For many students, using the TRAX for free is the only break against the fees that continue to pile up in the quest for higher education. Beginning July 31 however, the TRAX and bus pass students currently have will expire and a new plan is being released to implement a fee to obtain and use the pass that’s been no charge to students for the last several years.
SLCC’s contract with Utah Transit Authority (UTA) is being changed due to the economic conditions both entities have faced. In the past several months SLCC and UTA have had many negotiation meetings to figure out how they can have a continued partnership.
The end result will include a fee, whether that be a monthly or per semester fee. An email sent to faculty and staff earlier this month regarding the current situation said, “This past year, the Student Fee Board reduced the student transportation fee for the 2010-11 fiscal year and asked the administration to consider a user-fee model to make up the difference in funds. This decision and subsequent reduction will result in less money to support the ever-increasing conventional contract for bus and TRAX service with UTA.”
Some students feel a little betrayed, like Jeff Ivie, who pointed out that other universities already get a better deal, and there is no news of their free passes expiring and a fee being issued. Ivie says that this new fee will affect his use of TRAX and buses.
SLCC Student Sophia Ty tells says that this new fee will not affect her usage of TRAX or buses, mainly because she doesn’t have any other option although she thinks it should be a compromise.
“I would suggest that this fee wasn’t mandatory, but the fee should only be implemented to those who use it as their only form of transportation, maybe use a tracking system and only charge a fee if a student uses it so much,” Ty says.
Other students like Lorrin Colby Jr. feel like this decision should have included them. “As a student I should have been included. I relay on this and it’s going to make getting to school more difficult,” says Colby.
SLCC student Ashley Beamer also thinks it’s unfair. “We already pay for everything else, why can’t they cut us this? Buying them in bulk cuts them a break and they raise tuition costs all the time. I think they can give us this small benefit of using the TRAX and buses for free.”
As a result of all of these factors, a new plan needed to be implemented. Details of the plan are still being negotiated but here is what the office of Campus Card System and Services know at present:
• The current UTA bus pass will expire on July 31. This means the SLCC bus pass you currently have will no longer work after that date.
• Student, staff and faculty cards will be forth coming. The costs for these passes will increase significantly as compared to the previously available rate, but will likely be discounted from the public rates.
• The student pass will be partially subsidized by the student transportation fee students currently pay.
• Two different bus pass options will be available, monthly or semester. More details will be coming soon.
Questions? Concerns? Want to share your opinion? Contact Gordon Wilson at Gordon.firstname.lastname@example.org.