Eco Pass Election: Vote YES, support affordable transportation for all students

November 6, 2017

During last spring quarter, De Anza College students were informed about an incremental Eco Pass fare increase proposal from $9 to $40 over the course of several years by the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA).

In response to the news, student activists quickly mobilized by circulating petitions, lobbying VTA board members and attending the June 1 VTA board meeting, where the final decision was made.

De Anza students were not able to completely stop the price increase, but through negotiation, managed to cap it at an immediate price increase to $20.

Starting week eight of this quarter, the De Anza student body will have to vote to approve of the price increase.

If the student body votes against the price increase, the Eco Pass program here at De Anza may get discontinued and so, the La Voz News editorial board urge all students to vote YES in favor of the price increase to allow the Eco Pass program to continue.

On top of reducing the carbon emissions from transportation, for some students, the Eco Pass is their only form of transportation and is a key for them to receive their education.

Of the almost 20,000 students enrolled at De Anza, about 7,000 students use the Eco Pass and without it, they would have to pay $70 per month for a regular monthly bus pass compared to $20 per year, which is completely unfeasible for many students, including three editors on our staff who rely entirely on the bus  and Uber for transportation.

Design editor, Audrey Marques, 21, journalism major said that without the Eco Pass, she does not think she would be able to support herself while getting an education.

“I came to the United States from Brazil to get an education because I thought I would be more successful pursuing journalism here. I’m already restricted from services like financial aid for being an international student and without the Eco Pass, the bus would be too expensive for me,” she said.

Many students who do not use the bus may question why they should pay for a service they do not use, but De Anza students need to come together as a community and help those who do not have the fortune of having easy and affordable access to transportation.

It is a better outcome for a lot more people if everyone chipped in some money to subsidize the cost of the bus pass for a large minority of students who use the bus rather than if all of us saved $20 a year, while those who only have the bus for transportation get screwed over. The election will be held from Nov. 13 to Nov. 16. Vote to continue funding the Eco Pass so all students can have access to affordable transportation.

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