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Foothill Transit’s Silver Streak comes to Cal Poly Pomona

Cal Poly Pomona mascot Billy Bronco poses with students at the grand opening of the university’s Foothill Transit bus stop. Credit: Chris Greenspon/SBLA

For the first time in about 20 years, Foothill Transit is providing service to the heart of Cal Poly Pomona. The Silver Streak, which provides faster and more frequent service across the San Gabriel Valley, will stop at the Student Services Building rather than the edge of the campus on Temple Avenue. “This is the first time in our history that we've had a rapid transit connection to campus.” says Cal Poly President Soraya Coley.

This move has been in the works since 2016, says John Lloyd, Professor of History and co-chair of the Campus Alternative Transportation Committee. “A university's like a big ocean liner. It doesn't turn on a dime, but we do turn. It takes time, but we do turn.”

Lloyd, a Cal Poly alumni and Sierra Madre resident, gives credit to President Coley, student advocates, and Associated Students Incorporated, which he says passed a resolution last year to request that the Silver Streak stop in the center of campus.

“It's way more convenient. You don't have to walk through parking lots. And it's also a much quieter and more pleasant place to wait for the bus versus out on Temple which is noisy, and frankly not a very pleasant place to wait for a bus.” Lloyd says.

The ribbon cutting for the grand opening of Foothill Transit's Silver Streak stop at Cal Poly Pomona. L-R: Billy Bronco, Victor Preciado, John Lloyd, Aliza Ortega, Soraya Coley, Corey Calaycay, Doran Barnes, Tim Sandoval, and others. Credit: Chris Greenspon/SBLA
The ribbon cutting for the grand opening of Foothill Transit's Silver Streak stop at Cal Poly Pomona. Left to right: Billy Bronco, Victor Preciado, John Lloyd, Aliza Ortega, Soraya Coley, Corey Calaycay, Doran Barnes, Tim Sandoval, and others. Credit: Chris Greenspon/SBLA
The ribbon cutting for the grand opening of Foothill Transit's Silver Streak stop at Cal Poly Pomona. L-R: Billy Bronco, Victor Preciado, John Lloyd, Aliza Ortega, Soraya Coley, Corey Calaycay, Doran Barnes, Tim Sandoval, and others. Credit: Chris Greenspon/SBLA

David Groves, an electromechanical systems engineering major, tells SBLA that he left Temecula at 4 a.m. to get to class on the first day of the Spring Semester. “I take two trains here. And then, once I get to the train station, I take the bus, and I use the Class Pass for the bus, which is really nice.”

The Class Pass lets Cal Poly Pomona students ride any Foothill Transit bus line for free. Class Pass holders and other students gave the university plenty of reason to work with Foothill to get the Silver Streak on the premises says Danny Wu, Executive Director of Campus Planning, Transportation and Sustainability.

“The support has been overwhelming [...] We've been collecting data to see how many [student] riders take the Silver Streak even though for the past few years, it didn't stop on our campus. And there's been more than 2,700 trips that students take on that line alone.” says Wu. “And this will build that repertory. People get used to taking public transit, and in the future we hope they'll be lifelong riders.”

Pomona Mayor Tim Sandoval says the connection from the Cal Poly campus to Pomona and Montclair in the east and West Covina, El Monte and Downtown L.A. in the west will be very meaningful for working class students. “Education is the most reliable vehicle out of poverty [...] To be able to have access to reliable transportation is so critical.”

Closing out the Silver Streak’s grand opening at Cal Poly Pomona, Aliza Ortega, President of Associated Students Incorporated, said, “The opening of this Silver Streak stop represents change in our higher education institutions. As we look for greener and more accessible means of transportation the Silver Streak has created a safer and more consistent mode of transportation for our community, stepping towards a more inclusive CPP and a future where higher education is accessible for all.”

Streetsblog’s San Gabriel Valley coverage is supported by Foothill Transit, offering car-free travel throughout the San Gabriel Valley with connections to the Gold Line Stations across the Foothills and Commuter Express lines traveling into the heart of downtown L.A. To plan your trip, visit Foothill Transit. “Foothill Transit. Going Good Places.”

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