During its virtual meeting Wednesday, Long Beach State’s Associated Students, Inc. Senate discussed sustainable modes of transportation for once the university resumes in-person instruction.
Kayla Jolly, CSULB’s sustainable transportation coordinator, shared with the senate via Zoom a report regarding environmentally friendly alternatives for commuter students.
“They are basically termed ‘RIDE,’ that’s our branding,” Jolly said. “We are basically trying to help students fight climate change, by convincing them that there are more sustainable options than driving alone to campus.”
According to Jolly, making use of RIDE, which includes public transportation, electric scooters and bikes, electric vehicles and bicycles, is helpful in decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.
“Sixty-two percent of our greenhouse gas emissions are caused by campus commutes, and reducing emissions helps mitigate climate change,” Jolly said. “And a co-benefit of using sustainable transportation is that it is much less expensive than vehicle ownership.”
According to the American Automobile Association, the average price for owning a car can cost about $9,300 a year or $773 a month. Biking, she argued, is a more sustainable and cost-efficient method of transportation.
“We have the city of Long Beach’s Bikeshare Program, which relieves [some of] the burden of bicycle ownership like maintenance, theft and storage,” Jolly said. “And it’s only $7.50 a month for students, staff and faculty.”
ASI Vice President Maythe Aldrete Gonzales, a fourth-year women’s gender and sexuality Studies major, encouraged students to consider using the bike program.
“I believe they have several options to encourage students to seek alternative modes of transportation to ensure we reach climate neutrality by 2040,” Gonzalez said. “Climate change is real, and we need to do our part to better our environment.”
With the majority of students attending virtually this semester, Jolly maintained that students should keep sustainability in mind when planning their return to on-campus instruction.
“This is still an important topic to be discussing,” Jolly said. “We want you to be aware of the resources available to you, for when the public fully reopens again, as that’s when you’ll be deciding how to travel back to campus.”
The next ASI Senate meeting will occur Wednesday, Feb. 3 at 3:30 p.m. via Zoom. This story was updated at 11:25 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 29 to include a quote given by ASI Vice President Maythe Aldrete Gonzales.