Unitrans is at a crossroads.
Our school needs you to vote.

February 19 - 21

What's the situation?

Congratulations! The power to influence the future of Unitrans is in YOUR hands.

On February 19-21, UC Davis undergraduates will be asked to vote on on a support fee referendum to maintain and improve Unitrans service.

If the referendum passes, Unitrans will be financially stable moving forward. All funds raised will be used to pay for wages associated with the increasing minimum wage, bus maintenance, fuel, and all the other stuff that keeps the buses moving.

If the referendum doesn’t pass… Well, you thought the buses were crowded now?

Why is Unitrans on the Ballot?

Starting in January 2017, the California State minimum wage is required to increase $1 per hour per year through January 2022, which increases operations costs because drivers must be paid more.

In addition, upcoming changes to federal transit training regulations means Unitrans must hire career staff to train drivers. So, training drivers will become more expensive.

Without any additional revenues, these cost increases mean Unitrans will have no choice but to make major cuts to services starting next academic year.

Click here for the official referendum ballot text.

How much is needed to continue the Unitrans service I use today?

To mitigate increasing costs, less than $4.50/month ($13.33/qtr) is needed in the 2019-20 academic year. As the minimum wage continues to increase, so will these fees, until they are indexed to inflation in 2023 to ensure Unitrans is financially viable into the future.

25% of the fee will be returned to student aid as required by University of California policy. This helps fund students who are in financial need.

Current Fee: $34.50/quarter

Proposed Additional Quarterly Fee

Academic Year Returned to Unitrans Returned to Aid Total Cost per Quarter
2019-2020 $10 $3.33 $13.33
2020-2021 $16 $5.33 $21.33
2021-2022 $22 $7.33 $29.33
2022-2023 $28 $9.33 $37.33
2023-2024+ Indexed to inflation Indexed to inflation Indexed to inflation
If I vote yes, what do I get?

Undergraduates continue to ride without being charged a fare!

More buses during busy times to reduce pass-ups, mitigate uncomfortable crowds, and minimize delays.

Maintain and improve Unitrans service.
Reduced breakdowns and mechanical delays.

Continued funds oversight from ASUCD and the Council on Student Affairs and Fees

What if Unitrans does not receive additional funding?

25-30% cuts across Unitrans services

Most bus lines will face reduced service
Some lines may be eliminated altogether.

Davis street traffic and parking will get worse as ex-bus riders opt to bike or drive to class.

Less Unitrans Buses → More Bikes & Cars used each day → Less Parking on Campus

Frequently Asked Questions
  • attach_money What is return to aid and why does it make up 25% of the proposed additional fee? expand_more

    University of California policy requires that any fee referendum provide 25% of revenues back to financial aid. This will help offset costs associated with this fee increase for undergraduates receiving financial aid.

  • transfer_within_a_station How many people ride Unitrans each day? expand_more

    Every day, about 22,000 people ride Unitrans. 90% of daily riders are UC Davis undergraduate students. For undergraduate students living off-campus, about a third use Unitrans every day for their commute to campus.

  • show_chart What has Unitrans already done to reduce costs and increase revenues? expand_more

    Unitrans has implemented measures to reduce costs, including: Midday service reductions starting Fall 2018 on the D, G, J, W, and V lines. Increasing the cash fare by 25% and pass prices by 20% in August 2018. Increasing advertising rates and expanding advertising to the outside of all buses. New fuel contracts to reduce fuel costs by 30-40% per year. Engaging graduate students on joining the Unitrans funding consortium to help increase overall funding and decrease the increased amount we’re asking from undergraduates.

  • local_atm How much do I currently pay for Unitrans? expand_more

    $34.50 per quarter for each registered UC Davis undergraduate voted on through four different fee referendum since 1990. The last fee for $6 was approved by undergraduate voters in 2007.

  • monetization_on Where does Unitrans get its money? expand_more

    Unitrans has two major funding sources – the City of Davis and YOU, UC Davis undergraduate students. UC Davis undergraduates currently pay $34.50 per quarter to support Unitrans operations (running the buses) and capital purchases (replacing old buses). This quarterly fee is made up of four separate fee referendums that UC Davis undergraduates have voted for and passed since 1990. The last fee referendum to support Unitrans was passed in 2007. Since then, the fee has remained unchanged and only changes with undergraduate enrollment. It is not indexed to inflation. Over the last decade, the purchasing power of the fees has declined significantly as inflation has increased. The City of Davis provides significant financial support for Unitrans. City funding accounts for 45% of Unitrans operations budget and 85% of the capital budget. This funding generally increases with inflation but is subject to volatility with the economy.

  • money_off Does Unitrans spend its money wisely? expand_more

    UC Davis’ Audit and Management Services division performed an audit of Unitrans’ finances in Spring 2018. The audit confirmed the magnitude of the deficit, the causes for the deficit, and confirmed that Unitrans operates as efficiently as possible. In addition, Unitrans is audited by the State of California every year, by the Federal government every three years, and by Caltrans every three years. UC Davis is proud that Unitrans is the LOWEST cost transit operation in the State of California!

  • linear_scale Is Unitrans efficient? expand_more

    Unitrans is widely regarded as one of the most cost efficient and productive transit services in California and the nation. Not only is Unitrans the lowest cost transit operation per service hour in California, Unitrans is also the third most productive transit system in California on a passengers transported by hour basis. Only San Francisco Muni and Los Angeles Metro carry more passengers per hour than Unitrans.

  • directions_bus Do we really need this much bus service? expand_more

    Buses are already CROWDED. Less service will mean more crowding, fewer buses, more bicycle and car traffic, and less bicycle and car parking as current bus riders shift to driving and biking more.

  • directions_car I don’t ride the bus, why should I care? expand_more

    Supporting public transit and Unitrans is essential to keeping UC Davis and the City of Davis moving! Imagine 8,000-10,000 more automobile and bicycle commuters to campus EVERY day. Significant Unitrans service cuts will led to increased auto and bicycle traffic and will further exacerbate auto and bicycle parking throughout campus. In addition, Unitrans is a clean way to get to campus! More buses and fewer cars means we can all breathe easier!