Tag Archives: high gas prices college students

Let them know you want GoSmart at CSUSB!

Attention CSUSB students! SAVE GO SMART for CSUSB!

The GO SMART free bus ride program ENDS JUNE 30th, 2012. If you want to see this program continue for the 2012-13 school year, please make your voice heard. Tell why this program is important to you and other students.

Commuter Services
Email: Rideshare@csusb.edu

ASI Associated Students Inc.
909-537-5932 or 909-537-5930
Email: asi-pres@csusb.edu

Bus Helps Student Nurse Pursue Her Dream

Crystal Lemus has big dreams for her life. And Omnitrans is helping her get there.

A 21-year-old student at Riverside Community College, Crystal is studying to be a registered nurse. She is fluent in English, Italian, German and Spanish. She’s an avid reader, a lover of Greek mythology and enjoys drawing—especially portraits of people. People fascinate her, and she likes sketching their faces.

In fact, her passion for people and desire to help others is the driving force behind her ultimate goal: to work for Doctors Without Borders. Applicants to the organization must pass strict requirements, including a two-year psychological assessment to help ensure their emotional stability when dealing with the issues that arise in war-torn countries. But the thought of serving in a third world country doesn’t make Crystal at all nervous.  She’s committed to her dream. Her mom died when she was 13-years-old, and she spent two years growing up in foster care. “It really made me want to help people who didn’t have the same opportunities as everyone else,” said Crystal. “We take health care very much for granted in this country. But there are people all over the world who just don’t have the same opportunities and many die because they don’t have health care available to them. I want to help make a difference.”

Crystal has been riding Omnitrans since she was 18. As a full-time student, she relies on it to get her back and forth from her home in Colton to Riverside Community College five days a week. “It saves me hundreds of dollars,” said Crystal. “Before I started using Omnitrans, I had to try to find other students to catch a ride with and pay them $20 to cover gas. On top of that, I was always worried that they might not be on time and I’d be late for class. It was very stressful. Now I just buy a bus pass and it’s so much cheaper. It saves time and gives me the independence to be able to come and go as I need to. I’m also more disciplined in my schoolwork now because I can use the travel time to study or read my anatomy book. I can focus more.”

The bus has also offered some surprising opportunities to put her studies into practice. “About two years ago I was on Route 14 to Fontana when the man sitting in front of me started holding his chest and complaining of pain. He fell forward and started seizing. I ran over to him and held him to keep him from hurting himself. I rolled up a tight tube of paper and used it to keep him from biting his tongue while still giving him space to breath. The paramedics arrived pretty quickly and thanked me for helping him. You never really know when something like that is going to happen and it feels good to have the skills to handle it.”

Crystal recommends Omnitrans to other students as a great way to save money and offers these tips for new riders. “Be sure to check bus schedules in advance so you know which routes will get you where you need to go. If you’re traveling at night, it’s also important to know when the last run is so you don’t get stranded somewhere with no way to get back. The bus drivers are really nice and good about helping when you have questions.”

– Juno Kughler Carlson

Do you like this story and want to use it for your blog or newsletter? All our stories may be freely re-posted and shared with others!

Do you have a great Omnitrans story to share? Let us know!
Email juno.carlson@omnitrans.org

Student rider passionate about politics and public transit

Matthew Munson is a 32-year-old re-entry student who is working on his prerequisites in education at Chaffey College. His goal is to be a history teacher for 7th-12th graders.

Matthew has a passion for politics and ran for the State Assembly when he was just 23-years-old. He’s also written letters to the editor encouraging people to use public transit. He believes that one of the best ways to rally people around a cause is to give them firsthand experience of what it means. “It’s especially important for decision-makers to understand the needs of the people they represent,” said Matthew. “For example I think your bus agency board members should all ride the bus for a day to experience a day in the life of an Omnitrans rider.”

An experienced rider, Matthew has been using public transit almost exclusively for the past 15 years. He rode between Ontario and the University of California at Riverside (UCR) for 2 years when he was a political science major back in 2003. “It was before Riverside Transit Agency had their express bus service. My day used to start at 5 in the morning and I’d get home around 9:00 at night. It was a long commute, but I was able to get all my class reading done on the bus,” said Matthew. “It worked for me.”

Now his commute is only 5 hours a week, and he is able to take advantage of the GoSmart College Pass program which allows him to ride for free with his student ID. He hopes the program will receive the support it needs to in order to continue. Chaffey students will be voting in early April on whether or not to fund the program through a $7.50 transportation fee as part of their registration.

“It’s a win for all the students,” Matthew pointed out. “Those of us who use the service are able to save a lot of money. It used to cost me about $35 a month to ride the bus, which may not sound like much, but the savings definitely add up. Even students with cars benefit from the program because there’s less competition for parking—something that’s always a premium on a college campus. It’s also a great backup for students when their car breaks down or they can’t afford the gas.”

– Juno Kughler Carlson

Do you like this story and want to use it for your blog or newsletter? All our stories may be freely re-posted and shared with others!

Do you have a great Omnitrans story to share? Let us know!
Email juno.carlson@omnitrans.org