MTD previews upcoming pilot program at latest ASG meeting


Rodrigo Hernandez, Editor-in-Chief

City College students will potentially be able to connect their student IDs with their phones, smartwatches or debit/credit cards to ride the bus.

The Associated Student Government heard the announcement of an upcoming pilot program from the Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District (MTD) at last Friday’s meeting. The ASG acts as a voice and representation for students in administrative matters.

During public comment, MTD’s Planning and Marketing Manager Hillary Blackerby spoke at the meeting to communicate with the student officers about the upcoming option for students who use public transportation.

“[Students would] be able to tap on with their phone, smartwatch, whatever, instead of having to dig out the City College ID to tap on the farebox,” Blackerby said.

The program would need 50-100 students to sign-up for the beta tests, with intentions of making the option available to all students if successful.

“If it does work well, ideally, we’ll be able to roll it out just to give people another way to board the bus faster and easier,” Blackerby said. She will return this Friday for an update on the program. 

The ASG continued the session by going over plans for increasing outreach and communication, as well as disclosing office hours.

Secretary Cameron Black suggested giving access to one of the student officers so they could make school-wide emails, emphasizing the ASG’s presence and availability. 

Advisor Amy Collins suggested creating a Google Groups email address for ASG or posting advertisements on the Pipeline website.

“I could look into it further to see what could be allowed to be more in your purview rather than be coming from me,” said Collins. “It’s something we can definitely look into and figure out.”

The student officers shared their office hours for the fall 2021 semester. 

  • Allegra Kabukuapua Kalombo, president – Monday from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Zoom, Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Zoom and in person.
  • ZhiNing Cui, vice president of operations and finance – Available by appointment
  • Riley Barker, vice president of external affairs – Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Zoom, Thursday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Zoom and in person.
  • Chernor Diallo, student trustee – Available by appointment 
  • Jonny Salmeron, student advocate – Tuesday and Thursday from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m on Zoom
  • Samuel Mindel, commissioner of academics – Available by appointment 
  • Andrianina Rajaosera, commissioner of accessibility – Available by appointment
  • Aurore Bernard, commissioner of events – Available by appointment
  • Robert Roysner, commissioner of fundraising – Available by appointment
  • Aika Emily Person, commissioner of international student affairs – Available by appointment
  • Astrid Bush, commissioner of marketing – Available by appointment
  • Emma Safahi, commissioner of sustainability – Available by appointment
  • Jonathan Dinh, Isla Vista community representative – Available by appointment
  • Cameron Black, secretary – Available by appointment 

The ASG will reconvene on Oct. 8.