UCSB’s Associated Students Commission on Disability Equality is planning to install a university-wide transportation service for students with disabilities within two years.
CODE hopes to offer a transportation system that caters to both permanently and temporarily disabled students with possible services such as curbside pick-up and drop-off. The organization is currently working to create an official budget proposal to present to the university. UCSB is the only UC campus without such a system in place.
CODE Co-Chair Lupe Rodriguez, a fourth-year psychology major, said the project will ensure that students afflicted with any type of physical disability have a safe, convenient way to commute to class.
“The end goal of the transportation system is that it will meet all students on campus who may be permanently or temporarily disabled,” Rodriguez said. “It is not just for those who were born with a disability, but for athletes or the common Gaucho who finds himself with a broken leg. We want to get a system that gets them from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’ up and running.”
Rodriguez said there are many financial and procedural concerns CODE will address before it can begin implementing the permanent program.
“Right now we are really worried about budget,” Rodriguez said. “[We have] a few numbers and a few amounts and we want to be the most reasonable with the budget crisis. We are working on the basic logistics and framework.”
CODE Co-Chair Jessie Huls, a fourth- year math and sociology major, said the commission has a number of organizational details to resolve before launching the system. “There are so many [more] things that go into this than people think about,” Huls said. “We have to start off small and once this runs successfully for a few years, then we could have scheduled shifts and more people involved and go big.”
Residence Halls Association President Jose Magana, a fourth-year political science and philosophy major, said he realized the importance of having a transportation system for disabled students when his friend broke a leg and had no transportation alternatives.
“For me, I am here to serve the students in the residence halls, and obviously there has always been a problem for temporarily disabled students,” Magana said. “We wanted to get something official for students so that parents wouldn’t have to call [the university] and something would already be in place.”
According to Stanley Tzankov, off- campus representative, the program’s success will depend on involving younger students in the planning process.