An ASUC senator is planning an inter-UC campus bus system that, if created, would provide students with convenient and inexpensive transportation among the nine campuses.
Spearheaded by Student Action senator Bo Nguyen’s office, the transit system would involve collaboration between the ASUC and campus administrations across the university. The system is in the early stages of development, but Nguyen hopes to have it running by the end of the spring semester.
His office contacted UC Berkeley administration as well as student governments of the other UC campuses, asking them to speak with the administrations of their respective campuses.
Negeen Sadeghi-Movahed, a transfer-student representative for UCLA Undergraduate Students Association Council, or USAC, independently conceived the idea for a similar bus service and plans to present a resolution in January to create the system, according to The Daily Bruin.
The ASUC aims to expand upon the existing Berkeley-Davis shuttle, a part of the UC Fleet Services. The shuttle charges $11 for a one-way ticket and uses university-owned buses. The ASUC is still determining the frequency and ticket costs of the new system but will likely make them similar to those of the existing shuttle. They have yet to determine sources or metrics of funding for the project.
“We don’t want to make any extraneous costs,” said project leader Tony Chen, chief of staff for Nguyen. “We’ll largely use the existing resources.”
Operational costs are likely the largest concern for this system, said Daniel Chatman, assistant professor in UC Berkeley’s department of city and regional planning.
“I don’t know how much of a problem this would solve and if the costs are worth it,” he said. “I think (the cost) wouldn’t work out for every shuttle bus to every campus. … I’m puzzled why the ASUC is prioritizing this. Yes, Amtrak is expensive, but these other bus companies aren’t that expensive.”
In order to aid with planning, the ASUC released an online survey to students Monday asking them the price they would be willing to pay for the service, the frequency and the days of the week they would likely use the inter-UC system.
According to Chen, responses in the survey have been largely in favor of the system if it costs less than taking competitive transit services such as Amtrak or Greyhound. Most respondents so far have stated they would use the shuttle once to twice a month.
“I would use it maybe four times a school year to visit friends, but it depends on cost and speed,” said UC Berkeley junior Kelsey Liu. “Amtrak and buses are difficult and have lots of stops for other places. Direct public transportation just for UCs would be great.”