March 24, 2015
Thousands of college students ride the bus. But only two of them won tickets to the state’s biggest country music event.
Marissa Baraglia, a 19-year-old Mt. San Jacinto College student, and Chris Brown, an 18-year-old Riverside City College student, each earned two tickets to Stagecoach Country Music Festival 2015 when their names were randomly chosen as part of RTA’s two-week radio campaign with 95.1 FM K-FROG.
“Tim McGraw, here I come!,” Marissa said. “This is a great way to spend the weekend with my mom. We went last year and can’t wait to go back.”
Chris, who is studying to be an athletic trainer, said he has other plans: “I’m bringing my girlfriend. This just earned me some big points with her.”
Both Marissa and Chris said the unlimited bus ride program, called the Go-Pass, has changed the way students get around. Chris, who catches routes 1 and 27 to get to class, said the program has given him the chance to save money and relax while someone else does the driving.
“It’s a lifesaver,” he said. “Everyone seems to know they can ride for free. A lot of students depend on this program.”
In 2014, for the eighth-straight year, thousands of students in Riverside County got unlimited rides on RTA fixed-route buses by swiping their school IDs. The successful Go-Pass and U-Pass programs encompass a state-record six partner schools: Cal Baptist University, La Sierra University, Moreno Valley College, Mt. San Jacinto College, Riverside City College and UC Riverside. All told, roughly 1.5 million student boardings came during the year. One of the biggest gains came out of Mt. San Jacinto College, where student boardings climbed 10 percent over a 12-month period.
“Some students who don’t even need to ride the bus are choosing to ride,” Marissa said. “We all know it’s there if we need it.”
The four Stagecoach tickets were courtesy of K-FROG, which did live broadcasts aboard RTA buses in March and visited area colleges. RTA’s radio campaign continues through May 2 with KGGI, KOLA and KRQB featuring radio advertisements, bus ride-alongs by on-air personalities, live remotes and contests to win prizes, including iPads.