SF State Pushes for a Muni Pass Modeled After USF’s Transportation Pass
USF students may complain about enrollment and tuition costs, but when it comes to transportation costs we’ve actually gotten quite lucky.
Due to a contract with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, all traditional undergraduate USF students are charged a $108 transportation fee per semester to have unlimited Muni transportation access.
Hoping to strike a similar deal with SFMTA, San Francisco State students, who currently use cash and clipper cards are in talks to receive discounted passes for not only Muni but BART as well.
SFSU student body representatives are currently pushing for a deal similar to USF’s with the SFMTA. The Students For Justice (SFJ) group at San Francisco State have been working with Associated Students Incorporated (ASI), the student government at SFSU, to acquire these transportation passes for students like USF has.
SFSU Campus Planner Wendy Bloom who has been working with SFJ says that acquiring discount BART passes essential for SFSU students: “large numbers of students use the services of both transit agencies,” said Bloom, who says the group is taking action by meeting with BART and SFMTA staff to discuss the issue.
“The biggest challenge is to build a concept that provides value to students from both the East Bay and the City (thus, it has to include Muni and BART) and is feasible for the transit operators,” she continued.
Obtaining approval for BART passes has held up referendums in the past, In February Golden Gate Express reported that Hanikka Muna, a former ASI Board of Directors intern, BART representatives are apprehensive about striking a deal with state because they are worried other schools may approach them asking for a similar deal.
Transportation technicalities aside, another concern among SFSU students is whether they will have the ability to opt in or out of a student Muni pass.
SFSU Senior Urban Planning major Dakota Gross explains: I definitely agree that it would make a huge difference for SFSU students, but only on the account that there would be no additional fees included in our overall tuition,” said Gross. She continued: “A large majority of the student body relies on Muni to get to school, however there is still a significant proportion that rely on other methods of transportation such as driving, walking and biking. On that account, it would be unfair to charge students who do not use Muni as their primary mode of transportation.”
USF implemented Muni passes in spring semester of 2001. While the pass is not mandatory the transportation fee is. USF Operations Manager Sonny Kaido says the majority of USF students use the pass. “Of the 6392 registered undergrads, about 5500 students have picked up their Muni pass to use,” said Kaido.
For traditional undergraduate USF students the Muni transportation fee is mandatory and included in tuition. USF’s current contract with SFMTA is what allows for USF students to have semester Muni passes, something that not only makes it easier for off campus students to come to and from school but also provides an opportunity to explore the city on a budget, as Junior Molecular Biology major Taylor Neff points out: “I love the Muni passes. They open up the entire city to USF students and they’re so cheap.”