GET riders share stories of transit
October 10, 2007
Filed under Features
The wheels on the bus go round and round, as do the lives of the Bakersfield College students who ride the bus to and from school.
“I have no other forms of transportation,” said 19-year-old student Franklin Jackson, “except for my bike, but I don’t have a strap on my bike for my bag so I can’t use it.”
There are five routes that include a destination to BC. Those are routes 1, 4, 5, 11 and 17, and the stops are all located on the south side of the school off of Panorama Drive and Mount Vernon Avenue in a big circle for the buses to pull in and out as students get off or on.
“I usually ride the five, sometimes the four and the express,” said Jackson.
The express is a shortened term for the No. 17 bus, the Crosstown Express. This is the route that is utilized the most by students as it is a direct shot to and from BC to either terminal.
“Route 17 is our most productive route,” said Jill Smith, customer service support supervisor for Golden Empire Transit. “Our focus is more at BC because they have huger parking lot congestion and more riders.”
The No. 17 has no stops other than BC and the two other terminals and arrives every 30 minutes.
John Green, 19-year-old architecture major, has been riding the bus all semester and was new to the system until his grandmother told him about the express.
“She told me there was a bus system that goes to and from the college,” he said, “so I checked it out and it was the most convenient.”
Convenience is one factor students ride the bus, but economics is also a reason why students choose to ride.
“It’s cheap and affordable,” said 19-year-old undeclared major Elvis Bates. “I wish there were more buses though. It’s economically cheaper than insurance and gas.”
A day pass is $2.25 and a one-trip destination is 90 cents, while a month pass is $30.
“If I had a car, I’d still ride the bus,” said 21-year-old student Brook Mark. “Do you know how much you’re saving?”
“It’s convenient and cheap,” said Jackson, “because I don’t have to air up my tires or anything and you don’t have to pay for gas because they do.”
Safety is another reason why some students prefer the bus opposed to driving or allowing others to drive them.
“I think it’s safe because the drivers are trained rather than a friend who could run a red light or go over the speed limit,” said 18-year-old teaching major Diana Diaz.
Diaz also said how she connects with other students while on the bus.
“I meet all different kinds of people on the bus,” said Diaz. “Sometimes you want to be alone but sometimes you want to talk to people, and the bus gives you that option.”
Other students do not appreciate the diversity quite as much as Diaz does. “I try to get a seat away from other people,” said 24-year-old forestry major Vincent Estrada. “It’s very diverse on the bus and sometimes there are clean people and others that are not so I try to sit somewhere where it smells nice.”