Should CSUEB reconsider passing EasyPass?



The 2018-2019 academic year has marked a lot of changes for California State University, East Bay students.
With the official conversion to the semester system, students are trying to grasp all of the improvements.
Some of the changes include the $190 parking permit fee per semester, and just recently students and locals were hit with another financial hurdle.
On Jan. 1 2019, AC Transit increased the Transbay single bus fare ride from $5.00 and $5.50. The increase of fares is reportedly to support various services and improvements around Alameda and Contra Costa counties.
AC Transit partners up with any college or university and provides a bulk discount known as “EasyPass” for all enrolled students.
In the case of CSUEB, the cost of EasyPass would be included in the student’s tuition. For approximately $35-$40 per semester, students would receive unlimited rides on local or regional AC transit with EasyPass.
The discount pass has proven to be extremely effective as it reduces the number of car trips in an area, which means less traffic.
The CSUEB Student Government confirmed CSUEB did pass an EasyPass resolution a few years ago. However, it was terminated as it was fiscally infeasible for the school.
Some students who commute from cities like Alameda and Milpitas rely on AC Transit Transbay buses to get to the closest BART station. Those students may spend as much as $44 a week on bus fares just to get to school every day, which equates to the EasyPass fee per semester.
Justin Mercado CSUEB’s Commuter Student Senator informed The Pioneer about why EasyPass services was discontinued and how CSUEB has coped with the changes.
“We might have had that service – EasyPass – available to us in the past, but now we don’t because mainly it has been voted against to save our students money in terms of their tuition. Cal State East Bay has the free shuttle service from campus to Castro Valley as well as Hayward BART similar to the AC Transit 60 route.”
When asked about the overall AC Transit student riders turnout, Mercado believes not many students rely on the service and for that reason, EasyPass was discontinued.
Unlike other city centralized universities in the Bay Area like University of California, Berkeley, in which EasyPass is not only practical but also a necessary.
Only one bus route stops at CSUEB campus, the AC Transit 60, which follows the same route as the shuttle making the EasyPass generally ineffective.