GET free bus Services for all

Nic Peter Chavaria, Reporter

A GET bus parked infant of Bakersfield College's Panorama campus
A GET bus parked in front of Bakersfield College’s Panorama campus

Following a recent grant, Golden Empire Transit is now providing a free pass for students to use for the Spring 2023 semester.

The pass can be used by students from kindergarten through college, including private and vocational schools. The pass is valid for any GET Bus Fixed route and the On-Demand Paratransit; it lasts from January until the end of May, and isn’t limited to only traveling to and from a student’s campus.
In order to receive this pass, students have to go to their respective offices of administration. For students of Bakersfield Colleges’ main campus, head to the Office of Student Life, take a quick survey, and receive your pass from the front desk. The pass works like any other GET transit card by swiping the free pass into the fare box. Something worth noting for students in 7th grade and over, whenever they go to use a route, they need to present their student ID card.

Interestingly enough, this free pass comes at the perfect time for students who rely on GET busses for transportation. Usual GET Bus patrons would know the regular 31-day passes are $45, and the express passes are $60. But now, as of January 1st, the amount has been increased to $57 and $70, respectively. This followed a public hearing held by Golden Empire Transit back in early November of last year.
Bakersfield College student, Adam Biezad, said how he felt about this, and his response echoed a common feeling shared by other students.
“That’s insanity; while I don’t use the bus myself, I can definitely see how this can affect someone a lot. $57 can almost pay for two tanks of gas for my car. If you aren’t on financial aid, 60-70 dollars is the same for a textbook, if you’re lucky.”
While the price increase is very unfortunate for bus users not in school, this goes to show just how invaluable this free price is for students, especially those in situations where every dollar matters.