Breaking: Foothill College Recertifies Eco Pass Program


Dawney Cheng

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Last week, Foothill College students took part in a referendum on the VTA Eco Pass program. Out of 758 voters, 68.8% approved fee increases in order to sustain the partnership between the Associated Students and the Valley Transit Authority. The initiative allows for unlimited rides on the VTA Lightrail, Bus, and Expressbus within Santa Clara County for no additional charge.  

Starting Winter Quarter, student fees for Eco Pass will increase by $2.75. Part-time and full-time students currently pay between 3 and 5 dollars.

Sergey, an international student from Russia, voted to keep Eco Pass.

“A lot of people use it … I myself use it multiple times a day, and, it’s very difficult to afford to pay two dollars every time … of course [the] carbon footprint [is another factor]. If students start to use a lot of cars … [it] is pretty bad for the environment.”

Though the Associated Students advocated heavily for student engagement on this initiative, canvassing students during Transfer Day and the week following the election, only six percent of the student body* exercised their right to vote.

Sergey said he caught word of the Eco Pass vote through an email from ASFC.

“[Low voter turnout is] usually what happens. Most of the people don’t really care about what’s going on. It’s pretty bad. Maybe we should have advertised the votes more.” Maybe most of the students simply didn’t know, or just read the email and skipped it through.”

Eoin O’Farrell, ASFC Senator, offered the following statement:

“ASFC would like to thank everyone who took part in the vote last week, turnout was far better than we expected! As a member of the Senate, the body that put on the election, I was overjoyed to hear that the students of Foothill College agreed to the slight fee increase with regards to the Eco Pass. Although fees will go up, we in the student government believe that the Eco Pass is vital in ensuring the participation of all students, including those who may not be financially able to drive to campus everyday. By voting yes on the Eco Pass referendum, the students of Foothill College have advocated for equity on campus, a philosophy that is strongly in line with our campus values. Thank you again to all the students who participated, we hope to see all of you getting more involved with future student body activities!”

*The numbers used in this article reflect the most updated statistic representing the total students enrolled in Foothill College.