In 2008 LA County voters knew that reducing traffic congestion, improving air quality, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, revving up our economy by putting thousands of people to work, and also reducing household transportation costs was a challenging agenda that could only be addressed by a bold program. Voters approved Measure R by 67.9%, in part because they saw a program bold enough to address the challenges. Metro learned an important lesson: Fortune favors the bold.
In 2016 Metro's draft measure for November is bolder. The new measure will fund new rail transit lines that can reduce the need to drive; improve bus operations, expand service and help keep fares affordable; fix freeway bottlenecks and keep roads and bridges safe; build more and better bike and pedestrian connections; and help improve air quality. If approved by voters the new ballot measure will generate more than $120 billion over 40 years for transportation investments. And yet it will increase taxes by less than 10 cents per day per resident.
In the most recent Student Survey of Los Angeles Community College District campuses (fall 2014): 83.6% of students reported that “low cost” was important or very important in their decision to enroll in college; 58.5% reported that “availability of public transportation” was important or very important in their decision to enroll, and 54.7% reported that “financial factors” are a moderate or major problem in reaching their academic goals. With this in mind the Student Advisory Committee of the LA Community College District voted for a resolution last December to support the development of a discounted student transit pass program for the LACCD, working with their Associated Student Organizations/Unions/governments. Read more HERE.
Move LA is helping organize students around opportunities to win discounted transit passes at LA Metro and in the state Legislature. Toward that end we are hosting a Student Transit Pass Summit at LA Trade Tech in downtown LA next Friday the 13th (!) from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Could you help get this message out to students? We have contacts with student leadership at community colleges but need help reaching out to state universities and UCLA!
LINK to registration: http://www.movela.org/student_transit_pass_advocacy_summit
SAMPLE TWEET: There's one posted now that you can retweet if you search for @movelatransit on twitter, follow us, and then retweet!
DRAFT FB POST OR EMAIL BELOW:
Want to get deeply discounted student transit passes when you register for classes? So you can ride any line, any time—bus or rail? Come to LA Trade Tech on Friday the 13th and talk to student leadership from across LA County about a countywide/statewide campaign to reduce the cost of transportation and make getting an education more affordable! This is a free event, but registration is required & space is limited (need a head count for food!).
Come talk with: Alex Galeana/SSCCC, Romel Lopez/East LA Community College, Jesse Randel/Santa Monica College, Chase Frederick/SW College, Lorena Aguilar/Mission College+CCASA, Saleem Moimuddin/Valley College+CCASA, Milo Anderson/Pierce College, and Isaac Medeiros, Gerson Liahut-Sanchez, Clarissa Casillas, and the CCASA crew.
With LA Metro Deputy CEO Stephanie Wiggins, Nick Liedtke from Asm. Chris Holden's office, author of AB 2222 to provide $50M/year for student passes, LA Trade Tech President Larry Frank, Move LA Executive Director Denny Zane and more!
Register here: http://www.movela.org/student_transit_pass_advocacy_summit
Move LA is involved in 2 parallel processes in the California Legislature to win funding for discounted student transit pass programs, and now is the time to generate letters of support for both:
- We are working a bill by Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena)—AB 2222—to provide $50 million/year out of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) for student transit pass programs statewide. The bill won a unanimous vote in Assembly Transportation on April 11 and has been put on suspense in Appropriations—like all bills with an annual cost of more than $150,000.
- We are also working with Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), chair of Assembly Budget Subcommittee #3 on Natural Resources and Transportation, on the continuous appropriation of $50 million/year out of the GGRF.
We need 2 letters of support, one of them immediately.
- The first should be sent ASAP, faxed to Governor Brown, and cc’d to the chairs of the Senate and Assembly budget committees and to the leadership of both the Assembly and Senate, and emailed to email@example.com so that we can keep track of the letters. A sample letter can be downloaded HERE.
- The second should be sent to Appropriations Committee Chair Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. The sample letter can be downloaded HERE.
- There are talking points that you can use to write your own letter HERE.
Join us and Move LA's big and broad coalition in support of LA’s transit transformation at our 8th annual Transportation Conversation! Let’s gear up to celebrate the rainbow that now criss-crosses LA County—see the video below!—with more lines to come! Click here to register.
