Bush Pushes Public Transportation
SF State students react to the president's plea
October 13, 2005 5:53 PM
President George W. Bush recently called on Americans to conserve gasoline by hanging up those car keys and using more public transportation.
“We can all pitch in,” Bush said in a press conference two weeks ago. “People just need to recognize that the storms have caused disruption.”
Bush also said that the administration may need to dip further into the government’s petroleum reserve and keep relaxing environmental and transportation rules in an effort to get more gasoline flowing.
Many SF State students said that encouraging more people to take public transportation is a “worthy” cause, but with increased Muni fees and service cuts, the issue becomes tricky.
“More people taking public transportation means more kids will be late to class,” said
Jessica Ridout, a 24-year-old Human Sexuality and Sociology major, agrees that there needs to be improvements in reliable public transportation.
“People are not going to take it if it’s not convenient,” said Ridout.
Raising parking prices for motorists is another way that campuses such as SF State can encourage the use of public transportation.
“SF State should not coddle motorists,” said Jason Henderson, assistant professor in the Geography and Environmental Studies. “[In raising fees], the funds could be used to provide alternatives to driving. SF State should proactively work with the city and Caltrans to make 19th Ave. safer for cycling, pedestrians and transit users.”
But not everyone believes that San Francisco’s public transportation is in need of improvement.
“San Francisco has one of the best and safest public transportation systems in the United States,” said Andrew McDonald, a 25-year-old Dentistry major. “I think that everyone that can feasibly take public transit into the city does. If not, they should have their head examined because it seems like a no brainier.”
Henderson said that SF State is not doing much to encourage students to use public transportation instead of driving.
“The bike barn is out of the way and not promoted. A bike barn should be set up in the parking lot next to the Admin building on the corner of Holloway and 19th. That would provide exposure and convenience,” said Henderson.
SF State has been taking steps in an attempt to help students conserve their gas. There are free shuttles from Bart to campus, as well as a newly formed Ride Match Program, which matches SF State faculty, staff and students with others in their area who would also wish to carpool to school.
Carmen Ray, a 23-year-old English major, is discouraged by the lack of transportation options.
“We can't really win either way,” said Carmen Ray, a 23-year-old English major. “Gas and parking are ridiculous, but at the same time Muni is cutting back service and raising rates. We need a more financially viable option.”
Ray has a simple solution to this problem.
“I'm getting a bike!”
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