Campus Shuttle Routes Don’t Accommodate South Bay Students

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To The Pioneer:
Earlier this year I interviewed Stan Hebert, dean of student affairs, and Derrick Lobo, director of transportation services, about a project for my POSC 1201 class. The project examined some problems and possible solutions concerning local public transportation around and to the university campus.

I suggested that Mr. Lobo and the Transportation Services Department looked into adding a shuttle to the South Hayward BART station to lessen the time spent on public transportation for northbound students on their day-to-day commute by eliminating the redundant travel route or the necessity of climbing up and down the Harder hill. Mr. Lobo answered that there is simply not enough funding for that, which I considered a fair enough reason.

Very shortly after this interview, another shuttle was added to Castro Valley BART station, which is also north of the university like the Hayward BART station, and a significant financial addition to university transportation.

Having two southbound shuttles is redundant, so during Spring 2013 Quarter I gave a persuasive speech to my COMM 1000 Public Speaking class, promoting them to get involved in replacing the additional north-of-campus shuttle with a south-of-campus shuttle, so that both northbound and southbound commuters can get to school more easily.

I wanted to encourage them to do something about this because of the fact that many of the students who come from San Francisco or further take 45 minutes at most to get to campus, while anyone who comes from south Hayward, Union City, San Jose, Milpitas, and further south take a whole hour—at the quickest—to reach campus on public transportation– journeys that would take 15 minutes by car.

After I gave this speech, I noticed another setback; shuttle stops were added just steps away from Hayward BART station in downtown Hayward but could for some odd reason not be added to the base of the Harder hill, which would be a useful solution without changing any routes or costs.

Due to the fact that nothing had changed since I had given this speech, during Summer 2013 Quarter I spoke with one of the new shuttle drivers named Annie, to see if she would be able to talk to her boss about this situation since she was the one who asked me why she always saw me—and so many other students who were fed up with the backwards shuttle routes—climbing up and down the Harder hill.

She told me that she could not talk to her boss about this situation but gave me Mr. Lobo’s phone number. I both called and emailed him to follow up on the interview with this new possible solution.

I have not received word back from him after both calling him and emailing him concerning this issue so, now that the Student Affairs Division is reestablished, I thought to follow Annie’s advice and write a physical letter to both you and Mr. Hebert, along with Associated Students, Inc. and Mr. Lobo to see to it that we can, hopefully, get this issue resolved during my time here at California State University, East Bay.

In conclusion, I realize that replacing the Castro Valley shuttle with a South Hayward one would prove costly to the university. However, that is why I am proposing that two shuttle stops are added, one on both the inbound and outbound east corners of the base of the Harder hill.

This would not cost the university any significant amount of money, except perhaps the price of the signposts, and would just be a stop on the same route that the Hayward shuttle already travels. This would prevent students who live south of the university from traveling 5 miles to Hayward BART station, 5 miles back to the base of the Harder hill, and then home to wherever they live—which as you know, is a wasted half-hour at the quickest.

Victoria Lathulerie
CSUEB Student