Metro Board extends successful University Pass Program
The Metro Board of Directors voted unanimously last week to extend the successful University Pass Program through June 2018.
The program currently benefits more than 10,000 American University and Washington College of Law students by providing unlimited riding privileges on Metrobus and Metrorail at a substantially discounted price.
At about $1 per student per day, Metro's U-Pass offers an affordable transportation option for students to travel throughout the region for classes, internships, jobs and other activities. In the program's first year, over a million Metro rides were taken by American University students using the U-Pass.
"We are thrilled to have American University on board as the U-Pass program's first participant," said Metro General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Paul J. Wiedefeld. "In addition to increased student use on Metro, the U-Pass program helps to promote public transportation and attract a future generation of riders."
"A successful partnership serves students well and U-Pass has served our students well," said American University President Cornelius M. Kerwin. "The feedback from students indicates that U-Pass has not only saved them money but helped them explore the city, adding to their AU experience. I am pleased that the program has had such a positive impact on our students."
"I would not have been able to travel outside of Tenleytown, let alone the entire District, without the low cost of the U-Pass,” said Elena Herfi, master of arts candidate in Public Anthropology at American University. “Being able to attend events, network, and utilize the many resources throughout the DMV without breaking the bank on transportation costs has made a huge impact on my experience as a student at AU.”
Metrorail U-Pass ridership was highest along the Red Line with the greatest ridership traveling to or from Tenleytown, Van Ness, Friendship Heights, Dupont Circle, and Woodley Park stations. Metrobus ridership in the Tenleytown area has increased by about ten percent vs the previous year, with 60 percent of U-Pass rides taken during off-peak periods when capacity is available.
The U-Pass program is available to any accredited college or university in the Metro service area. Metro staff is continuing outreach and providing information to school administrators throughout the region. The decision to participate is made by each university community.
Metro expects to receive $2.7 million in revenue from the program this fiscal year.