By Christian Valles
The Metro I-TAP program ended on June 6 with no future plans to continue the program at East Los Angeles College, which has left many students scrambling to find reasonable alternatives.
Metro has offered an alternative to full time students, $36 a month student discount tap pass. The alternative has left one student questioning this action by Metro. David, who declined to give a last name, has tried to get a student discount TAP pass, but it left him frustrated.
According to him he applied for the $36 bus pass in the past but found out it took a month to receive his student discount TAP pass. “The school semesters are 15-weeks long, and the pass always arrives late into the semester.” said David. He also commented that he found the old TAP card easier to obtain with little or no hassle. “I used to get the bus pass a week before the semester started,” said David.
The price of the TAP card was reasonable to students and even encouraged one student to ride the bus to school. Maria Sandoval, an undecided major, mentioned she saved on gas and gave her time to study on the bus. Sandoval also said that after the discount of the pass was terminated she reconsider her decision of riding the bus.
There is a difference between the regular TAP card and the discounted student TAP card itself. The Student TAP card that was issued for $15 had one vital flaw. The card did not identify the owner of the card and it appeared to be a normal card, which could be bought at any metro TAP card outlet. This made the card almost impossible to identify or if the card was being misused.
According to Metro, this is one of the reasons for discontinuing the student discount. According to ELAC student, Dave, who declined to give a last name, he was given the opportunity to buy another student $15 a semester discounted TAP card. Elan, Maria, who declined to give a last name, also mentioned that she used to loan her student discounted TAP card to her mother. Her mother needed it to get to work, it made sense for her to loan her TAP card.
“If she doesn’t go to work, we don’t eat,” she said.
Similar stories could be heard from students around campus, mostly joking about their encounters with sellers of fraudulent TAP cards. All these students share the concern with rise of tuition and the delays with financial aid. These factors have made it difficult for many students at ELAC. Due to the student discount TAP card being discontinued many Elans are resorting to bicycling to school, saying it is cheaper and it’s much healthier for the environment.