By Taylor Jaseph, May 3, 2022
Cal Poly Pomona’s ASI passed a resolution on April 4 in support of a plan of rerouting the Foothill Transit line, Silver Streak, to incorporate a stop on campus.
The Silver Streak is a 24/7 bus line that runs along Interstate 10, starting in Montclair, California, and spanning to downtown Los Angeles. This Foothill Transit line works with the Class Pass, enabling CPP students to ride free, even though this line doesn’t yet directly service the campus.
According to John Lloyd, co-chair of the Alternative Transportation Committee, a professor in the Department of History, and chair of the Academic Senate’s Budget Committee, the plan to reroute the popular Silver Streak line has been discussed for some time, but the pandemic derailed those plans.
“I think of them (the alternative transportation plans) as pieces of a puzzle,” Lloyd said. “And the puzzle we’re trying to put together is how do we create more sustainable choices for students? How do we create more affordable transportation choices for students and how do we make those choices as appealing as possible? So, all of these things factor into that, and I think the Silver Streak is a real potential game changer for campus.”
With ASI’s support, Lloyd will now introduce a similar resolution at the next Academic Senate meeting where it will come to a vote. This vote will let University President Soraya Coley know the opinion of the campus in bringing the Silver Streak to CPP.
As part of ASI’s action plan, alternative transportation is a key focus to help reduce CPP’s carbon footprint. Having the Silver Streak reroute to stop within CPP will support this goal.
Should this plan be approved, this will be the first bus line to stop within campus. Currently, all the bus lines that come to CPP stop outside campus along Campus Drive and Temple Avenue, which is inconvenient for students who must walk farther to get to class. The Silver Streak location is still to be decided, but initial plans envision a stop near the Student Services Building.
Having the Silver Streak stop within campus provides even more ease of access for students, which Guillermo Nila, an electromechanical engineering student and ASI officer of sustainability and transportation, believes to be important for sustainability.
“Something that goes hand-in-hand with sustainability is accessibility,” Nila said. “Making sure that students have the option — either if you don’t want to drive a car or you’re just not able to, maybe because of a financial circumstance or just where they’re located — we want to make sure that students have the option to use alternative transportation if they want to.”
Nila created the Student Sustainability Coalition to promote sustainability in the campus community. This coalition is comprised of all the sustainability clubs on campus, connecting the clubs so students only need to go to one place when they want to learn more about sustainability.
According to Rinyamas Sungkamee, an urban and regional planning student and secretary of the Student Sustainability Coalition, rerouting the Silver Streak produces benefits to the campus community.
The Silver Streak provides economic sustainability with the Class Pass working on this line, while also being more time efficient to students because of a dedicated bus lane on the freeway.
Buses do produce more carbon emissions because they are a large vehicle, but more people can ride them. This helps keep more single-occupant vehicles off roads and freeways and aids the environment. Foothill Transit also has a goal to use only electric buses by 2030; many of the buses in use already being electric.
Sungkamee also believes with the bus stop being on campus, more students will use it because it will be safer.
“Having the Silver Streak on campus, as a woman, is important because I don’t want to go to downtown Pomona alone,” Sungkamee said. “I think that’s probably one of the most important things that we probably don’t think about is being a woman, and if it’s right on campus it’s much safer than having to go to downtown Pomona.”
According to Nila, students will do what is convenient for them in the present without thought of the long term. For many students, driving a single-occupant vehicle is easier compared to a two-hour bus trip because of switching lines.
“It is important that we understand that the things that we do, as convenient as they are, may be convenient for us right now, but it might leave us worse off in the future,” Nila said.
With the Silver Streak possibly rerouting to stop on campus, it can provide students a sustainable alternative without giving up too much convenience. According to Lloyd, Foothill Transit supports this plan and wants public transit to be as convenient as possible for students.
“Foothill Transit, as part of the Class Pass program, want their bus service to be used by as many students as possible, and they would actually prefer a more convenient location for students to access their buses,” Lloyd said.
The ASI resolution in support of the Silver Streak can be found on ASI’s website under senate resolutions for more information about why we should bring the Silver Streak to campus.
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