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|March METRO Board Meeting|
|Date||Friday March 25|
|Time||8:30 AM - 11:30 AM|
|Import this event into your personal calendar.|
Santa Cruz City Chambers
809 Center St
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Hey all, especially students and low income folks who rely on our busses - the Santa Cruz METRO Transit District board is looking at making huge cuts to service- crucial routes for students, like many of the UCSC routes, the 91x which serves Cabrillo and SC/Watsonville commuters, and many other routes important to people of all socioeconomic groups. Particularly disturbing would be cuts to the Emeline bus for people who need to access county services, and numerous cuts to busses that serve Watsonville and mid county. Please come to the meeting tomorrow, Fri morning at 8:30am at the SC City Council Chambers or message email the Metro Board: Supervisor Zach Friend, Jimmy Dutra, John Leopold, Bruce McPherson, Michael Rotkin, Cynthia Chase, Don Lane, Karina Cervantez Alejo, Dean Bustichi, Ed Bottorff, Norm Hagen, and UCSC rep Donna Blitzer
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PLEASE READ ALL INFORMATION
UCSC bus routes are expected to be majorly reduced/"consolidated" next year. The following is a list of all relevant compiled information so far.
2) Route Change Information
12 -- UCSC
4 -- No Emeline Complex
40 -- Nothing past Davenport
55 -- No Rio Del Mar
66 -- Rerouted Soquel
71 (30 min frequency)
68 Peak hours only
16 -- UCSC
15 -- UCSC
19 -- UCSC
40 (5 weekday trips)
3) Email Local Board Members
Cynthia Chase ,
Dear Santa Cruz Metro Board,
My name is ______, and I am a "student/staff/faculty at the University of California, Santa Cruz" / "Santa Cruz resident" / "whatever your affiliation is",
I am writing to share my concerns about the potential service cuts that would affect the campus and the Santa Cruz community. (Insert here information about your personal use of the Metro buses if applicable.)
As you know, the UCSC population makes substantial use of the 10, 12, 15, and 19 lines to the extent that, according to your recently compiled reports, students account for a majority of ridership. In addition, the University is set on increasing enrollment numbers by 650 students next year in an effort to meet Janet Napolitano’s projected system-wide UC enrollment increase of 5,000 more students.
This potential decrease in Metro services, coupled with an assured increase in student enrollment, will undoubtably result in clogged buses and students, staff, faculty, and community members who will not be able to make their classes and appointments on time. Most all students who live off campus rely on your services to transport them to and from the University, a number that will only increase in years to come.
If anything, the campus needs more access to public transportation than is already available, though I am aware that there are very real funding constraints due to state-level budget cuts to the Metro. However, scaling back the campus services will only provide incentive for students to utilize cars, which will result in yet more congested traffic, carbon emissions, and make keeping the routes that do remain intact on-time substantially more difficult.
Beyond just the campus, though, there are community members who rely on your service to get around. Many do not own cars because they cannot afford to, and others are unable to operate cars because of disability. Please consider the needs of low income folks and folks with disabilities as you address budget shortfalls within Metro. While for many of us, the reduced service will be a major inconvenience, for others, these changes could drastically affect their mobility and opportunities to support themselves in Santa Cruz County.
Your service is vital to our community for not only the reasons mentioned above but also because of the necessity that we reduce carbon emissions from transportation. Single occupancy drivers make up a significant portion of Santa Cruz County overall emissions, and making a more concerted effort to encourage folks to ride the bus instead of drive their personal vehicles could have an enormous impact in reducing emissions. I wonder if Metro has spent any time considering what it would take to incentivize increased ridership by community members who don't already ride? How can you better partner with local organizations to change the perception of riding the bus from something that only certain people do out of need or a desire to reduce environmental impacts to something that is seen as more effective and commonplace than driving in traffic? Other cities have made their public transit effective and attractive; why not Santa Cruz? As a community, we need to be providing more opportunities for people to get out of their cars. The decision to cut these routes will take us in the wrong direction, which will prove detrimental not only to those who need your services today but for those in the future who will face the impacts of today's decisions related to carbon emissions.
Thanks for your consideration of my comments, and I look forward to future opportunities to provide input.