Students urged to ride RT, but most don’t

Lindsay Comstock

Most students are bypassing the alternative transportation programs Sacramento State offers in favor of driving to school, even as on-campus parking continues to be scarce.

Studies show that although some students are using other forms of transportation, Sac State is still mostly a commuter campus.

A survey conducted by University Transportation and Parking Services in 1998 showed that many more students commuted to school than rode alternate forms of transportation.

In 1998-1999 there were a total of 684,781 rides taken on the Regional Transit and shuttle systems. In October of that same year, 22,907 personal vehicles entered the campus in only a 24-hour period.

Since 1998, the RT and shuttle systems have seen more Sac State riders. In 2000-2001, 734,314 trips were taken on the University Hornet Express Shuttle and the RT systems.

Students and faculty can ride the Hornet Shuttle, the Sacramento RT System and Light Rail at little or no cost, but many find it difficult to use those options because mass transit isn?t available in many parts of Sacramento County.

Sophomore Sandra Yan said that using alternate commute options can be inconvenient, especially since she lives outside of Sacramento.

“For an average student who has to manage work, school and other outside activities, and does not live right in the area, driving yourself is the easiest way to manage time,” Yan said.

Other students find alternate forms of commute convenient. Senior Billy Taylor rides the Hornet Shuttle twice a day and said that it is the easiest way for him to get to and from campus.

“I get to sleep in and don?t have to spend hours trying to find a parking spot,” Taylor said. “The shuttle is always on time, although sometimes it can be crowded.”

Sophomore Lidia Jauregui, who rides the RT buses on Fridays, agreed that she does not have to worry about parking, but she said that, “the buses always come late.”

Sac State is one of the few CSU campuses that has a transportation program of this type available for student use, said Nancy Fox, director of UTAPS.

Nearly eight years ago, Sac State negotiated a $300,000 per year contract with the RT system that allows students to ride any Light Rail or RT route free of charge. As part of registration, every student pays $8 per semester for the service.

To ride the RT and Light Rail systems, students must present a Sac State One Card with valid registration. Faculty and staff can use this service by purchasing a pass for $20 to ride the shuttle and bus services all year.

The Hornet Shuttle, in operation on campus since 1989, is a free service for students that runs daily on three routes to neighboring vicinities from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

This semester, UTAPS issued 285 student and three faculty/staff carpool passes.

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