Senate continues negotiation of bus fee increase during MTD visit

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Hannah Smith, Staff Writer

Without promises of better service, the Associated Student Senate strongly opposed price increases after meeting with Metropolitan Transit District officials this morning.

Over the past couple weeks the senate has been discussing the price increase on bus passes. They prepared questions to present to MTD general manager Sherrie Fisher and Assistant General Manager Jerry Estrada. Some questions included whether they are open to other solutions, why they are just targeting City College students and if service will improve if prices increase.

“We do really appreciate their service and it’s a great externality for everyone but at the same time we make up 59 percent of their revenue and we’re not really getting credit for that,” said Senator Brian Osgood. “We deserve better service if they’re going to increase our prices.”

MTD and the senate will continue their negotiation in the future, as they are drifting further from an agreement.

City College administration members Joe Sullivan, vice president of business services and Superintendent-President Lori Gaskin also attended the meeting to voice their concerns.

“What I’m really discouraged about is that the student senate has come up with some viable solutions and they haven’t truly been discussed … I don’t feel like this should be put on our students’ backs and all I’m hearing from [MTD] is ‘no, no, no,’” said Sullivan.

Gaskin brought up the California Education Code, which states students cannot be charged more than $70 in transportation fees per semester. This includes both the bus pass and parking permit.

MTD’s proposed increase will push students well over this $70 limit.

Fisher said this is an issue that City College students need to figure out on their own.

No dates have been set on when students will vote because the matter is under discussion.