The measure extending the universal transit pass (UTP) agreement between Sacramento Regional Transit and the Los Rios district passed, according to Scott Crow, American River College’s public information officer.
All Los Rios students taking more than three units at a particular college were eligible to vote on Measure A, which extends the UTP agreement until 2021, albeit with increased fees.
Students taking less than three units at a single college will no longer be eligible for the universal transit pass beginning in November 2016.
The vote was 96 percent in favor of Measure A, with 3,611 students voting for the measure and 136 voting against.
Under Measure A, the universal transit pass fees will be $2.10 per unit, capped at 15 units.
Students taking 15 or more units will have to pay $31.50 per semester compared with $16.62 now.
Students taking three units or less at a particular Los Rios college will have the opportunity to buy a monthly bus pass from RT at a 50 percent discount. The discounted pass will be priced at $50.
Students expressed positive reactions towards the approval of Measure A.
“If I wasn’t able to take the bus for free I’d never get here and I’d never get a better life,” said ARC student Jessica Williams, who takes public transit.
Members of student government also expressed approval, but Garrett Kegel, the Associated Student Body Student Senate president, said it violated the rights of students that the unit floor was based on the units at a particular school instead of within the district as a whole.
“This is a victory and I’m glad we’ll be able to continue to offer students bus passes at reasonable pricing,” said Kegel. “Students with three units or less were not allowed to vote due to being labeled as ‘not impacted.’ Apparently, our district (education) code allows for elections that selectively exclude groups of students.”
Sen. Tamara Dunning said that when she was acting as ASB Student Senate president last year, she worked with the other student government leaders in asking Regional Transit to make an exemption for disabled students from the unit floor.
“It’s a great measure for the overall students,” said Dunning. “I hope that the district continues to look at the issues with disabled students and look for a better solution.”