‘Class Pass’ In Development For Citrus College Students

Citrus College students board a Foothill Transit line 281 bus on Foothill Boulevard Monday, April 4. Photo by Aaron Castrejon.

Foothill Transit and Citrus College officials are in the planning stages to eventually offer Citrus students a transit pass to ease their need for parking.

During the implementation of the Class Pass pilot program, Foothill Transit would give Citrus’ 13,400 students free local and Silver Streak service for two semesters beginning in Fall of 2016. The pilot program would allow students to use public transit for school, work and social outings, providing an alternative to driving in traffic and worrying about available parking spaces, Citrus and Foothill Transit officials said.

The pass would be available to any Citrus College student enrolled in at least one credit-unit.

Citrus and Foothill Transit officials are meeting to discuss implementation of the program, such as where passes would be distributed as well as implementation of online programming on campus.

Maryann Tolano-Leveque, dean of students at Citrus College, began working with Foothill Transit on a Class Pass pilot program since February 2–only her second day on the job.

“In the short time I have been at Citrus College it has become clear that students stress out about similar things. Just like other college campuses, the students here complain about the lack of parking. I think a free bus ride might be just the incentive they need to use public transportation,” Tolano-Leveque said. “Once students have the opportunity to use the pass for free they may realize that it is less stressful to ride the bus rather than sit in traffic or worry about parking.”

Tolano-Leveque previously worked at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut from 2005 to 2016. She helped to establish a Class Pass pilot program there, developed a plan with Foothill Transit, worked with the campus’ Information Technology Department and the college bookstore student ID counter to activate transit passes.

Citrus students are among the most frequent purchasers of Foothill Transit’s 31-day pass, Foothill Transit officials reported.

Citrus is serviced by multiple Foothill Transit lines, including the 187, 281, 488 and 494 bus routes. Line 284 began connecting to Citrus College just ahead of the Gold Line Foothill Extension’s arrival.

During the pilot phase, Foothill Transit will gather data on ridership numbers to calculate costs to Citrus College in hopes of offering the Class Pass for a fee beyond the pilot program.

“With the recent opening of the Gold Line Foothill Extension, Foothill Transit and the college believe that a Foothill Transit Class Pass program will compliment the Gold Line and provide students with transportation options to and from the Gold Line as well as transportation for those who are not served by the Gold Line,” Foothill Transit said.

Foothill Transit officials discussed the possibility of issuing TAP stickers to be affixed to a student ID card, which could prevent fraudulent use in place of a traditional TAP card, which does not use a photo ID or any other ownership information.

The student body will vote during the spring 2017 semester to determine if a transportation fee will be applied after the pilot phase to keep the Class Pass program going, Tolano-Leveque said.

A memorandum of Understanding will be presented to the college’s Board of Trustees to approve, which would then be delivered to Foothill Transit Executive Board members for approval.