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The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Regional Transit for City College students

A group of people enter and exit the light rail at City College Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020. (Kelsey Brown/[email protected])

The concept of academic success can bring to mind images of libraries, tutoring services and office hours students vaguely remember from the syllabus. However, for many students at City College, the first step they take toward academic success is the first step they take onto public transportation to and from campus each day. When it comes to getting from home to school and back again, Regional Transit programs like the Universal Transit Pass and the expanding SmaRT Ride service have given City College students more transportation options. 

The vast majority of commuters in California drive themselves to work, while only about 5% take public transportation, according to 2017 data by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. There are many reasons that one may choose to drive over taking public transport. However, for some it is not so much a choice as much as it is a necessity.

Savannah Perez, a psychology major at City College, falls into the ladder category.

“I’m too scared to drive,” says Perez, adding that while she only takes public transportation on occasion, she still renews her Universal Transit Pass every semester. 

The Universal Transit Pass is a sticker that comes with the Student Access Card, which all Los Rios district students pay for at the beginning of the semester, along with their other registration fees. 

Kaitlyn Collignon is the Public Information Officer for City College. “The cost is $2.25 per unit, rounded up to the next whole unit,” she explains. “The maximum fee charged is $33.75 a semester for students enrolled in 15 or more units across the Los Rios Colleges.”

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At its most valuable, the pass is worth almost $300 in savings, according to the parking and transportation page of the City College website. 

The Universal Transit Pass works for all of SacRT’s transportation options, including SmaRT Ride, a rideshare service similar to Uberpool. Users pick their destination and what time they want to be picked up and, by using the newly launched SmaRT Ride app, they can track the location of their designated shuttle bus in real time as they wait for it to arrive.

There are certain limitations to this mode of transportation, as opposed to other rideshare services. For example, riders can only be dropped off in the same service area as they were picked up. SacRT is planning to add two more service areas in July and are currently working on the boundaries for those areas, according to SacRT spokesperson Jessica Gonzalez.

Currently, there are nine service areas to choose from, with six having just opened in January 2020. City College students will find that the nearest service zones to campus will take them either as close as the west side of Land Park, or as close as the City College RT Station, which is located near the parking structure. 

Perez, who had never heard of the SmaRT ride service, said that she would take it “if it’s somewhere the bus doesn’t go.” 

“We are always looking for new ways to partner with colleges on helping to spread the word on using transit,” said Gonzalez. “We hope to participate in some school events this spring.”

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