Rattler Card no good

In an effort to become more fiscally responsible, FAMU is instituting a new transportation system.

Effective Oct. 5, Rattler Cards will no longer be accepted as a means of using the Tal-Tran bus service.

“We want to get an accurate number of the amount of students riding the bus,” said James W. Lockley, Jr., FAMU assistant police chief.

This move was initiated by the administration in an attempt to get a better grasp of how the University is spending students’ tuition money and state allocated funds.

Before the recent transportation system decision, the University paid Tal-Tran an arbitrary amount of money to run the bus route through the campus.

Officials said it is possible that the University has been overpaying Tal-Tran in recent years because the administration was unaware of the number of students utilizing the bus service. FAMU police chief Calvin Ross developed this idea and his department, the newly merged FAMU PD-University Parking Services has been developing projects such as this one since May, to make operations around campus work more efficiently.

One reason for the change is the old rattler system’s insufficiency. Although a transportation fee is included in every student’s fees, the old system did not allow University officials to access the number of students using Tal-Tran.

With the old rattler system, any student with a Rattler card gained access onto the Tal-Tran.

It was impossible to differentiate whether the student getting on the bus was a current student or one no longer enrolled in the university.

The new decision does not affect students who ride the Tal-Tran shuttles on campus during the week because identification is not necessary to access the shuttles.

Although all students haven’t heard about new transportation decision, many students who have understand the University’s reasoning.

Kedna Tanis, a 19-year-old sophomore biology student from North Lauderdale said, although many disagree with some of the administration’s decisions, she believes “they are trying,” to improve the status of the University.

“I think it’s a good idea because TCC has a little code on the back of its cards to ensure that people who are not in school don’t take advantage of bus privileges.” Tanis said.

Some FAMU students with vehicles also plan on getting the school-issued bus passes.

“Gas is expensive. I often ride the bus instead of driving my car to the State Department Office, where the parking is scarce, said Gregory Woodall a 19-year-old sophomore physics student from Atlanta.

Woodall also agrees with the University’s decision.

“I understand the logic behind the administration’s decision. It’s a good idea to eliminate students who aren’t paying tuition from riding the bus,” Woodall said.

The bus cards will be issued Sept. 19-21 in the Grand Ballroom and at the University Parking Services located on Gamble Street and Wahnish Way.

To receive a bus pass students are required to bring proof of registration and picture identification. The bus passes will be sequentially numbered.

Every semester students have to turn in old passes and provide proof of current registration to get their bus service privileges renewed.

The University and Tal-Tran are also working on developing a scanner for next semester to scan the bus passes as students enter the bus.

Chief Lockley said “Students need to make sure they pick up bus passes. Tal-Tran will not accept rattler cards after October 5th.”

“Students have to be responsible, if you lose the bus pass contact the FAMU police department 599-3256,” Lockley said.

The first bus pass issued will be free of charge. If the issued card is lost, the replacement fee may be as high as $25.00. All lost cards must be immediately reported to the FAMU PD.

Contact Damien Warren at famuannews@hotmail.com