Build it, and they will come – to break it down.

UCSB Facilities Management and the Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District are working to repair the repeatedly vandalized bus access gate between Sabado Tarde Road and Ocean Road.

While the gate is designed to allow MTD buses one-way access onto campus from Isla Vista, motorists have been using the newly paved addition to drive back and forth between campus and I.V. without going through UCSB’s main west gate on El Colegio Road.

“We still have access,” MTD Community Relations Manager David Damiano said, “but so does everybody else.”

The transit gate, which has been broken down by vandals and repaired several times by UCSB Physical Facilities workers since its Sept. 22 opening, allowed the extension of MTD line 27 to include stops on the 6500 block of Sabado Tarde Road and quicker transportation to campus.

“We’re looking at options right now,” said Croft Yjader, a project manager for UCSB Facilities Management. “We’ve been out there several times.”

Yjader said only the gate’s arm was broken off the first time it was vandalized, but subsequent instances of vandalism have destroyed the two metal plates that hold the arm up.

“I have no idea how it’s been broken,” he said.

Yjader had no cost estimates for repair, since facilities management fixed the arm pieces in-house, but the total construction project to extend the roadway cost UCSB just under $43,000.

The transit gate project was a joint effort by the university, MTD and Santa Barbara County. Yjader said the county donated the gate itself from a location where it was no longer in use.

“We had thought about [vandalism], but we had to take what was available,” Yjader said. “I’m just trying to get it fixed.”