To promote alternative transportation, Cal Poly Pomona has partnered with Foothill Transit to provide current students with a free transit pass.
With the new Class Pass Transit Access Pass (TAP), Cal Poly Pomona students now can ride all local Foothill Transit lines as well as the Silver Streak line that connects Pomona to the heart of Los Angeles. While this pass is beneficial for students commuting to and from campus, the pass can also be used for work or play.
“One thing I want people to understand is you can use it for anything,” said History Professor John Lloyd, co-chair of the university’s Alternative Transportation Committee. “It’s not specific to commuting to and from school.”
Danny Wu, executive director of transportation and planning and co-chair of the Alternative Transportation Committee, said the creation of the Class Pass is a way for the university to help support a basic need.
“The program is not a panacea for solving all our parking and traffic problems on campus, but it’s a start at addressing student equity, affordability and sustainability concerns,” Wu said.
The student Class Pass is part of a larger collaborative alternative transportation effort between Cal Poly Pomona, the city of Pomona and other public and private transit providers in the region to offer more ways to get to campus.
“The partnering with the city, as well as regional agencies is really important,” Wu said. “The university, as large as it is, can’t just be an island. A lot of our traffic issues spill over to the rest of community, so we have to work with the community at large to collaborate and forge new partnerships.”
There are many benefits that come with opting to utilize the Class Pass. Using public transportation reduces greenhouse gas emissions and is a more affordable option than owning a car.
“The cost of a car is thousands a year,” Lloyd said. “If we improve alternatives like transit and biking, people wouldn’t have to own a car, and could rent one for rare occasions when they might need one. This would create a whole cascade of positives.”
By making more affordable forms of alternative transportation accessible to its students, Cal Poly Pomona is also tackling disparities in access.
“Some social issues the Class Pass addresses are affordability, accessibility and equity,” said Jessie Vallejo, music professor and avid bus commuter. “I’ve had more students take time off or drop out [of school] because they can’t afford the cost of driving to campus compared to any other reason. I’m looking forward to having Cal Poly Pomona be more connected and equitable.”
While a number of other colleges across the nation have already opted for programs like the Class Pass, Cal Poly Pomona is in a unique position to have an impact on future transit options in the Pomona Valley because it is a connector between Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Orange counties.
“We have the ability to shape alternate transportation in the region” Vallejo said.
Students can pick up their Class Pass TAP Card in the Bronco Student Center Games Room (Building. 35, room1110) and must bring a school ID. The Class Pass Pilot Program will be evaluated through the end of the 2022-23 academic year.