. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Nap Time!!!

Monday, April 02, 2007
My conversation with a Student Action flunkie

One of Bev "get mo" Elithorp's slaves chatted with me a bit about her plan for a BART pass. You know, like a class pass, except far more unattainable. So obviously it would never happen. Ever. The ASUC lacks the power to make deals with regional transit systems. The response by the tool was pretty much "yuh huh!"

Will there be fee increases? NO! Instead, she'll eliminate some unnecessary programs and redirect those fees. Why can't she redirect that money to fee reductions? "That would never happen." Well, yeah. That's why you need to join the Senate to make it happen. Why can't it be redirected to student groups? "There's a cap on student group funding." The "cap" referred to here was, I believe, the budget. Apparently, changing the budget is beyond the power of mere Senators.

Then she ran off, because, according to her, if she didn't talk to 25 people, Elithorp's superiors would kill her. Yes, she said that. "Controlling campaign staff through threats of murder... DONE!"

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/02/2007 04:37:00 PM #
Comments (9)
. . .
The BART pass is an excellent idea, albeit, one that's very difficult to attain. During my short summer stint as a provisional EAVP trying to ready projects for whoever assumes the office, my provisional chief-of-staff and I had a discussion with Bob Franklin, aBART Director, over what's stopping this from being implemented.

It turns out that the university - which is equally unwilling to subsidize its faculty and staff with an Eco Pass - is less than committed to the idea of paying BART to benefit students en masse, as it does with the Class Pass.

If there is sufficient pressure from students and a well thought-out campaign, achieving this result is a possibility. Alas, even as a perennial optimist, I highly doubt an ASUC officer's chances of achieving this. The ASUC has never exhibited the type of institutional memory, protracted patience, and balls it takes to fight for students (even if it might compromise a letter of rec or two from an administrator) that would be needed to attain this worthy goal.
that, and the student body doesn't elect people who actually have a plan.
Well then, perhaps indeed it is time to fix that. I talked to one of BevMo's Student Action flunkies and what he said was really legitimate. If more students (or any) showed an interest, I really think that this BART pass might work. It would sure make my transportation into the City on BART a few times a week easier.
Perhaps the flunkies need to get together and encourage some consistency. According to the Elithorp flunkie set, an ASUC Senator lacks the power to change the ASUC budget which the Senate has sole authority over, but has the power to create deals among university systems and regional transit systems. Fascinating.
BevMo herself followed me from Evans to Morrison today. It ended up with me telling her she wasn't getting my vote because I'm against her desire for increased student fees.

Isn't BevMo supposed to be the less costly alternative?
BART is long-distance commuter rail -- there's no reason why every student needs a long-distance commuter rail pass. Most students live somewhat near campus, and for those like me who find housing outside of Berkeley, AC Transit already goes all over the county and to San Francisco.

Also, historically suburbanization and hollowing out of central cities has been faciliated by rail systems like BART. So, even though I like BART, I like AC Transit more.

Furthermore BART gets disproportionately more subsidy from the government than buses, even though buses go more places and are more accessible to low-income neighborhoods. It would compound this problem if there were more student BART riders and less student AC Transit riders, creating an excuse for cutbacks in AC Transit service.

Beyond this, I am also biased against BART a bit because I am upset at how BART expansion to San Jose is displacing the San Jose Flea Market. But I would be against this pass even without the bias.

To sum up, a mandatory student BART pass would be a bad idea -- expensive, unnecessary, and bad for buses.
One thing to remember about the potential about a BART pass is that it has very little to do with the ASUC Senate itself. No, the Senate can not appropriate funds to the regional transportation district but it can (in theory) pressure the University and market to BART the benefits of 30,000+ consumers within a single program.

I dont think this particular senate candidate thinks she is going to achieve the BART pass in a year, but I'm relieved that regional transit is even an issue at the senate level which is leaps and bounds more than what some of the executive candidates can say for themselves.

Anyone who is interested in talking about this issue enough to bring it to the University administration, I'd gladly bring you to the next Class Pass Advisory Committee Meeting.

Happy voting.
If this is something that might happen, I'm interested in talking to the University administration about opposing any kind of mandatory mass-student-funded BART pass, for reasons stated above -- expensive, unnecessary, bad for buses.

I'm relieved that such a bad idea is not an issue at the level of ASUC executive campaigns.

Should I go to the next Class Pass Advisory Committee meeting if my concern is opposition?
To clarify: Opposition to a mandatory BART pass, not opposition to the AC Transit Class Pass
Post a Comment

. . .