As educational institutions continue looking for ways to make learning more accessible, public universities and colleges like St. Louis Community College closely follow the latest federal spending bill, known as the Build Back Better Act. It was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in November and includes a provision – Promoting Advancement Through Transit Help to College Act (PATH to College Act) – that would offer competitive grants, administered by the Department of Transportation in partnership with local public transit providers, for community colleges, historically black colleges and universities, tribal colleges, and other minority-serving institutions.
The goal of PATH to College Act is to help extend existing routes to better serve the needs of students, increase the frequency of those routes, establish transit stops closer to campuses, subsidize public transportation costs for students and more. This is imperative for our region. Despite the availability of robust public transit systems nationwide, many don’t provide light rail service directly to community college campuses. This is no exception for the four campuses, two education centers, and three additional facilities that make up St. Louis Community College.
Lack of transportation access should not be a barrier to quality education. This legislation is important and could significantly improve public transit access for students. We support the PATH to College Act and believe this funding furthers St. Louis Community College’s ongoing efforts to make education fit into the lives of our students.
Dr. Elizabeth Gassel Perkins
St. Louis Community College
President, Florissant Valley Campus