RRTA and HACC students Courses, term papers, and now bus passes

In HACC News, Live Wire News, Students by Ismael Miranda

For students at HACC, getting from their home to class and back is a big part of their week. The pre-class routine involving if you wore blue yesterday, the day before, and today, is that too much blue in one week? Is my cell phone charged enough? Did I upload that assignment? And now for many of the students, do I have my bus pass?

The normal situation for HACC students has been that if you needed to get to class and did not have transportation you could use your student ID and if it had the current semester’s sticker on it you could take the Greenfield route to HACC’s Lancaster campus free of charge. This was a point of convenience and aid that many students appreciated if they did not own a vehicle or were dealing with mechanical issues.

As of December 17, 2017, the free bus rides to and from the HACC Lancaster campus will end. Starting December 11th, students can buy discounted bus passes in the HACC Lancaster Campus bookstore and use this discounted bus pass to travel to and from campus on the bus. Without a doubt the burning question would then be, why did HACC Lancaster campus decide to change from free bus rides to discounted bus passes?

The thing is, these rides were not free, not really at least, free for one party just means someone else is pocketing the cost. This arrangement for HACC students to ride the bus to campus and back was made between the campus and RRTA, an arrangement that was paid for with funds provided by the school. Services for students are made by two parties on HACC Lancaster campus, HACC’s upper administration and the Student Government Association (SGA).

The decision to end the free bus ride service was made by SGA in the Spring 2017 semester based on several factors, a major one being the decline of SGA budgets. The free bus arrangement was paid for using funds from the SGA, no other campus SGA provides such a level of subsidization, the closest parallel being a mere 2% discount. The costs for the free bus service subsidization to the Lancaster Campus SGA was $20,000 – $22,000 annually and used nearly 25% of the yearly SGA budget which in turn limits other types of programming SGA can provide for students. In place of the free of cost model, RRTA and the Lancaster Campus SGA have collaborated to provide HACC students with discounted bus passes. One of the positive aspects of this change is that bus passes will be available for more than just travel to and from campus. These passes will take students wherever they need to get to in the given zone.

Moving forward here is some information that students will need if they wish to use RRTA to get to campus and would like to use the discount SGA has arranged. Students will need to visit the Lancaster Campus bookstore to purchase bus passes. All current HACC students will have a 31-day pass or (2) 10-ride passes that can be purchased at a discounted price monthly. You will need your current HACC ID with the current semester sticker, which can be updated in Public Safety’s office in the Main building. These passes will be available for purchase beginning December 11, 2017.  Purchase using financial aid is currently an option for students.

Listed below are the prices for discounted bus passes:

31-Day Passes

  • Base Zone – $33.32
  • Zone 1 – $38.22
  • Zone 2 – $45.08
  • Zone 3 – $52.92
  • Zone 4 – $61.74

10-Ride Passes

  • Base Zone – $11.76
  • Zone 1 – $13.23
  • Zone 2 – $15.19
  • Zone 3 – $18.13
  • Zone 4 – $21.07

½ Fare Passes  (Must qualify for an RRTA ½ Fare Card for these rates)

  • Base Zone – $5.88
  • Zone 1 – $6.62
  • Zone 2 – $7.60
  • Zone 3 – $9.07
  • Zone 4 – $10.54

Students may feel like this change has come from left field and for students who are zoned into getting to class, their grades, and attending to other matters in their life it can seem confusing how this all occurred and why. SGA has made an effort to reach out to students to get their opinion and voice on the matter throughout the fall semester. Emails and text alerts concerning the situation and meeting times to discuss further were sent from the SGA to students numerous times. It could be argued whether these methods to reach students and inform them were successful or not.

This decision was made with much thought and careful planning from the students involved in the SGA. They were given certain parameters given the budget and left to figure out a solution that would most benefit the students. Given support from the students, the SGA may have been able to sway administration to look for further solutions. If students want change they need to be involved, the SGA stands as an organization that works to best aid students and they need student support in order to function properly.

All the information provided and further information can be found at the links below: