Sustainable Transportation (2009)


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Presentation about collaboration between community colleges and transit agencies called, Universal Pass (UPASS) programs.

Presentation at the Community College League of California (CCLeague) Annual Convention gives particular focus to the Peralta Colleges and the EasyPass partnership with AC Transit.

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Sustainable Transportation (2009)

  1. 1. SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORTATION How do we get there from here? Community College League Annual Convention Reginald James, Intern, AC Transit November 20, 2009
  2. 2. Ride the bus!
  3. 3. Transportation produces 33% of all green house gas (GHG) emissions in United States. Source: Dept. of Energy (2007)
  4. 4. Transportation accounts for 40% of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Gases in California. Source: California Dept. of Energy
  5. 5. Source:
  6. 6. <ul><li>With the high cost of transportation, many students have to choose between eating and taking bus home. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Solution?
  8. 8. UPASS
  9. 9. Partnerships between community college districts and transit agencies save students money, reduce carbon emissions and improve college retention and enrollment.
  10. 10. Universal Transit Pass (UPASS) programs provide students (and often faculty and staff) with access to unlimited transit access – for free or for a deep discount – increasing public transportation use and decreasing single occupancy vehicle commutes to campus and beyond. Source: AASHE
  11. 11. UPASS Program Benefits: Save students money Reduce carbon emissions Increase transit ridership Improve service to institutions
  12. 12. Transit Universe The universe is the population of students who are eligible to participate. It may also be the population of students who are required to fund the program.
  13. 13. Types of Programs <ul><li>Opt-In </li></ul><ul><li>Students choose to participate </li></ul><ul><li>Opt-Out </li></ul><ul><li>Students automatically enrolled </li></ul><ul><li>Mandatory </li></ul><ul><li>All students automatically participate </li></ul>
  14. 14. Lower participation rates Higher costs Doesn’t encourage transit use Students choose to participate OPT-IN Lower participation than mandatory Higher costs Higher participation than opt-out All are eligible OPT-OUT All students pay Lower overall costs Higher participation rates Access for all MANDATORY CONS PROS
  15. 15. Model Programs
  16. 16. UMASS Began in 1960s Students, faculty and staff ride free Partnership between University of Massachusetts (UMASS) and Pioneer Valley Transit Authority (PVTA) Funding Source(s): Local, state and federal funds
  17. 17. CSUs Clockwise from right; San Jose State (TowerCard), CalPoly San Luis Obispo (PolyCard) and Sac State (OneCard)
  18. 18. UCs Clockwise from topright, UC Santa Barbara (Access Card), UC Berkeley (ClassPass), UC Riverside (R’Card)
  19. 19. Counterclockwise from top right, Los Rios, Peralta and Los Angeles CCCs
  20. 20. Before we continue, you’re probably wondering: Where do you get the money?
  21. 21. Funding Sources: Student Fees Associated Students Parking and Transportation Congestion Management
  22. 22. Los Rios Began 2004 Cost: $15 per student Eligibility: Full-Time Students Funding Source: General Funds
  23. 23. Initial estimated ridership 400,000
  24. 24. Actual ridership 1,400,000
  25. 25. One million more rides than expected
  26. 26. Los Rios discovered: Lower income students were riding, but did not pay. They didn’t have to. Ed. Code exempted low-income students from being charged for transportation fees
  27. 27. Existing law required: “a governing board maintaining transportation services to adopt rules and regulations governing the exemption of low-income students from these fees andauthorizes the governing board to adopt rules and regulations that provide for the exemption of others.” Source: California Education Code Section 76361 (2006 )
  28. 28. AB 1968 (Leslie and Jones) “Eliminates the mandate that low income California Community College (CCC) students be exempt from paying transportation fees.” Source: Asm Comte on Higher Education (March 14, 2006)
  29. 29. AB 1968 (Leslie and Jones) Bill required referendum, or student vote in favor of implementing student fee. Also requires that the total number of students voting in favor of the measure must be greater or equal to the average number of students who voted in the past three elections.
