Associated Students push to extend Gator Pass
February 2, 2022
Associated Students, SF State’s student-led organization, is advocating for the expansion of SF State’s Gator Pass to include San Mateo’s SamTrans.
According to AS leadership, the current Gator Pass is limited in its modes of public transportation for students. The program currently provides students with free Muni rides and 50% off rides to and from Daly City BART. The proposed expansion would also be in an effort to meet university sustainability goals and promote public transit.
The Gator Pass, which all students pay a $180 fee per semester toward, is part of the OneCard program. It premiered in Fall 2017 and has operated on a surplus since its inception, which made the reality of expanding the program a more pragmatic proposal.
That surplus is what allowed the university to eliminate the Gator Pass fee for the 2020-21 academic year and keep it at half-price for the current year.
However, it’s unclear how much the cost of the pass would increase by, if at all.
“We’re in the process of trying to find that out,” AS President Joshua Ochoa said. “For the first semester or year, they’re going to be seeing what the rate would be for SamTrans to pay, but at least right now we would not have to increase the student fee to add SamTrans.”
Despite the Gator Pass’ potential to expand its reach to more students living outside of San Francisco, students have only increased their use of public transportation since the Gator Pass launched. According to SF State President Lynn Mahoney, over 60% of students use public transportation to commute to campus.
Ian Decaro, a student and resident of San Francisco, said he uses his Gator Pass copiously, but that the program does have room for improvement.
“For example, an option to add on a BART commuter pass [for the appropriate fee] when paying tuition would streamline the process for both new and incoming students.”
Junior Jesse Tuchez, a student and San Francisco resident, also added that the Gator Pass program could be improved.
“I used it twice before I lost it, it became convenient because I didn’t have to use an extra Clipper card. A digital Gator Pass would be nice.” Tuchez said.
Gator Pass expansion discussions are in the early stages, but a full campaign is set to launch Feb. 14. Associated Students plan to send out a campus-wide survey, educational material, and opportunities for students to ask questions.
“We just want to make sure that we have the mandate from students that yes, this is what we want,” Ochoa said.
If students support and approve the Gator Pass expansion campaign, the proposal will be taken to the Student Fee Advisory Committee for a vote, and then to President Mahoney for final say. If passed, the Gator Pass expansion would likely go into effect by Fall 2022.