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Mt. SAC Transit Center has Lift Off

Mt. San Antonio College’s new transit center is now open to students - it's located off Temple Avenue, just east of Mt. SAC’s swimming pools

1:50 PM PDT on July 10, 2023

The Mt. San Antonio College Transit Center, served by Foothill Transit. Credit: Chris Greenspon/SBLA

Mt. San Antonio College’s new transit center is now open to students. It’s served by Foothill Transit lines 190, 194, 289, 480 & 486. They can find it off Temple Avenue, just east of Mt. SAC’s swimming pools by the stalwart 26 building and just west of the welding and air conditioning repair classrooms. Students on the southern side of campus, below Temple, can also reach the new center via a flyover pedestrian bridge.

A sense of mild disorientation pervaded opening day. One student shouted, “This is confusing!” as they tried to figure out which side of the bus bay ran east and which ran west. On-site Foothill Transit employees were able to straighten it out.

Of course, the layout is intuitive, with east-running buses on the east side of the transit center and vice-versa, and the signage tells each line's destination. But destinations like the El Monte Transit Center and Cal Poly Pomona might not be familiar yet for newer international students, who are a constant at Mt. SAC. Perhaps a few more obvious signs and legends demarking east and west on the bay’s respective sides – perhaps made by the college’s welding students – could help them out.

The Mt. San Antonio College Transit Center, served by Foothill Transit. Credit: Chris Greenspon/SBLA

“People will get used to it,” remarked Bryan R.V., who told SBLA he was glad to have a bus stop closer to the technology classes. Manuel G. and Benjess M. told SBLA they appreciated the shade, space, and seating at the new center, though Karina C. said any older stops remaining in service should be made shadier and more comfortable too. It’s also worth noting that riders now have close-by access to the welding building’s restrooms.

Previously, students have had to trek across the sizable campus to catch lines 190 and 194 on Grand Avenue. Those lines will still go to the old stop at Grand, but this new transit center could save many steps for the college’s transit-riding population. 

But that’s not all they’ll save, says Foothill Transit’s Director of Marketing and Communication, Felicia Friesema. “If you've looked at the price of gas lately, you know that driving your own car, paying for parking, all of that is immensely expensive. And for a lot of students that's completely out of reach.”

All Mt. SAC enrollees are eligible for a free Metro GoPass that provides “unlimited free rides on Foothill Transit, LA Metro bus and rail, Big Blue Bus [Santa Monica], Montebello Bus, Norwalk Transit, Culver CityBus, and City of Commerce.”

Friesema tells SBLA that students are a very important segment of its ridership, with estimates of them making up five percent of all riders. “Students are an increasingly interested demographic for taking public transit more and more [...] And a lot of these campuses were originally designed to be what we would call a commuter campus. So offering options that allow students who are unable to drive so that they can still access higher education is super important.”

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.”Sign-up for our SGV Connect Newsletter, coming to your inbox on Fridays!

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