California State University, Northridge junior Pamela Zamarripa spends two hours each day commuting by bus back and forth to CSUN’s campus from her home in Van Nuys. Zamarripa’s daily experience is multiplied by thousands of students, faculty, staff and visitors who use public transportation to reach CSUN, many of whom face even more challenging and inefficient commutes.

“I would love to just take a car, but I don’t have one,” said Zamarripa, a sociology major. “By car, it would only be 20 minutes.”

The CSUN 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 — and benefit the surrounding San Fernando Valley community in the process.

“At CSUN, student success is our number one priority,” CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison said. “Our relentless drive to challenge and support our students to persevere and to help ease burdens that might impede their progress compels us to take on issues that extend beyond the classroom; including mass transit in Los Angeles.”

University administrators are advocating for Metro transit officials, legislators and business leaders to support efficient, timely transportation options for CSUN’s almost 50,000 students, faculty and staff. On Thursday, March 3, CSUN 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. Participants are expected to include LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Councilman Mitch Englander and state Sen. Bob Hertzberg.

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