ELAC students need better shuttle service

By Megan G. Razzetti

For some East Los Angeles College full-time students, staff and faculty, a 12-hour school day is nothing unusual. Taking the Gold Line home is such a great and safe way to get home.

However, who wants to walk 13-minutes from ELAC to the actual station when we have a shuttle service that can take students?

Although that sounds like a lovely way to get home after a long day, ELAC only has a shuttle service that services those taking classes at the South Gate campus and vice-versa.

ELAC needs to provide students with a more convenient way of getting to and from the Atlantic station.

The last thing a student might want to do after an exhausting day is sit in traffic trying to get out of one of the many parking areas. Atlantic Boulevard can be a nightmare during rush hour with lanes packed with cars and buses going absolutely nowhere.

On top of that, Atlantic Square’s various shops and restaurants have cars coming and going non-stop. Waiting for buses to come just to go down the street can take up to 45 minutes or more.

The distance is a sixth-of-a-mile which results in a 13-minute walk from the main ELAC campus to the station

For some people, it may not seem like a long distance to walk. The fact that there is not just one but two entrances, the California 60 west and east entrances and exits all along this journey can be scary, especially at night.

Last spring I was taking a class that I needed for my journalism certification, which was only offered on Monday from 6-10pm.

I did not think it would be a big deal just to take the gold line home afterwards, but after a few times taking it, I realized how incredibly dangerous it is to walk this path at night.

There are no traffic lights at either entrance of the freeway and the street lights are incredibly dim.

One night, I wasn’t even half way across the street when one car sped behind me to catch the freeway. I really believe that the driver did not see me at all.

I try to be as alert as I can when walking to the station but it scares me to think that drivers are not as alert when it comes to that area.

Pasadena City College has the Allen station located approximately the same distance from their campus according to Google Maps.

I’ve walked the route to that station from PCC quite a few times with my brother, who is a student there.

The route has no freeway entrances and only one small freeway exit which has a traffic light so that pedestrians can cross safely to the other side.

The path is dimly lit at night as well. However, PCC has provided shuttle services to and from the station with a school ID as fare.

Los Angeles Community College has the Vermont and Sunset red line station located a few steps away from their campus.

If ELAC can have at least one pick up and one drop off stop at the Atlantic Station using the already familiar South Gate shuttle, this will help greatly with the safety of students and staff.

According to the minutes of a Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees Student Affairs Committee meeting, held on May 9, access to transportation is essential to the success of students.

Having this shuttle service will help reduce the extra cost of transportation for students trying to pursue higher education, so they can gain successful employment.

The minutes also described that community college students bear not only the cost of tuition and books in their pursuit of higher education, but they must also bear the excessive cost of transportation to and from campus.

For many with jobs, it is difficult because often right after class students are rushing to work. School doesn’t pay for itself and some have families to feed.

The support of a shuttle service is essential to providing access to education and without it, it is a disservice to students working toward a life for themselves.

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