By Kandyce Hall |Staff Writer|
CSUSB’s Associated Students Inc. (ASI) will partner with the university in renewing the GoSmart program for the 2013-2014 school year so that CSUSB students will have access to unlimited bus rides on the Omnitrans.
GoSmart, is a program offered through Omnitrans that provides participating schools, colleges, and universities in the San Bernardino Valley with limitless rides on Omnitrans buses.
The program is being funded through ASI’s contribution of $75,000 as well as University funds said, Robert Gardner, CSUSB vice president of administration and finance.
According to Gardner, CSUSB is seeking to help students save money while also increasing use of the public transit system.
The program is setup so that all students with a valid student ID will be able to receive unlimited rides on any bus routes.
With gas prices and parking fees expected to increase, students will be looking for affordable ways to commute to and from campus, making the new program beneficial for many.
“GoSmart was initially piloted about a year ago,” said Gardner. “Over 3,000 students took advantage of the free passes; 1,000 students used the passes fairly regularly.”
Gardner believes that more students will take advantage of the free transportation, especially when the extended Omnitrans service begins running.
According to Gardner, by next year Omnitrans will launch its extended service, the San Bernardino Express (sbX) that will provide a speedy public transportation experience to its riders.
The extended service will provide buses that for a longer period of time and that are faster than the average Omnitrans, because it will be equipped with signal sequences that allow lights to rapidly change to green upon its approach.
The route will start from Palm Avenue and stop at CSUSB. It will then go down Kendall Avenue and will connect to E Street where it will go through Hospitality Lane and end in Loma Linda.
It will eventually extend out to Redlands, California.
ASI President Jimmy Walker shares what he hopes Omnitrans will continue to expand so that it can reach all of his constituents in the CSUSB student body so that they too can benefit from the program.
“It gives us an opportunity to record data and see if this is something that the students want and if it’s worth considering for future years,” said Walker.
Other students expressed their feelings toward the GoSmart program. “I think it’s awesome,” said newly elected ASI Executive Vice President Alfredo Barcenas. “It will benefit students who don’t have a car and need to get around.”
ASI’s current Vice President of Finance Jackie Aboud said, “I would defiantly use the bus service. It’s an efficient way for our campus to be eco-friendly, while also utilizing campus resources.”
Student Sneshia Stribling thinks that extending the program is a great idea.
“We are using student funds for something that is positive and beneficial to the students.”
While the GoSmart program is not yet active on campus during this current school year students still have the ability to receive free bus passes upon request.
The GoSmart program will be available to student beginning Fall 2013.