Students Win Affordable Public Transportation

Last fall, students at DeAnza college won a huge victory for clean air and for their own wallets: The Eco-Pass, which provides students with almost free public transportation.  Student leaders took time with Green For All to share the secrets of their success and we’re sharing them with you in our latest tool, “How to Bring the Eco-Pass to Your Campus." 

The success of the eco-pass was due to overwhelming student support. Although they faced some political challenges and didn’t yet have an example from another community college to learn from, they had the support of the larger student body and eventually won the vote and support of not only the student government, but the administration as well. There are six bus routes that stop near campus, making the eco-pass a convenient tool for students taking public transit, and an incentive for those who don’t.

Frustrated with the rising cost of gas, the stress of congested campus parking lots (De Anza sells more parking stickers than they actually have spaces available), and the cost of public transit, the eco-pass filled a much-needed niche. The way it works is that all registered students must purchase the eco-pass by paying $5 (for full-time students) and $4 (for part-time students) per quarter. Students order the eco-pass through the campus website and attach it to their student ID for unlimited rides on local buses and light rail trains – as a result, students are saving around $600 per year. What a deal!

Advice from De Anza? If you have difficulties, don’t be discouraged. By showing students the long-term benefits of the eco-pass, De Anza has proven that a community college on a low budget can implement an eco-pass (even during a recession), and you can do it, too.   Click here to download the tool, “How to Bring the Eco-Pass to Your Campus.”

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