Metro Board Chair John Fasana and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti were joined by other local dignitaries and students from Cal State Northridge (CSUN) in celebrating the 1,500th CSUN college student to receive a Metro U-Pass as part of the agency’s two-year pilot program to make it easier and cheaper for college students to buy transit passes.
“The reforms Metro has made to this program this year benefit both the agency and students,” sain Metro Board Chair John Fasana. “As students strive for a higher education, they now can have access to efficient and affordabe public transportation while giving Metro a great opportunity to increase ridership and encourage the use of public transit.”
The Universal College Student Fare Program allows students to sign up for heavily discounted Metro passes at the same time they register for classes. Those who sign up for a pass receive a sticker with an electronic chip that allows students to use their student ID as a TAP card to board Metro buses and trains. Colleges pay Metro for the passes based on how often students ride.
“As we build out a 21st century transportation system in the Valley and across the region, we have to keep fares affordable for those who depend on transit the most — seniors, the disabled and our students,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “With the delivery of the 1,500th reduced fare pass, we are making sure students — at CSUN and everywhere in L.A. County — can focus on what they’re learning in class, instead of how they’ll get there.”
The Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD), California State Universities (CSU), University of California (UC), private universities and vocational colleges are eligible for the program. Schools besides CSUN participating so include Rio Hondo College, Los Angeles Trade Tech College, the California Institute of Technology and Pasadena City College.
“We all know how expensive college can be and with this program we hope to provide students who are strapped for cash a reduced transit option to get them where they need to go on Metro’s growing transportation system, “ said Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington. “This program clearly improves the quality of life for thousands of college students.”
In order to expand the program to more students, the number of units required to participate has been reduced from 12 units to eight per quarter or semester, allowing part-time students to buy a U-Pass for the first time.
There are 1.4 million public college students in L.A. County and currently only 14,000 students (one percent) participate in reduced fare transit programs. For more information on the program go to metro.net/riding/colleges.