EDITORIAL: Lack of transportation is a barrier to students

Illustration by Ricardo Rivas/The Et Cetera

Illustration by Ricardo Rivas/The Et Cetera

We firmly believe in the power of education. We understand the impact and opportunity that knowledge can bring. But to attain that valuable education, there are several resources that students need to succeed.

During the shutdown, and even after, we saw how important internet access can be for students. But now, with face-to-face classes returning, we’ve seen the reemergence of a problem that has fallen to the back- burner in the wake of COVID-19 —transportation.

It’s come to our attention that some students are spending hundreds of dollars a month just to get on campus. We’ve received reports from students ranging between $160 to $240 a month in ridesharing fees alone.

Yes, Dallas College students can ride DART services for free. However, Mesquite is not part of the DART system and some students attending Eastfield cannot take advantage of this service. And since the merger to one college, many students have no other choice but to attend classes at multiple campuses, forcing their travel expenses to skyrocket, even for students within the DART network.

In a Nov. 10 meeting with student journalists, Chancellor Joe May said some students are spending $40 to $50 per day just to get to a DART location in the first place, according to a pre-pandemic survey.

Many of us are here, trying to get an education, so we can improve our financial situation, not dig ourselves into a deeper fiscal hole. The average student simply doesn’t have the means to sustain that level of spending. As a result, some students have had to drop classes and others may have to dropout altogether.

We firmly believe that it’s in the best interest of students, as well as Dallas College if they want to maintain enrollment, to find a better transportation alternative.

Many colleges throughout the country have already made agreements with ridesharing apps, such as Uber or Lyft, so students can get from one campus to another either for free or at a significant discount.

We understand the issue with DART is a matter of Mesquite city politics and not because of Dallas College. But we urge our administrators, please help the college by helping students.

Call Uber.