By Edward Singleton
East Los Angeles College South Gate Educational Center was forced to shut down the free shuttle service it provided to students this Fall due to budget cuts.
The shuttle, which ran for five years between ELACc’s main campus in Monterey Park and the South Gate campus, serviced approximately 25,000 students per semester.
The only alert about the cancellation was a message on ELAC’s home website saying, “shuttle canceled due to budget cuts, plan accordingly.” The unfortunate shutdown has caused certain students to delay their academic careers.
The shuttle service began with a rough start. On its opening day South Gate Dean of Academic Affairs Al Rios was the only person onboard to ride it. However more recently, the shuttle had grown in popularity and became an academic tool for thousands of Elans.
At some point during the past semester the shuttle would get so overcrowded that students were forced to stand side-by-side, often only inches away from one another. It had become a mobile student center in some ways that many students came to love.
When the shuttle was cancelled, thousand of Elans immediately felt the impact.
“It’s too expensive [to drive between campuses]. My dad has to drop off my brother at the main campus in his car and I have to pick him up in my car so that neither of us spend too much on gas,” said, Christian Noriega, a computer science major.
His example of what students are doing just to get to school is only one of the approximate 25,000 students who were affected by the shuttle shutdown.
However, its safe to say, “it could be worse.” The fact is, if students want academic success they must overcome obstacles, not only in academics, but in life.
There are alternative forms of transportation between Monterey Park and South Gate that make it possible to find a way from one campus to another. Starting a carpool with fellow students is probably the most convenient way of getting around.
If students don’t have a car to carpool perhaps waking up a little early to catch. The metro is best. The metro trip between campuses is approximately an hour and a half long.
Cycling between schools is also an option with the added health benefit of getting a great cardio workout.
For Elans the road to success may not offer free shuttle service between campuses anymore, but lets not forget that success is only for those who want it.
As budgets have been getting tighter, with school fees ever increasing, it seems that students have been dealt the short end of the deal.In an ideal world students would have free shuttle service, smaller class sizes, affordable books and the latest in technology.
Well, ideal world or not, one thing is certain, success depends on the effort of the students. Although the shuttle service has been cancelled this semester, true students are not left stranded.
Those who want a better future will find ways to navigate themselves between schools.