The Mills van ticket price increase has frustrated students and the student government is looking at possible solutions to the problem.
Students now pay $5 for a round trip to Berkeley and many have complained about the 25 percent increase in the ticket price.
A one way ticket which was $2 last year is now $2.50. “The Mills van is no longer economical to get to work,” said undergraduate Sabra Melamed, who works off campus and depends on the Mills van, especially late at night because she said she feels city buses are not as safe.
Sophomore Mary Whalen noticed the price increase of the 10 ride van passes. “The cards are five dollars more now-it’s not as good of a deal anymore,” she said.
The Mills van ticket prices became a topic of interest and concern at the recent ASMC retreat. Student leaders say they are looking into options to save students money. One idea was to create an optional fee at the beginning of the semester that would cover van services.
They said they want to survey students to judge whether the fee should be optional. Student leaders predict that this will prove to be cheaper for the students in the long run.
Students depend on the Mills van for a variety of reasons. Some have to travel to UC Berkeley to attend class three times a week, others live off campus and must commute daily and some simply want to hang out in Berkeley.
“It’s not like we’re in a place where there are a lot of things around accessible to those without cars. I go to Berkeley so I can go to the coffee shops or get fresh fruit at the farmers markets,” said Freshwoman Lena Lopez.
Steven King, director of public safety said that the increase in ticket prices was needed to keep up with the cost of salaries, maintenance and gas. According to King, roughly
$100,000 per year is needed to run the van services and even though the college is picking up 80 percent of the bill the students are required to make up for the rest.
The 25 percent increase in price tickets was necessary in order for students to pay for the remaining $20,000, King said.