At a time when most kids their age are developing a severe case of senioritis or making plans for the summer, two local high school students are getting ready to help shape the future policies and plans for SamTrans.
Frank Liu, a sophomore at Aragon High School in San Mateo, and Zachary Fucini, a junior at Capuchino High School in San Bruno, were among the nine new members set to join the SamTrans Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC). The 15-person body meets monthly and is responsible for offering feedback on the needs of transit users and for informing San Mateo County residents of transit programs on the Peninsula. The CAC also acts in an advisory capacity to the SamTrans’ Board of Directors.
Fucini said he’s been a lifelong user of public transportation and is actually interested in a career in mass transit, perhaps as a civil engineer. He said he heard about the CAC through his career counselor, and leapt at the opportunity to join the advisory body.
“I thought it would be a great opportunity to get involved in my community, while also doing something that I enjoy,” said Fucini.
Fucini said he regularly takes SamTrans, usually traveling on the ECR, Route 141, or Route 43, which service Capuchino High School. He said he’ll be advocating on the CAC for improved service to local schools, specifically related to issues of on-time performance and overcrowding.
Liu said he noticed an application for the CAC at his school’s library and immediately knew he wanted to apply. Like Fucini, he’s a longtime patron of public transportation, and frequently takes SamTrans’ Route ECR and Route 292.
He said he’d like to advocate for more rapid or express service on those routes, such as an “ECR Express” line that would skip stops where ridership is historically low.
“I take public transportation a lot—not just SamTrans, but Muni and AC Transit and other services, so I have some ideas based on how these other systems operate,” said Liu. “But I’m just really happy to be a part of this. I’ve been collecting bus schedules and maps since I was in kindergarten, so this is something I’m obviously really excited about.”
Liu and Fucini were appointed to the CAC by the SamTrans Board of Directors on April 6. The two students will attend their first CAC meeting on April 27.
Fucini said he thinks the younger perspectives of the teenagers will be an important addition to the advisory body.
“I think it’s important to have all sorts of groups represented on the CAC, because all sorts of groups take the bus,” said Fucini. “The more types of riders that are exposed to the committee, the better SamTrans can meet everyone’s needs.”