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‘A safety issue’: ASUC spring ballot includes Class Pass renewal referendum

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Students have voted to renew the Class Pass fee since it was first passed in 1999.


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APRIL 02, 2023

For the sixth time in campus history, students will be able to vote on the Class Pass renewal referendum in the upcoming spring 2023 ASUC election cycle.

The Class Pass program currently provides students with free AC Transit services and access to Bear Transit day and night shuttles. According to campus Assistant Vice Chancellor and Executive Director of Business Operations Seamus Wilmot, the Class Pass is set to expire this summer.

“If the referendum does not pass then the students will lose their EasyPass and will no longer be able to ride AC Transit buses without paying regular fares,” Wilmot said in an email. “We may also have to make adjustments to the campus shuttle system if we do not have the funding from the Class Pass.”

Wilmot noted that students have voted to renew the Class Pass fee since it was first passed in 1999.

If renewed, the fee will ensure continued student access to these services for the next six years.

“Most students support (the program) and would be shocked to know that there’s a chance that they wouldn’t have access to free buses,” said Nick Grosh, Director of Local Government Relations for ASUC’s External Affairs Vice President Office.

Grosh noted that negotiations for student fees take place between AC Transit and the campus Department of Transportation and Parking.

The current student fee per semester is $95, which is divided between AC Transit EasyPass, Bear Transit and a mandated campus fee for financial aid. If the next referendum term is approved on the ASUC ballot, this fee will increase by $10 beginning in the fall of 2023. In the fall of 2026, it will again increase by $7 to a total of $112 per semester until the referendum expires in 2029.

“Without the Class Pass it would make it more difficult and expensive for students to commute to campus,” Wilmot said in the email. “Those who use the bus to commute would have to decide if they want to find alternative means to get to campus or pay the regular fares.”

Grosh noted that the Class Pass proposition will be open to student votes in the main election, which begins April 10 and ends April 12.

When the referendum was last voted on in 2020, 86% of voting students agreed to continue the program through 2023. Grosh noted that a wide range of students rely on local transportation services to access campus, grocery stores or off-campus jobs.

“There are students that need it for night transit getting home safely, so it would be a safety issue and an equity issue,” Grosh said. “It would hurt all sorts of students and make it difficult for people to get to the campus and get around.”

Contact Isabelle Nunes at 


APRIL 03, 2023