CALEXICO — San Diego State University (SDSU) Associated Student' Senator Melissa Sandoval loaded onto the bus at the Imperial Valley campus destined for the main San Diego campus Thursday, Oct. 7. The no-cost ride for students, staff, or faculty is due to the school’s new pilot shuttle program.
“This is the first semester the shuttle is under service so I’m testing it out today,” Sandoval said.
Sandoval said her task was to provide feedback to the school and to tour the main campus. Depending on her experience, she plans to attend the main campus for a few classes in the spring.
The Calexican is studying psychology and minoring in public administration at SDSU’s Imperial Valley campus.
Although the only rider for the shuttle, she said other students, staff, and faculty will be utilizing the bus for the next week or two to test the experience, provide feedback, and visit Imperial Valley’s parent campus in San Diego.
SDSU announced Monday, Oct. 4, the launch of the shuttle program connecting the main and Imperial Valley campus. The new pilot program is a direct result of the university’s strategic plan, and is being introduced to help create and facilitate shared academic, research, and student engagement across both campuses.
Shuttle services began Tuesday, Oct. 5, operating with pick up and drop off locations on Hardy Avenue at Campus Green at SDSU, and at the SDSU Imperial Valley parking lot.
To take advantage of the shuttle bus, students must submit a SDSU Shuttle Reservation Form. A 24-hour reservation is required to ensure a spot on the 12-seater, including an ADA-compliant seat.
The introduction of the pilot program follows several discussions during the university-wide strategic planning process, and surveying of students this year, all of which indicated strong support for a shuttle service.
The pilot program is funded through SDSU’s parking revenue and is budgeted to cost about $114,000 for the first academic year.
SDSU representatives said, “The response to the program has been overwhelmingly positive. We know our campus communities are excited about the shuttle availability and we look forward to the opportunities this new service will help create.”
Sandoval also explained the value the program can bring to students both in Imperial Valley and in San Diego.
“I think it’s good, and other generations didn’t have the opportunity and spent a lot of money on gas, or they didn’t have a way to experience the main campus. They had to stay here for the whole program. But right now, it’s a good opportunity to have the services,” she said.
Sandoval was also very cautious in reminding students to not miss the bus coming back to the Valley.
She encouraged students to participate in Associated Students to make a difference and advocate for services like the shuttle bus program and identify other student needs.
The service will operate at no cost to students, faculty, and staff three days each week based on the following schedule:
In the morning:
- Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays: The shuttle will leave SDSU at 6:30 a.m., arriving at SDSU Imperial Valley at 8:30 a.m. The shuttle will then leave SDSU Imperial Valley at 8:45 a.m., returning to SDSU at 10:45 a.m.
In the evening:
- Tuesdays and Thursdays: The shuttle will leave SDSU at 6 p.m., arriving at SDSU Imperial Valley at 8 p.m. The shuttle will then leave SDSU Imperial Valley at 8:15 p.m. and return to SDSU at 10:15 p.m.
- Wednesdays: A shuttle will also leave SDSU at 6:45 p.m., arriving at Imperial Valley at 8:45 p.m. The shuttle will then leave SDSU Imperial Valley at 9 p.m., returning to SDSU at 11 p.m.
As the shuttle will pass through the Pine Valley US Border Patrol Station, students, faculty, and staff are advised they may need to have their identification ready to present while taking the shuttle if requested.
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