California State University, Northridge administrators and student leaders joined with state Sen. Bob Hertzberg on Monday morning to call for better transportation options for CSUN’s almost 50,000 students, faculty and staff.
The campus sits in the middle of a transportation desert of sorts, devoid of subway or light-rail connections and sorely lacking in the number of rapid bus lines. University officials are hoping to change this — to benefit the surrounding San Fernando Valley community and bring relief to the thousands who face challenging and inefficient commutes to and from CSUN.
“We have story, after story, after story of students spending hours on public transportation to get here,” said CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison. “CSUN students represent the diversity and vitality of Los Angeles. Mass transit is an essential link in their aspirations for a better life.
“Any transportation plan for the San Fernando Valley must include CSUN,” Harrison continued. “I am very grateful to the area leaders who have made CSUN a key part of their transportation planning, and I would urge them and the Metro transit board to support these plans.”
University administrators are advocating for Metro transit officials, legislators and business leaders to support efficient, timely transportation options to and from CSUN. On Thursday, the university will host a Valley Transportation Summit to discuss proposed transit solutions. The summit is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. in the Grand Salon of the University Student Union. In addition to Sen. Hertzberg, participants are expected to include Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Councilman Mitch Englander and Metro Deputy Chief Executive Officer Stephanie Wiggins. The event is presented in collaboration with CSUN, Sen. Hertzberg, the United Chambers of Commerce, the Valley Economic Alliance and VICA.
“The issue of transportation in the San Fernando Valley is critical,” Hertzberg said. “It is the Valley’s turn. We’re inviting everyone to come [to CSUN] on Thursday, to come together and send a message: The Valley stands together.”
The university is committed to reducing traffic and other impacts on the surrounding neighborhood, Harrison said. Members of the CSUN community make an estimated 200,000 single-occupant vehicle trips to and from campus each week.
CSUN’s transit priorities include a number of proposals, several of which Colin Donahue, vice president for administration and finance and CFO, shared Monday: establishing rapid bus transit service from campus to the proposed East Valley Transit Corridor rail system, via Nordhoff Street; providing rapid bus transit service between the Orange Line and campus, along Reseda Boulevard; expanding the capacity of the CSUN Transit Center on campus; and relocating the Northridge Metrolink station slightly east to Reseda at Parthenia Street.
University officials are particularly focused on improving local bus service for the estimated 25,000 students, faculty and staff living within a 10-mile radius of CSUN, and tailoring bus schedules to late-evening classes to make public transit a viable option for more students.
“CSUN students suffer when it comes to night classes, because of the lack of constant buses,” said Jorge Reyes, Associated Students president. “Some have had to pass up internships. I don’t own a vehicle, and in the past, I’ve had to rearrange my class schedule in order to take a bus home at night. Some of our students wake up before the sun comes up and take two or three buses to get to class, and later to their jobs.”
The Grand Salon of the University Student Union is located on the east side of the campus at 18111 Nordhoff St. in Northridge. Parking is available in the G3 structure, off Zelzah Avenue at Prairie Street. For more information about the March 3 Valley Transportation Summit or to RSVP, call (818) 901-5588 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For transit schedules and routes to CSUN, visit https://www.metro.net/riding/colleges/csun/.
A complete description of CSUN’s transit priorities can be found at www.csun.edu/transitpriorities.