How can we decrease the amount of money students spend on transportation to school?

How can we decrease the amount of money students spend on transportation to school?


With rising gas prices and the shift to in person classes, students may not have the means to be able to get to school. Public transportation in Modesto isn't that great, and biking may not be practical or safe for those who live far away from campus. This results in students having to choose whether to spend money on gas or to skip classes.

Team Information

About the Problem

Problem Category


Problem Context

Some areas of Modesto are not bike friendly. Students who live far away from campus may not be able to bike to school, and if they have night courses, they have a risk of getting into an accident if the roads aren't bike safe. Public transportation in Modesto also takes a long time and bus stations aren't dispersed evenly throughout the city.

How did you identify this problem?

We identified this problem because in a class group chat, students were complaining of rising gas prices. They asked if other students could send them the notes for that day because they felt uncomfortable spending money on gas to get to school. We asked these students and other students that we knew what their opinions on public transportation are and if they felt torn whether to go to school some days due to the financials of getting themselves there.

Problem Details

Who are those affected by this problem?

Students and those who may financially support the student are affected by this problem. Professors and staff of the university are also affected because they also have to spend money on gas to transport themselves to the campus. The general population is also affected because to get around town, most people need a car. California in general doesn't have the best public transportation.

How often does this problem occur?

This problem occurs whenever school is in session and when gas prices are high.

How long has the problem been going on?

This problem has been occurring since gas prices started increasing, so about 6-8 months.

Is the problem disrupting the community? How?

The problem is disrupting the community because students may miss crucial information in their classes if they aren't able to attend in person. Students tight on finances who choose to attend classes will have to sacrifice something else.

Is the issue perceived as a problem by the community at large?

The issue of high gas prices is perceived as a problem by the community at large.

Is the problem limited to certain geographic areas?

The problem is limited to areas with poor public transportation or unfriendly bike streets.

Who are the Stakeholders, those wanting this problem to be fixed?

The stakeholders are students, parents, professors, and the city government.

Addressing the Problem

Are you aware of any solutions, approaches, or efforts to tackle this problem?

A solution offered to tackle this problem is that the university gives students a code for a certain dollar amount for Uber rides. This amount is usually not that high, however. Another solution is the free bus pass offered by MJC for students who pay the activity fee.

What are the obstacles you are aware of to address the problem?

The main obstacle is the cost. Unless Modesto revises their streets to be more bike friendly, someone is paying for gas.

What are the success criteria that could be defined to address this problem?

The success criteria is if we are able to reduce student expenditures on gas by at least 50%. Another is if we are able to implement our solution within a 6 month period.