College students are notorious for having to make frugal lifestyle choices, but transit operators on the South Coast are working to change that - for busses, at least.
The College Ride Pilot Program allows any student enrolled at 5 different South Coast schools to ride buses to and from anywhere in Ventura County for free, just by showing their student ID.
The schools involved are California Lutheran University, California State University Channel Islands, Moorpark College, Oxnard College and Ventura College.
The program has just been renewed for a second year. The first year saw a sizeable increase in ridership, according to Martin Erickson, Director of Public Transit for the Ventura County Transportation Commission.
“For our system alone, the VCTC inner city system, in the last quarter, we saw about 70,000 additional riders,” Erickson says.
He attributes part of the program's success to the attitudes of the students.
“College student - it’s kinda neat - they like riding transit, they are comfortable with it,” Erickson says, “so it's great to have a group of riders are actually enjoying using the service and wanting to use it.”
The program is being paid for by a grant under California’s Cap and Trade program to reduce carbon emissions.