[media-credit name=”Amber Sykes/Staff” align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]For the past 50 years Southwestern College students have arrived by car, bus, bicycle, skateboard, in-line skates, horseback, motorcycle, wheelchair, helicopter, parachute (true!) and, of course, on foot. Alas, along the journey to higher education, they have endured parking headaches, permits, traffic and transportation meltdowns.
Driving to SWC is not a smooth road. Students pay $40 for a semester parking permit or a daily $3 fee. Next comes the adventure of finding a spot and not getting hit. Buying permits at the Student Service Center can take as long as it does to park Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:15 a.m.
A better alternative to driving to Southwestern College is public transportation. There are four Metropolitan Transit System bus routes that go to SWC. There is also the San Diego Trolley that students from outside Chula Vista can take and connect to buses.
Much like driving a car to school, taking the transit comes with hassles and misfortunes. A SWC MTS semester pass costs $178 — the most expensive for any college or university in the county — nearly five times as much as a parking permit. The prices for daily and monthly passes are just as much of a hassle. The monthly permits costs are $18-72, all-day passes prices are $5-14, and single rides are $1.25-2.50.
Chula Vista should support higher education and do what other college towns do to move students around. For example, public transportation for Chico State University students is free.
An educated populace is in our community’s best interests. We need to make it easier and less expensive to attend college.