Golden Empire Transit offers free bus rides for CSUB students

Teresa Balmori Perez, Assistant News Editor

CSUB student Arlene Salvador is signing up for the free bus pass. “You never know when you might need to take the bus,” said the junior Pre-Nursing major. Photos by Gillian Galicia / The Runner

California State University, Bakersfield is providing free bus passes for K-12, college, and vocational schools for the remainder of the 2023 Spring semester from January up until May.  

According to Ilaria Pesco, the executive director of Associated Students Inc., the Golden Empire transit applied/received a grant that helped pay for not just CSUB and Bakersfield College students, but for K-12 students as well. The free bus passes will be valid up until the end of the semester.   

ASI helped by providing a location for students to pick up their bus passes.   

“Unlike other campuses, there’s not a one-stop shop for students to be able to go to a place like an office or something like that. So, ASI stepped up and offered our office to be the place for students to be able to come pick up the parking pass,” Pesco said.   

Pesco went on to explain that many CSUB students struggle with trying to find some type of transportation and, oftentimes, they will pay a lot of money just on transportation alone. With the free bus passes, not only will they find a way to make transportation easier, but they will also be saving up money. This means students can spend money on other important essentials such as textbooks, school materials, and food.   

Carson Vollmer, the President of ASI, explained that it can also be beneficial for students who do have a car but wish to save money on gas and parking permits by taking the bus instead.   

‘‘It just really gives them that opportunity to, you know, take the bus where they need for free and so I think it’s such a beneficial incentive that students are now receiving,” Vollmer said.   

Kimberly Guzman, a Child, Adolescent, and Family Studies major, is helping students sign up for free bus passes.

According to Karen Navarro, a Psychology major at CSUB and a member of the Sustainability and Energy Management club, the bus pass is not just for commuting to school, but people can also use it to run errands or get around town.   

“You can also bring three children with you for free, but they have to be up to the age of five, anything older than that, they can get a free bus pass from the school’s site,” Navarro said.   

Zoey Lejia, a Psychology major at CSUB and a member of the Sustainability and Energy Management club, said that students must show their bus passes and student ID each time they use the bus.   

Navarro also explained that the pass is only available to CSUB students. If a staff or faculty member would like to receive one, they would have to purchase one at the cashier’s office for 50% off.   

Pesco mentioned that it’s not just valid for students who live in Bakersfield but for anyone outside of town such as McFarlane, Taft, Arvin, and Lancaster.   

If students wish to receive a free bus pass, they can pick one up at the ASI office located in the Student Union building. They will be giving them out every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. However, if students are not able to make it during those times, they will still be handing them out even past 6 p.m.