Yes LA's convoluted permitting process is party to blame, wrote Eddie Kim in the Downtown News in August 2014—a long time ago, yes, but good to know now that all these buildings are coming out of the ground!—in which he quotes SCI-Arc Director Eric Owen Moss saying DTLA's aesthetics is damaged by this homogenous look. “It trivializes architecture and planning and makes the art of creating buildings all about superficial decoration,” Moss said. “It’s pathetic, considering the amount of stuff being built.” The problem is these new buildings are Type V wood-frame construction; anything taller than 7 stories requires a steel frame, raising costs considerably (and meaning projects less than 20 stories didn't pencil out in the aftermath of the Great Recession—when many of them were financed). The upside: They won't last long and will get torn down as the value of land climbs, making taller buildings more financially feasible. Until then, recommends Gensler's Rob Jernigan, the priority should be buildings that engage the public and create a neighborhood. “Green space, bicycling, open air, green roofs, more operable windows—we don’t deliver on this stuff enough,” Jernigan said. “We really need to push the street experience, too. This is a city where you can eat and play outdoors 12 months a year. That’s the character we need to promote." Read the story here.Read more
AB 2222, our student transit pass bill, passed out of the Assembly Transportation Committee with a unanimous vote largely because of all the support from educational organizations, colleges and universities, and students, as well as others. UCLA Professor Donald Shoup, who has published reports about the success of these programs, wrote about UCLA’s student pass program in his letter of support, pointing out that offering fare-free public transit to reduce parking demand was far cheaper than spending $47 million to add 1,500 new parking spaces!Read more
My name is Romel Lopez I am the student body president of East Los Angeles College,
which services 38,000 students who, for the most part, commute to the school. Discounted transit fares will not only benefit the students who are already enrolled but will also increase the rate of retention by lifting the financial burden of getting to and from school, and also encourage more people from the community to attend college because there's affordable transportation.
The discounted transit fare must be available to part-time students—Metro's current student pass is only available to full-time students—because part-time students are the "nontraditional" students who cannot go to school full-time because they may have to take care of their parents, or because they are single parents—which means they may have to work a full-time job and don't have the privilege of attending school full-time.
As a single father of 3 children I know the financial strain that comes with seeking a higher education. But I believe that by going to school I'm not only securing my own future but also the future of my children, which not only benefits my family but also benefits my community.
Attending East Los Angeles Community College for the past couple of years has made me realize that education is a great equalizer, and that affordable transportation is big step toward improving life in all of LA County.
We scored a remarkable victory Monday when our student transit pass bill passed out of the Assembly Transportation Committee with a unanimous vote. The bill, authored by Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena), would provide $50/year out of the GHG Reduction Fund (GGRF) for discounted transit passes for students K-12 and at all public colleges and universities statewide.
The vote was remarkable because not all lawmakers approve of the Cap & Trade program that funds the GGRF, and many conservatives believe the money should be spent repairing roads. Committee Chair Jim Frazier (D-Oakley) joked that he envied Holden’s popularity when more than 40 speakers lined up at the microphone to give their support to the bill.
AB 2222 will be heard in the Assembly Transportation Committee April 11! Please send a letter of support and/or make plans to attend!
Assemblymember Chris Holden’s bill would provide $50 million/year for discounted transit passes for all K-12, public college and university students. This is the first hearing and the bill is single-referred, which means it has only one hearing in the Assembly before it goes to Appropriations. Fax support letters to the Assembly Transportation Committee at 916-319-2193 and email a copy to Nicholas Liedtke in Holden’s office (Nicholas.Liedtke@asm.ca.gov). Please send someone to speak in support of the bill if you can! State Capitol, Room 4202! (As of 3/28 the bill had been "tentatively referred" so call 916-319-2093 to make sure!)
- Here's a draft letter of support
- Here are talking points about the bill
- Here is the bill language
- Here are the members of the Assembly Transportation Committee
And in related news . . .
LA Metro is committed to debuting a pilot student pass program in August 2016:
Metro is keen on having a new, improved program in place before the next school year starts, and has convened a working group of interested college, university and transit agency staff. Metro is trying to figure out how to institute the broadest and most successful program possible and—this is always the problem—how to fund it!
Community College Association for Student Advocacy (CCASA) makes student passes a priority:
A group of LA County community college students created this new nonprofit in part because of the interest in and momentum for student transit passes but also to tackle other issues locally and statewide. In operation for about 2 months, the group includes student leaders from Valley, Harbor, Mission, East LA and Santa Monica community colleges. CCASA is circulating a petition among students to urge Metro to initiate an ambitious universal student pass program as soon as possible. Contact them (emails are on their website) if you want to circulate the petition at your school!