Translate this page
College students Jaimie Mitchell and Chris Vergara show off their new iPads on Tuesday at an RTA bus stop at Riverside City College.
College students Jaimie Mitchell and Chris Vergara show off their new iPads on Tuesday at an RTA bus stop at Riverside City College.

RTA celebrates Go-Pass success with iPad giveaway

Student ridership hits all-time high of 1.3 million boardings

Friday, November 16th, 2012
Issue 46, Volume 16.

RIVERSIDE ‚Äď Chris Vergara lives on the bus. Well, not exactly. But thatís how the 18-year-old Riverside City College student puts it. Most days, heíll catch two Riverside Transit Agency (RTA) buses to get from his Riverside home to campus. Some days, heíll hop on one to get to a job interview and catch another to grab a slice of pizza with some friends. On his busiest days, heíll board as many as six different buses in one day.

"I actually like the atmosphere aboard a bus," Vergara said. "Sometimes my mom will want to give me a ride and Iíll take the bus instead. The drivers are nice, the buses are safe, on time and it gives me a chance to listen to music and text my friends."

Pretty soon, heíll have a brand-new iPad to take on his trips. Chris is among a growing number of Riverside County students benefiting from the flourishing Go-Pass and U-Pass programs, which for six years, has given students unlimited rides on RTA buses by simply swiping their school IDs.

To commemorate the programís success, RTA will give away iPads to two lucky students ‚Äď one from Riverside City College and another from Moreno Valley College ‚Äď during a ceremony next Tuesday at 11 a.m. at the Riverside City College bus stop on the northeast corner of Magnolia Avenue and Terracina Drive. One of those students is Chris, who earned the grand-prize when his school ID was randomly picked during one of his many trips aboard the bus.

The Go-Pass and U-Pass programs now encompass Advertisement
Advertisement for Mason Real Estate
[ Mason Real Estate ]
a statewide record six partner schools: Cal Baptist University, La Sierra University, Moreno Valley College, Mt. San Jacinto College, Riverside City College and UC Riverside. All told, more than 1.3 million student boardings occurred during FY12, an all-time record.

"This program has been remarkable," said RTA Chairman of the Board Doug McAllister. "Itís changing the mindset for a whole new generation of students. In so many cases, itís making a studentís pursuit of a higher education possible."

Cash-strapped students have credited the Go-Pass and U-Pass with saving them money as well as expanding their educational opportunities. Administrators have applauded the program for relieving traffic, reducing emissions around campus and minimizing the need to build expensive parking structures.

"The program has been an outstanding success," said RCCD Chancellor Gregory W. Gray. "Without a doubt, itís allowed the doors of access to be opened to students who wouldnít otherwise be able to attend college."

And thereís no sign of slowing down. During October, ridership at Riverside City College and Moreno Valley College skyrocketed nearly 30 percent compared to the same month a year ago. Some of that increase could be attributed to improvements in bus service around the two campuses. Thanks to those changes, students are spending less time waiting for the next bus to arrive.

"Even people who have cars are riding the bus," said Jaimie Mitchell, a 27-year-old business major at Moreno Valley College who is also taking home an iPad on Tuesday. "I used to be surprised by how many students are riding the bus; nowadays itís just become so common."



arrow Be the first to share your opinion on this article!

Add your Comment


Images, Formatting, or HTML is not allowed : plain text only. You may post up to 5 website addresses within your comment.


The Valley News has tightened its' policy regarding comments.
While we invite you to contribute your opinions and thoughts, we request that you refrain from using vulgar or obscene words and post only comments that directly pertain to the specific topic of the story or article.
Comments that are derogatory in nature have a high likelihood for editing or non-approval if they carry the possibility of being libelous.
The comment system is not intended as a forum for individuals or groups to air personal grievances against other individuals or groups.
Please, no advertising or trolling.
In posting a comment for consideration, users understand that their posts may be edited as necessary to meet system parameters, or the post may not be approved at all. By submitting a comment, you agree to all the rules and guidelines described here.
Most comments are approved or disregarded within one business day.

RSS FeedFacebookTwitter

Advertisement for Crown Hill Pizza


Most Commented

Reach Local Customers

The Valley News The Valley News
760-723-7319 - 1588 S. Mission Rd. Suite 200, Fallbrook CA 92028
All contents copyright ©2015
About Us
Earthquake Information
Business Listings
Contact Us
Letter to the Editor
Report a website error
Online Digital Edition
RSS Feeds