Dear Governor Brown:
Please support Assembly Bill 17 (D-Holden) to create a new generation of transit users, help underserved students, reduce the number of cars on the road, decrease vehicle miles traveled, and thereby make real cuts in Greenhouse Gas Emissions.
AB 17 passed with bipartisan support in both the Assembly (76-3) and Senate (37-3) to provide reduced-cost transit passes to public college and university students, as well as middle school and high school students.
We must take every viable step we can to build ridership and maximize vehicle trip reduction and legitimate our large-scale investments in infrastructure, from high-speed rail to local transit systems. Therefore, it is important to encourage transit use amongst future generations if California is going shift away from single-occupancy vehicles, reduce traffic, fulfill our State's commitment to reducing carbon and achieve the agreed upon reductions in the Paris Climate Accord. Well-designed student pass programs have been shown to significantly increase student ridership and to significantly reduce the cost of an education—as well as GHG emissions and air pollution.
In addition, students face high barriers to access their education and if we can lower one of many by reducing the cost of transportation to and from their school, we can help reduce absenteeism and increase enrollment at schools across this State. This is particularly true in our public community college system where a recent study in Los Angeles found 1 in 5 students were homeless and in need of assistance for costs beyond tuition.
We are counting on your support to sign AB 17 and provide a transit pass program for California’s hard-working students and as a tool for fighting climate change.