit pass that includes the MTS buses and the trolley. With trolley stops coming to Sixth College in a matter of years, it might be a good idea to establish a precedent of including the MTS line in our campus transportation. By taking the extra time until the general election, Council might be able to negotiate a better price for a transportation pass than what was originally expected.

Whatever the pass looks like, it should last for a full year, as students have spent two-thirds of the 2014–15 school year unsure of when their bus stickers would expire and whether it would cost them to acquire new ones.

What definitely shouldn’t happen in the next few months is a price increase, followed by more cuts to service anyway. Shuttles are an excellent resource for any campus, and particularly UCSD, as they decongest parking areas and reduce our carbon footprint. The consolidation of the Nobel shuttles already caused major headaches for off-campus students, with reports of impossibly long lines and MTS buses that simply couldn’t stop for more riders. Students living on campus as well as those in University Town Center depend on the shuttles, and they shouldn’t have to deal with fewer, more expensive shuttles. Ideally, the referendum would include a clause asking TPS to consider a freeze on any additional service cuts.

Though our opinions are primarily directed at those writing and modifying the referendum, the rest of the student body isn’t off the hook either. Last year, the University Centers Advisory Board referendum didn’t even scrape enough votes to be considered legitimate. Transportation is an issue that our campus has been up in arms about for over a year, so here’s hoping that the voting results will reflect the activism we’ve seen. It’s an old saying that decisions are made by those who show up, and it’s important for us to take advantage of any opportunity to send a message to the administration.

So whether you vote yes or no, don’t forget to send us your letters to the editor.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The UCSD Guardian
$2505
$2500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The UCSD Guardian
$2505
$2500
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The UCSD Guardian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *