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Mills awaits AC Transit response for bus passes

Efforts to get AC Transit bus passes for Mills College students is on hold pending a response from AC Transit officials about pricing.

According to Barbara Haber, interim assistant vice president of Campus Planning and Facilities, the transit agency had some internal issues holding them up.

“You can’t push that river,” Haber said. “It’ll come when it comes.”

Haber said the College is still looking to make bus passes available for the fall 2009 semester, however.

Senior Katie Johnson, a leader in the effort and Sustainability Senator, said the next step is for AC Transit to communicate with Renee Jadushlever, vice president for operations. The bus pass program must be approved by AC Transit before it can be further developed by Mills administration officials.

Johnson said the ultimate deadline is the February Board of Trustees meeting. Because the Board approves the budget for next fall during this meeting, the bus pass effort must be complete by then.

Johnson has also started a new campaign to obtain more student opinions about AC Transit passes. She sent out a request through Student-News and Facebook asking students to say why they would benefit from having bus passes and how the Mills community could benefit.

Freshwoman Dawn Berden submitted the first testimonial. She said she is strongly in favor of bus passes, citing high textbook prices, inconvenience of walking to certain locations and desire to be a more active part of the community outside Mills.

“This is college, so most of us are more or less skint [broke] – hence the reason loads of other universities provide transit passes for their students,” she wrote in an e-mail.

Other Mills students had similar sentiments.

Although Berden does not know anyone who is unsupportive of getting bus passes, Johnson created the campaign in hopes of giving all students – even those who do not want bus passes – a say in the matter.

“We want to get out as many student voices as possible,” Johnson said. “We want to unite and really make it a community discussion.”

AC Transit currently provides bus passes to the Peralta College system and to the University of California at Berkeley.