New rideshare program at Fresno City College hoping to resolve parking issues

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- For the past three years, students at Fresno City College have been getting on board with a program that allows them to commute into campus for free using their student ID on the FAX bus.

Students pay a $5 fee for the card and are able to use it to ride for free on FAX throughout Fresno.

"With the ID, it does help us to get our education, and it does help paying $5 instead of paying $1.25 every single time," says FCC student Briana Sanchez.

What began as a pilot program in 2017 to alleviate the strain of on-campus parking during a solar construction project has gone on to help 8,000 students as of last semester. But now the district needs the money for parking maintenance.

"I live all the way by Fresno State, so I literally couldn't be able to get to class," says FCC student Daniela Cieto. "I don't have money to lift or Uber, and I can't even buy a bike because I don't have money."

Another issue impacting thousands of students is parking.

"There was a couple of times where I'd be trying to find a parking spot for like an hour," says former FCC student Steven Youk.

Parking is really feeling a pinch here, but there may be a solution.

A crowdsource rideshare solution titled Bolt to College 2.0, a reboot of a pilot program that ended just last month. The new project could provide a rideshare transportation option to students who live throughout Fresno and rural areas.

"The project that we're working with Fresno Metro Ministry to develop, as well as Fresno County EOC and maybe some other programs, is up to $1 million," says Director of CALSTART Clean Transportation Center Joseph Oldham. "It could be home to community college kind of transportation service; kind of a carsharing."

That carsharing program would employ a fleet of electric cars or an electric van to shuttle students to and from the college door-to-door for a small fee.

The Board of Trustees will continue to keep the discussion alive surrounding a potential long-term extension to the free bus pass program.

In the meantime, a project proposal will be submitted to determine if the Bolt to College 2.0 program will make a return.
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