After a long semester of analyzation and deliberation, it has been decided that the Metro U-PASS will return to PCC for its finale in the upcoming Spring semester.
The Metro U-PASS was not a permanent solution to replace the most recent Metro program, Itap; the U-PASS was only a pilot program that PCC was testing during the 2016-2017 school year.
After beginning the pilot program in Fall of 2016, the school began to realize that the funding for the U-PASS was costing the school too much money, and those funds could be put elsewhere.
“There are so many other things this money can be going to for students. Things like our homeless students,” said Dean of Student Life, Rebecca Cobb. “There’s just so many needs on campus.”
U-PASS was sold at a price of $95, which is the subsidized price of the pass; the pass originally costs about almost two hundred and fifty dollars. That is a little over one hundred and fifty dollars that the school pays for each pass, something that most students might not pay for themselves if they had to.
“We are looking at around over four hundred thousand dollars to subsidize it, and this is just from the funding from the associated students,” said Julia Russo, president of PCC’s Associated Students.
Over $400,000 of funding was used to subsidize each of the passes sold. That funding was provided by the Associated Students, who received that funding from PCC’s bookstore.
In a previous Associated Students meeting, the board discussed whether it would be beneficial to keep the Metro U-PASS despite is costing the school a large amount of money in subsidization. The board discussed that by providing an affordable method of transportation for students, many students are able to enroll at PCC. If the Metro program was to be taken away midway through the year, that could possibly affect the enrollment rate and the student success level.
“It’s not fair to students, to say…that we were willing to pay for the entire year and then we cut it off halfway through the semester,” said Russo.
Luckily, funding has been found to fund the Metro U-PASS for the 2017 Spring semester.
“I’m glad that we found a funding source because I think that we would really let down students if we didn’t continue offering the pass which we said that we would,” said Associated Students’ Student Trustee Nune Garipian.
According to Russo, the Associated Students will be looking into other options for public transportation programs for PCC students, since the U-PASS has proven to be rather unsuccessful.
There is still no word if the Spring 2017 pass will be sold at the same subsidized price of $95.
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