Transit fee increase passes in ASWSU election

From staff reports

With about 55 percent of voters in favor, referendum 46-02 passed Wednesday night, potentially increasing the student transportation fee by $5 to $32.74 for full-time students if GPSA passes it as well.

The referendum would also allow the ASWSU Senate to vote on additional annual increases of the student transportation fee.

“It is fantastic that our students’ bus services will be maintained,” ASWSU Senator Josue Zuniga said. “Increasing the fee is something that was needed.”

This marks the first increase in the student transportation fee since 2008.

Written and introduced to Senate earlier in the year by now-Vice President-elect Garrett Kalt and Zuniga, the referendum will address funding issues which they said led to student fees no longer covering the price of upkeep and operation for the bus fleet.

The referendum will be implemented in the fall and will generate about $100,000 per semester in revenue. It takes approximately $358,000 per year to run and maintain one bus.

“In the upcoming year there will be more transparency, so students can be more involved (with how buses are funded),” Zuniga said.

Despite passing the ASWSU election, the referendum must also pass the GPSA election, which ends tomorrow.

Zuniga and Kalt have previously stated they believe the increased fee will help support bus service fees for the next seven to 10 years.