  30. 30. Although AB 1968 passed both the Assembly (64-0) and the Senate (36-0) unanimously, the Governor threatened to veto the bill. AB 1968 was then amended to apply to Los Rios and Rio Hondo, only.
  31. 31. Rio Hondo Began in 2006 Cost: Free Eligible: Full-Time students (up to 2,000) Funding: Bond Funds
  32. 32. Los Rios held referendum in Fall 2006.
  33. 33. 92% of Los Rios students approved the referendum.
  34. 34. Los Rios Mandatory program $15 for 12 units or more $10 for 6-11.9 units $5 for less than 6 units (All students receiving BOG pay half) Funding: Student Fees Exemptions: Criminal Justice Training, Apprenticeship programs, UC Davis students, students studying abroad Source:
  35. 35. Rio Hondo held student referendum in fall 2008
  36. 36. 72% of Rio Hondo students approved referendum.
  37. 37. Rio Hondo (Go Rio) Began Fall 2008 Cost: $3 Eligible: Full-Time students (up to 2,000) Funding: Student fees Source: Go Rio Homepage
  38. 39. In 2001, Peralta students seized control of a district Board meeting. One of their demands … … subsidized transit passes. Source: Laney Tower newspaper
  39. 40. Additional discussions occurred between elected officials. However, groups never coalesced and funding was always an obstacle. There was never active student participation.
  40. 41. In 2006, the planets aligned.
  41. 42. AC Transit and Peralta began initial meetings in December 2006.
  42. 43. Major challenge was convincing Board members that there was a need, and demand for transportation. Additionally, proposal seen as competition/conflict for health initiative.
  43. 44. Environmental Scan stated: One-fourth of income of students attending Peralta Colleges was spent on transportation. Source: Chuck McIntyre
  44. 45. Additionally, results from survey administered by Peralta’s Marketing Dept. showed students were willing to pay fee for transportation. Also, students initiated letter writing campaign and consistently attended District Board meetings pressing for discounted bus passes.
  45. 46. AB 1980 introduced by Sandre Swanson (former Laney student body president) in Spring 2008. The bill, like 1968, required: Removal of low-income fee exemption Majority of students must vote favorably Required district to set minimum no. of units to be eligible for program.
  46. 47. Spring 2008 Students testified about need for transportation before Assembly and Senate Higher Education Committees and in favor of AB 1980 legislation. Source: Laney Tower newspaper
  47. 48. AC Transit and Peralta agreed to initiate one-year pilot program. Peralta would pay $500,000 for all full-time students to be eligible for unlimited riders on AC Transit.
  48. 49. Peralta EasyPass (Pilot) Fall 2008 Cost: $50 per semester Eligibility: Full-time students Funding: Parking fees Source: Peralta EasyPass
  49. 51. Issue Students were told what the program was, but NOT how the program work or how to enroll.
  50. 52. Campus Outreach AC Transit team and student volunteers tabled on campus to promote program and answer questions.
  51. 53. Fall 2008 STATS 34 31,802 931 December 47 49,613 1059 October 40 40,918 1029 November 35,915 21,327 BOARDINGS 37 947 TOTAL 28 767 September RIDES PER USER (AVERAGE) UNIQUE USERS MONTH
  52. 54. Spring 2009 Based on Peralta’s Level of Service, and a pricing matrix adapted by AC Transit, an annual price of $62 for all students with nine or more units was set. It was determined that 11,000 students would be eligible to receive an EasyPass.
  53. 55. Peralta Student Referendum set for April 28-29 with two propositions before students. Proposition A AC Transit EasyPass Proposition B Student Representation Fee
  54. 56. Referendum A majority of full-time students voting in this election must vote “YES” in order for the Proposition to pass. For the purposes of this Proposition, full-time students are students who are enrolled in 9 units or more at the time of the election this Spring semester.
