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The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Student transit fee increase passes ASWSU senate

Current student transit fee will increase by $1.80, 5%
ASWSU senator Isaac Velazquez said the proposal will increase student transit fees by 5%

ASWSU unanimously approved a 5% student transit fee increase proposal at this week’s senate meeting.

The transit advisory group, which is part of the University Parking and Transportation Task Force enacted by ASWSU, presented the fee increase proposal to senators during Wednesday’s meeting. ASWSU senator Isaac Velazquez and Transportation Services Director Chris Boyan were present on behalf of the group to make the proposal to senators.

The last major increase of the student transit fee occurred six years ago, when students voted to approve a $5 per semester increase, Velazquez said. The following increases occurred in the academic years 2018-19 and 2019-20. The fee has not been increased since 2020.

Due to decreased enrollment and the fact that the transit advisory group was unable to get a fee increase approved in the past four years, the group is expecting that even with the fee increase, students will see decreased routes next year, Boyan said.

“We’re already expecting a decrease,” he said. “Pullman transit has decreased their routes since COVID by about 20%. We’ll probably see a little less service on the Apartmentland routes [next year].”

The current fee is $36.08 per semester and will increase to $37.88 per semester in the fiscal year 2024-2025, said Boyan.

Velazquez said the Pullman transit system and its accessibility to students is one of the main reasons that students choose to attend WSU and it is necessary to continue funding these valuable resources.

“Students don’t just use transit to see their friends or to go to the park,” he said. “They use it to get to class, to go to work or to buy groceries. For a lot of students, this is a necessity. For thousands of students, it’s something that they need to have a successful life here in Pullman and here in their journey at Washington State University.”

The transit advisory group has also been looking at plans to transform Flag Lane on campus into a multi-modal hub to redirect traffic from Stadium Way, Velazquez said. Transportation Services believes that Flag Lane is an underutilized space and realigning the road for traffic will increase pedestrian safety in the area as well as improve student access to transit services to and from campus as well as the City of Pullman.

WSU Transportation Services has already committed up to $400,000 for the reconstruction of Flag Lane as a multi-modal hub, Velazquez said.

Senators also heard from ASWSU Chief Justice Gueneviere Sherlaw, who provided updates on two recent cases heard by the judicial board.

The first case involved senator Rayyan Shah, who the judicial board had received complaints about in regards to behavior and unsatisfactory completion of the duties required of his position. The hearing was held on Feb. 1 and Shah failed to attend so the judicial board suspended him of his position. He will be permitted to apply for another hearing after March 2.

The second case addressed Denver Micklai’s concerns about being denied access to Coug Day. The judicial board suggested for senators to complete further bylaw development surrounding Coug Day and Coug Day attendance guidelines.

Senators also confirmed the position of chair for the Environmental Sustainability Alliance, with prior chair Stevie Fawcett stepping down from the position. Alex Herring, freshman and ESA’s chair-elect, was unanimously approved for the position.

ASWSU meets at 5:30 p.m. every Wednesday in CUB 204.

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About the Contributors
MUSFIRAH KHAN, Evergreen reporter
Musfirah Khan is a junior from Seattle, Washington studying multimedia journalism. She started working for the Evergreen in spring 2023.
MADDY RICE, Evergreen photographer
Maddy Rice is a photographer for the Daily Evergreen. Originally from White Center, Washington, she is a sophomore majoring in Business Managment, with a minor in Sports Managment. Maddy began working for the Daily Evergreen in the Fall of 2023.