A new Foothill Transit bus stop at Cal Poly Pomona will open up opportunities for Broncos to go to downtown Los Angeles in less than an hour on weekdays and improve access to/from campus.
Foothill Transit and the university officially unveiled the new bus stop for the popular Silver Streak rapid bus line in front of the Student Services Building on Jan. 23. With the Class Pass, all CPP students can ride the Silver Streak for free — as well as any other local bus line operated by Foothill Transit.
The Silver Streak is a premium rapid bus line that serves downtown Los Angeles, El Monte, West Covina, Pomona and Montclair. It runs 24/7, with trips between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on weekdays stopping at Cal Poly Pomona as part of the pilot.
“Silver Streak service enhances quality of life on campus by providing fast, efficient transit service to campus without adding to traffic and parking congestion,” said History Professor John Lloyd, who co-chairs the Alternative Transportation Committee at CPP. “In fact, the more people use it, the more it reduces traffic around campus and eases parking headaches.”
All currently enrolled Cal Poly Pomona students can get a free Class Pass — a bus card through Foothill Transit — at the Bronco Student Center, Games Room, Etc. (Bldg. 35-1110) with their Bronco ID card or other valid form of ID. Visit the Class Pass website for the Silver Streak’s schedule and map. Faculty and staff must pay a fare but are encouraged to participate in the CPP employee rideshare transit reimbursement program.
In the past, CPP riders accessed the Silver Streak by first taking a bus to the El Monte Transit Center, then transferring to the Silver Streak. Now, the campus is more connected to the greater Los Angeles region, which brings educational and cultural benefits to the campus — and can save money and time.
“The Silver Streak can open the door to new areas to explore for students, making it easy to get to downtown LA and to connect to all the other transit that connects to destinations such as Pasadena, Long Beach, and Santa Monica from Union Station,” said Professor Gwen Urey, chair of the urban and regional planning department.
Professor Lloyd envisions greater opportunities for student projects, internships and even guest speakers to come to campus.
“If students have internships and other opportunities in downtown Los Angeles, the Silver Streak provides a convenient connection to those opportunities that is faster than driving and saves them money, too,” he said. “If faculty want to bring guest speakers from Los Angeles to campus, the Silver Streak will get them here faster than driving, and with less stress.”
The Class Pass pilot program and Silver Streak are part of a larger effort to achieve the university’s sustainability, transportation and student success goals.
“Because transportation sources represent nearly 50 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions generated by the campus, promoting alternative transportation options is critical to achieving a more sustainable campus environment. These programs also help address a basic need for our students, especially for those who cannot afford an automobile,” said Danny Wu, executive director of Campus Planning, Transportation & Sustainability and co-chair of the Alternative Transportation Committee.
The Silver Streak stop is the culmination of many years of planning and collaboration between Foothill Transit and Cal Poly Pomona. The two organizations launched the Class Pass pilot in fall 2021, and after the first full year, more than 2,600 students signed up for a Class Pass TAP card and took over 75,000 trips.
Based on ridership numbers, the Class Pass pilot confirmed what Foothill Transit had believed — that students want and need more choices when it comes to getting to and from campus, said Felicia Friesema, the transit agency’s director of marketing and communications. She added that more transit options can help alleviate a common concern on college campuses — not enough parking space close to center of campus.
For the Silver Streak, Friesema said the agency researched which route and stop location would make the most sense for students and the buses, some of which are 60 feet long.
Stopping at the SSB — akin to the campus’ main driveway — is a major advantage for riders.
“Whereas other Foothill Transit lines stop on the campus periphery, the Silver Streak will come right onto campus, enhancing convenience for riders as well as the visibility of the transit option for the campus community,” Urey said.
Lloyd added: “When I was a Cal Poly Pomona undergrad, I relied on the bus because my old beater car was unreliable, and I didn’t have a lot of money. As a faculty member, I have taken the bus to campus since 2009 as part of my effort to reduce my carbon emissions and save money too. The Silver Streak will shave about 20 minutes off my commute time each way, so I’m really looking forward to it!”
The Class Pass and Silver Streak pilot programs are a collaboration with Foothill Transit and the university, with support from the President’s Office, Government Relations, Administrative Affairs, Student Affairs, ASI, and the campus’ Alternative Transportation Committee. The ASI Board of Directors and Academic Senate also adopted Resolutions of Support. Special thanks also goes to Professor Gwen Urey, chair of the urban and regional planning department; Professor Richard Willson, who died in December 2022; and Assistant Music Professor Jessie Vallejo, a member of the Alternative Transportation Committee.