CyRide proposes free rides for students

Katie Robb

ISU students may soon be taking free CyRide trips if the Government of the Student Body approves a proposal to increase student fees by more than $12 a semester to fund the rides.

“We put together a proposal for ISU students to ride the bus for free,” said Bob Bourne, director of CyRide. “We’ve put the proposal together, and now it’s up to [the Government of the Student Body] to decide whether or not to accept it.”

Bourne said many people drive to the commuter parking lots at the Iowa State Center to catch the orange route, a free shuttle to campus.

“This way they could catch the bus in front of their apartments,” he said. “It would be more convenient for them and would cut down on traffic.”

The proposal asks for a $12.70 increase in student fees each semester, Bourne said. This increase would allow students to travel to and from campus for free because the increase would cover the money collected through the sale of semester passes and single trips. A semester pass costs $49, while single trips are 35 cents during the day and 25 cents in the evenings.

The proposal also includes a plan to increase the frequency of stops on existing routes around campus, Bourne said.

“This is a trend we’re beginning to see around the country,” he said. “In the past five years, a lot of university and transit systems have done this. Especially with increasing gas prices, it just makes sense.”

Some students support the included bus pass, even though it means an increase in fees.

“I think it would encourage more people to ride the bus and would cut down on traffic,” said Greg Knoke, freshman in aerospace engineering. “It saves money for those of us that buy the passes.”

Sarah Biermann, freshman in pre-business, said the extra fee should be added to students’ university bills. “[The fee is] less than a pass and more people would ride the bus,” she said.

Other students object to paying for a service they don’t use.

“Having an included fee would be awesome for the people that buy a bus pass, but it’s not really fair to charge people who don’t ride the bus,” said Betsy Jobes, freshman in physics.

Some students who only use the free orange route do not believe they should have to pay the fee increase that would support all routes.

“Thirteen dollars isn’t very much money, but the orange route is the only one I use, and it doesn’t cost anything anyway,” said Dave Shoemaker, sophomore in mechanical engineering.

If GSB approves the proposal, Bourne said, CyRide will consider adding routes, including one that stops closer to the greek community.