Santa Fe College students will be able to ride designated Santa Fe buses to and from campus starting this fall, according to a new Florida law.
Santa Fe President Jackson Sasser said the primary purpose of the bus system will not only give students better access to classes, but it will be a safe way for students and faculty to get to work or social outings.
"It's a win-win for everyone in the area," he said.
Santa Fe students will be able to use the buses with their student ID. Tuition will increase by less than $3 per credit hour to fund the new bus system.
The Santa Fe community has been lobbying for a transportation system for the past 11 years. External Affairs Director Travis Bennett said he thought the difference this time was that the bill proposed to the Florida state Senate applied only to Santa Fe. Previous proposed bills applied to all Florida community colleges. Santa Fe students put time and effort into getting the bill passed, even testifying during this past spring break.
Gov. Rick Scott approved the law on May 26.
The bus system will help accommodate Santa Fe's growing student population. Bennett said the last count estimated Santa Fe has 16,000 students. That number is projected to grow to 20,000 in the next year, he said.
Sasser said he was grateful to the lobbyists, politicians and members of the UF and Santa Fe communities who supported the effort to pass the bill. He said the students especially made a difference.
"[I] couldn't be prouder of the students who have stepped up over these years," Sasser said.