On July 17, a group of Mid-City CAN members, resident leaders and Youth Opportunity (bus) Pass recipients asked the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System Board of Directors to discount passes so more students could be part of the free bus program during the coming school year at Crawford, Hoover, Lincoln and San Diego high schools.
At the meeting, Richard Barrera, San Diego Unified School District board trustee, praised the speakers.
He also said a discount from the transit system would be critical to the program's success.
"We think the transit system benefits, because the more that you ride public transit, the more you are going to feel comfortable with it as you grow up," he said. "We think it is the right thing to do for the school district and the transit system to cooperate, but the main thing is if we do cooperate we can bring more students into the program."
By Cristian Vaquero, 17
|Cristian Vaquero, 17, testifies at the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System Board of Directors meeting July 17. Photo by Adam Ward|
As a result of the Youth Pass, I now attend school every day and don't have to have that doubt in my mind about how I'm going to get to school – [trying to figure out if I'll be] walking, [going] with my parents, [or on a] bike.
In my first year at San Diego high, to get to school I used to take off around 6:30 and bike around 5 miles. The road is not really paved - not safe. There is not a bike lane around here.
On a Monday, I was on my way to school, and I was crossing intersection. The light was green for me, but a car hit the front part of my bike anyway. It was a road bike with skinny wheels. I fell off and landed on my chin and collarbone. I didn't go to hospital, because I didn't have health insurance. After that I walked home and to school. My bike got totaled.