May 18, 2005

Alternative transportation options available

There is an option to the morning rush for campus parking: the bus and light rail system.

All Sacramento State students and employees are eligible for a free-for-all pass to use Sacramento Regional Transit light rail and bus lines for six months. Students have already paid for it through $7 from their student fees, while employees pay $10 for the same benefit.

The student or employee need only show the bus driver their fee sticker or transit sticker affixed to the back of their OneCard when boarding.
The contract between Sacramento State and Regional Transit has been in place for nine years. Students and employees use the system more than 800,000 times each year. Ridership has increased in recent years.

"It's a great form of alternate transportation," says Nancy Fox, manager of University Transportation and Parking Services. "The Sacramento Regional Transit buses and Hornet Express shuttle buses are also equipped with bicycle racks, which go a long way toward encouraging the use of multi-modal alternative transportation."

Light rail connections are accessible from campus, with route numbers 34, 82 and 87 stopping at the 65th and Folsom light rail station.
As the price of gas continues to nose upward, public transportation sounds like an even sweeter deal. "Just think about the cost of driving a single occupant vehicle for six months," Fox says.

This option will be even more important to use during the construction of Parking Structure III, set for completion in 2007, when parking inventory will be reduced. Construction should start in summer 2005.

"If everyone participates in the use of alternate transportation at least some of the time, we can probably weather the reduction in parking spaces," Fox says.

Several other modes of alternate transportation are available to students and employees, including carpooling and vanpooling with preferential parking, in which the cost of a permit can be shared.

Cyclists may park their bikes for free in a staffed bicycle compound near the University Union, or use bicycle lockers for $30 per semester.

The use of alternative transportation has been encouraged to alleviate air pollution in the Sacramento region. "The Sacramento region's air quality currently ranks as the seventh worst in the U.S.," Fox says.

Information on alternate transportation is available at the UTAPS web site at www.csus.edu/utaps.

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