Nearly two decades ago, Metro Transit and the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (UMN-TC) came together in a partnership to develop a mutually beneficial and forward-thinking transportation solution. A sizeable portion of students at UMN-TC commuted to class, and the campus faced a parking shortage. A transit-based strategy was a natural solution to reducing parking demand, and together Metro Transit and UMN created the U-Pass in 2000.
A deeply discounted transit pass for students enrolled at the Twin Cities campus, U-Pass is available for individual purchase each semester. In Fall 2018, students purchased 14,136 U-Pass cards; with 50,943 students enrolled, about 28% of students held a U-Pass. While this number reflects the importance
of U-Pass and transit access for students, historic trends point to a more troubling pattern of decline. From 2001 to 2009, the U-Pass experienced 189% sales growth with just under 50,000 U-Passes sold in 2009 (which includes Spring, Summer, and Fall Semester purchases). In the following years, sales began a downward descent. By 2018, sales declined by 34% from 2009 levels.
Capstone paper for the fulfillment of the Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree.
Moua, Pang; Haney, Patrick; Dan, Victoria.
Ride On: Strategies for promoting transit ridership at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
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