This year, the Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District announced a series of changes regarding the metro routes. Santa Cruz Metro is spending more money every year to run its bus operations than it receives from passenger fares and federal, state, and local funding. To help balance its $6.3 million structural loss, Metro is reducing its bus service by changing trip frequency, the span of service, eliminating some days of route operation, and cutting routes entirely, though other routes may be rerouted to cover some of the lost servicer areas.
People have very different opinions when it comes to route change. For some, they are now forced to walk 3 miles to the bus stop in order to ride the bus. This makes their commute much longer and harder for them. Mike Rotkin, chair of Metro’s board of directors, said, “There’s no way we can balance the budget without leaving some people without service.” This makes many people angry because the bus routes and stops that have been the same for years, are now suddenly changing, thus making things much harder for them. On the other hand, The Metro board needs to do this in order to balance the budget.
This problem has affected some of the students at SLVHS, too. However, many were fortunate enough to not be affected by this route change. Quincy Penners, a student at SLVHS said that this change only affects her a bit because “the bus only comes a little bit earlier in the morning.” She doesn’t mind it that much besides the fact that she now has to wake up a little earlier. But even then, she says it isn’t that bad. Penners claims that she likes this new route schedule better because for her there is less traffic and she gets to school earlier. Bekah Rodgers, another student at SLVHS, said that she is not affected whatsoever by the change in the route schedule. The bus comes the same time for her in the morning and in the afternoon. She says that “The bus schedule is better now, however traffic can be rougher than it was before the change.”
All in all, for some students this change in the route schedule has done no harm to them. For others there are a few changes that they will need to adjust to. This new schedule seems to be better for some people, and worse for others. Either way, it doesn’t seem like they are going to change the routes back anytime soon. Despite the changes, most students have adjusted to the new schedule, and are ready for another great school year.
By Camryn Hipwell