By Jair Fuentes
Budget cuts in the education system have been affecting schools nationwide. In a string of recent changes at East Los Angeles College, it’s been announced that the shuttle service has been cancelled for the fall semester.
Cancelling the shuttle buses makes a difference in a student’s educational plans and can hinder students from their potential success.
The shuttle buses, which East Los Angeles College has been providing for years, were a free and convenient service for students taking classes in both the South Gate campus and the main campus.
Taking classes only at South Gate is tough considering the fact that the campus is small and not every class is offered there. It can be the difference between completing courses on time for graduation or staying another semester.
Some students are in a position where one class is required before they can transfer to a four year university.
If a South Gate student can’t find a way to get to the main campus, they miss their opportunity to take the class.
With a limited amount of classes being offered at South Gate, many students have no choice but to commute to the main campus in Monterey Park.
Student Christopher Menjivar said, “Without the shuttle service, I can’t take classes at the main campus. I don’t have a driver’s license or money for the public bus.”
Scenarios such as this puts students in panic mode and with no solution, the reality becomes no classes at the main campus. Some will argue that students should be able to find a way around this.
Of course, there’s always carpooling and public transportation. However, with gas prices rising to more than $4 per gallon and Metro bus passes costing up to $75 a month, it’s becoming a financial burden for some students to just get to school.
Student Stephanie Martinez said, “I depended on the shuttle because they saved me and my family a lot of money, and now I don’t know what to do.”
Some ways to fix this problem would be for students to protest this change, present their concerns and demand the bring return of the shuttle.
Another solution would be to raise money that can be used to pay for shuttle services. It is a very important service that students really depend on and should be available.
The school can also bring back the shuttle and charge students a small one time fee. Through any solution, this problem can be fixed.
In the meantime, however, students must adjust to the change and hope for the best.