"Through this agreement, Tri-C and RTA will benefit 30,000 students by increasing their access to classes and support services," said Dr. Alex Johnson, Tri-C president. "This collaboration embodies our commitment to remove hurdles that may stand in the way of students' success in their education."
The initial 18-month program will launch with spring semester 2014 and include fall semester 2014 and spring semester 2015. The U-Pass will provide each registered student who has paid (or made payment arrangements) for one academic credit hour or more a semester-long unlimited ridership pass.
"We believe this agreement will increase our ridership and help establish a pattern of lifelong transit use and support by Tri-C students, "said Joseph Calabrese, general manager, RTA.
The program benefits Tri-C students in a number of ways:
- The program greatly reduces transportation expenses for students, providing an option that means they do not need a car or have any car-related costs.
- The U-Pass provides easier access to Tri-C campuses.
- The program supports Tri-C's sustainability commitment by lowering traffic volume and air pollution.
- All Tri-C students can use RTA at any time - the Tri-C U-Pass program offers unlimited use during RTA service hours.
- If not a regular rider, RTA availability provides a back-up mode of transportation for students (i.e. car troubles, poor weather).
- The program will help reduce parking demand on-campus.
The initiative was led by two Tri-C faculty members, Assistant Professor Rudy Stralka and Associate Professor Eric Primuth in collaboration with RTA. Both Stralka and Primuth provided research and proposals to RTA, working with College leadership.
"This program reveals what can be achieved when the faculty and administration join with our partners in the community to help our students succeed," said Dr. Craig Foltin, Tri-C executive vice president of Administration and Finance. "We are excited to be able to offer them even more affordable access to transit and to education."