  55. 57. Proposition A Ballot Language: Shall the Peralta Community College District Board of Trustees require that full-time students pay a $31 transportation fee per semester for the purpose of providing an AC Transit Transbay “EasyPass” (valued at $795) for each full-time student for the academic years covering Fall 2009 through 2017? Source: EasyPass Ballot
  56. 58. Public Information Campaign Laney Tower article Article promoting election Referendum Website Site describing election Districtwide email Message to all students informing them of elections
  57. 60. Advocacy Campaign Facebook Group Website (Blog) Flyers mailed + Distributed Robocall Email to current users
  58. 63. AC Transit tabled on election days, encouraging students to sign up for current program.
  59. 64. And the winner is…
  60. 65. Proposition A: EasyPass (Get it? Easy pass!)
  61. 66. 88% of Peralta students voting in the election approved the proposition.
  62. 67. Election Results
  63. 69. Criticisms Lack of information Students “misled” Lack of student involvement
  64. 70. SPRING 2008 STATS 40 40,262 1,003 May 40 44,952 1,123 April 34 40,604 1,207 February 43 52,841 1,231 March 40,535 24,017 BOARDINGS 37 1,090 TOTAL 27 877 January RIDES PER USER (AVERAGE) UNIQUE USERS MONTH
  65. 71. Other Community College Programs Riverside Los Medanos Santa Monica
  66. 72. Other Community College Programs Santa Barbara Santa Rosa LACC Modesto Junior College
  67. 73. Referendum recaps Los Rios 92% (2006) Rio Hondo 72% (2008) Peralta 88% (2009)
  68. 74. Peralta EasyPass Fall 2009 Costs: $31 per semester Eligibility: Students with nine or more units Mandatory Funding: Student fees
  69. 75. Program Marketing Email Website Campus promotion (NO marketing budget)
  70. 76. Some students also complained about election, fee in campus newspaper. “Hom cited the AC Transit EasyPass program as an example. &quot;Many students voted for it not really knowing that they would be charged $32 on their tuition,&quot; she said.” Source: Laney Tower (September 3, 2009)
  71. 77. &quot;Students voted on this Prop. A, so we cannot do nothing about that. But at the same time, we're trying to inform them, educate them,&quot; said Hong. Hong said yes, but it's only for students with extreme financial hardship. &quot;We're just encouraging students to take the bus, since it's (Prop. A) passed and we voted on it.&quot; Source: Laney Tower (September 17, 2009)
  72. 78. Oakland Tribune
  73. 79. HERALDED PERALTA PROGRAM… “OAKLAND — A program giving college students unlimited bus trips appears headed for failure after thousands of the students failed to pay a $31-per-semester fee, leaving the college district owing $500,000. Fewer than half of the Peralta Community College District's 13,216 eligible students — those taking nine or more units — have paid the fee for the Easy Pass program, which was approved earlier this year in a student election that attracted just 1,048 voters. Eighty-eight percent of those students voted yes on the measure.” Source: Oakland Tribune (October 9, 2009)
  74. 80. Unfortunately, the report shed program in negative light. Fortunately, the panic it caused motivated action to maintain the program, particularly among students.
  75. 81. Future <ul><li>Agreement is for seven-years. </li></ul><ul><li>AC Transit has hired one FTE Coordinator. </li></ul><ul><li>Peralta now has allocated marketing funds. </li></ul>
  76. 82. Potential Partnerships <ul><li>California Transit Association (CTA) </li></ul><ul><li>State Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) </li></ul><ul><li>Statewide Student Senate (SSCCC) </li></ul>
  77. 83. Questions?
  78. 84. Contact Me <ul><li>Reginald James </li></ul><ul><li>Email Blog </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook Myspace </li></ul><ul><li>You Tube Slideshare </li></ul>
  79. 85. FIN