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Go Smart website for Chaffey College students

Good news for Chaffey College students who are taking advantage of the Go Smart College Pass program!

Chaffey’s Admissions & Records Department has established an online resource to field any questions or concerns you may have regarding Go Smart. Although the college has no specific person or telephone line dedicated to the program, the web page does provide a contact email and an online problem report form to help resolve any issues that might arise. Emails and problem reports are monitored daily.

You can visit the Chaffey College Go Smart page at:
http://www.chaffey.edu/gosmart/index.shtml

About GoSmart
With the Go Smart program, students at participating colleges pay a $7.50 transportation fee as part of their college fees at the beginning of each semester which allows them to ride the bus for free with their student ID throughout the year.

Go Smart helps Khiem pursue his education

Khiem Pham has been an Omnitrans rider for three years. He is a student at Chaffey College where he studies computer science and Cisco networking. Khiem also runs his own Amway business in addition to working part-time as a waiter. He relies on the bus to take him wherever he needs to go.

As a Chaffey College student, Khiem is able to participate in the Go Smart Collage Pass program which allows him unlimited rides on any Omnitrans fixed route service with his student ID. He says the program saves him a huge amount of money each semester. Since he pays for his education entirely on his own, keeping to a tight budget is critical. Even if he gets a car eventually, Khiem says he will continue to use the bus as much as possible just to save on gas.

“I really appreciate Omnitrans–especially the Go Smart program. It helps a lot of students like me who struggle when the government keeps increasing tuition fees every year.”

About GoSmart
With the Go Smart program, students at participating colleges pay a $7.50 transportation fee as part of their college fees at the beginning of each semester. This allows them to ride any Omnitrans fixed route service for free with their student ID throughout the year.

Omnitrans carries over 16 million riders

Omnitrans added a million riders in 2011-12 compared to the prior year, surpassing the 16 million mark for the first time since 2004. On an average weekday, the transit agency’s buses carried over 52,000 passengers, a 7.7% increase from fiscal year 2011.

“Transit ridership is growing across the country,” said CEO/General Manager Milo Victoria, “but Omnitrans is ahead of the trend. Nationally, ridership was up about 5% for the first quarter of calendar year 2012, while Omnitrans grew 8%.”

A key growth factor is the “Go Smart” college program that provides unlimited bus rides to students at participating colleges. A one-year pilot program generated over 1.4 million trips from students at California State University San Bernardino, Chaffey College, Crafton Hills College and Valley College. Over 25 percent of enrolled students hopped on board. The pilot program was funded by 15 local cities, the County, partner colleges and Omnitrans. This spring students at Chaffey, Crafton Hills and Valley Colleges approved student fees to continue the program for five years. CSUSB is hoping to fund another year of the pilot program. The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire joined the program in May.

The growth comes at a time when the transit agency has implemented only modest enhancements after service cuts were implemented in 2010 due to budget shortfalls. While ridership increased 7.4% on average among all routes and services, some led the way. OmniGo community shuttle routes continue to capture new riders, achieving a 34% upsurge year over year. Introduced in September 2010, OmniGo serves the cities of Chino Hills, Grand Terrace and Yucaipa using smaller 16-passenger vehicles more suited to these residential areas than traditional transit buses.

Express Route 215, which travels the 215 freeway corridor to connect San Bernardino and Riverside posted a 17% gain. “This bodes well for our sbX bus rapid transit line under construction,” said Director of Marketing Wendy Williams. “Commuters are looking for low cost alternatives that are time competitive with driving.”

While high gas prices are likely contributors to rising transit ridership, national studies also show that younger Americans are driving less. The U.S. Public Interest Research Group found that between 2001 and 2009 the average annual vehicle miles traveled by Americans ages 16 to 34 fell by close to a quarter, from 10,300 to 7,900 per capita. At the same time, the amount of bicycling, walking, and public transit ridership increased.

Omnitrans rider dreams of teaching high risk kids

Almost eight years ago, Chanel Mason was diagnosed with a medical condition that made it impossible for her to drive. Since then she has relied on Omnitrans for all her travel needs, from picking up groceries to going to school. Riding the bus allows Chanel to maintain her independence and gives her the opportunity to pursue her lifelong dream of being a teacher.

“Education has always been important to me. When I was in 12th grade, I was scoring 100% on all my work. I went to my teacher because I was worried. How would I know if I was actually learning and improving? The teacher told me to just be happy that I scored 100%,” Chanel laughed. “I don’t think that way. I always want to be growing and learning new things.”

Her goal is to eventually teach first grade because she loves the curiosity and personality of that age group. “I really want to work with high risk kids,” said Chanel. “I grew up poor and I understand the kinds of challenges they have to deal with. I think I’m someone they could relate to and that I could make a difference in their lives.”

As a Cal State University of San Bernardino (CSUSB) student, finances are still an important issue for Chanel and she does what she can to stretch her resources. Over the past year she was able to take advantage of the Go Smart college pass program, which allows students at participating colleges to ride Omnitrans for free with their student ID. “Go Smart was a huge help,” said Chanel. “Instead of paying for bus fares, I was able to use that money for textbooks I needed. There are a lot of us at Cal State who really relied on that program and it’s going to be hard for us when it ends this month.”

The funding for the Go Smart program ends June 30th. Students at other participating colleges have opted to continue the program by voting yes on a referendum that would add a $7.50 transportation fee to their college fees each semester. CSUSB chose not to hold a student referendum at this time.

This week, Chanel was very excited to discover she was the winner of the Omnitrans Dump the Pump photo contest on Facebook. Her prize was a free 31-Day Bus Pass that she plans on using for school this fall. “Every little bit helps,” she said. “Without Omnitrans I would be in a lot of trouble.”

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If you want to see the Go Smart program continue at CSUSB for the 2012-13 school year, please make your voice heard. Tell them why this program is important to you and other students.

Contacts:

Commuter Services
909-537-7433
Email: Rideshare@csusb.edu
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CSUSB

ASI Associated Students Inc.
909-537-5932 or 909-537-5930
Email: asi-pres@csusb.edu
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/asi.csusb

– Juno Kughler Carlson

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