Carpooling Crisis

By Editorial Board

Failing to relay information in a timely and effective manner has created significant problems at Contra Costa College. So much so that a free, and eco-friendly parking permit option is on the verge of shutting down only a semester into its inception because a substandard advertising effort from the Office of Student Life and the Associated Student Union.

As of Tuesday, not a single student had signed up for the free carpool parking permit, or taken advantage of designated parking spots near the Gymnasium, or the one-time $50 reimbursement in the form of a gas card upon joining.

The carpool parking pilot program became available at the start of the spring semester, and even then only eight people signed up for the permit.

Only 15 students can sign up for the program, which is limited by the size of the designated carpool parking lot — Lot 5.

On the college website, under Student Life, it states one of the Office of Student Life’s goals is to promote programs, services and collaborative partnerships through social outreach.

This semester, however, could see the end of a pilot program that is unique to CCC throughout the three campuses in the Contra Costa Community College District.

The Advocate strongly urges students to take advantage of the permit that is on the brink of elimination or else the college will see another useful option disappear before it can fully grow.

The qualifications are simple enough. One has to be enrolled in at least one class, and must have two other passengers who are also CCC students. Drivers must include a copy of their insurance, license and registration along with submitting his or her application.

The permit application can be picked up at the Office of Student Life located in AA-109, the same as the ASU Office.

Once the application is completed it must be turned into Police Services and then applicants are able to receive the gas card through the Office of Student Life, provided by 511 Contra Costa transit.

Signing up is well worth it considering the center of campus is still under construction, making parking a scarce commodity. But the biggest upside for this permit is that it is free with no cost to apply. They pay you to park on campus.

The ASU and Office of Student Life has done an inadequate job of promoting the withering carpool program and letting students know about its benefits — both for students and the environment.

The potential cost-saving incentive should be enough to attract 15 out of CCC’s 6,500 students. This privilege should be posted everywhere available — Insite Portal email blasts and sporadic fliers from the Office of Student Life alone cannot sustain the program or allow it to expand. It needs help.

The college website does not even mention the carpool parking program. Students should be encouraged to sign up for the program through social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.