The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and the city of Green Bay renewed an agreement that lets members of the campus community ride city buses for free with a valid University ID card. The one-year U-Pass agreement extends the deal through June 30, 2011. It can be renewed on an annual basis.
UW-Green Bay will reimburse the city $35,000. The subsidy is made possible by tapping some of the revenue from the sale of campus parking permits to employees and students, and by student leaders delegating a portion of their activity fees toward unlimited use of city bus services.
The University and the city just completed their second successful year of this agreement that started in July 2008, UW-Green Bay Chief of Police Randy Christopherson said.
"The U-Pass program continues to be very popular among students, faculty and staff and ridership has grown steadily since the program's inception," Christopherson said. "The campus community is supportive and excited about continuing this program and we look forward to using and promoting the use of public transportation and the city's mass transit system."
"The U-Pass is a great example of a public partnership success, with a steady growth in ridership since its inception," said Chris Phelps, director of Green Bay Metro Transit. "Exposing students and faculty to the benefits of public transportation and further connecting them to our community can only yield positive results."
During the 2009-10 academic year, Green Bay Metro estimates 44,500 riders used the U-Pass program, up from an estimated 41,000 riders during the 2008-09 academic year.
As part of the agreement, UW-Green Bay will promote bus ridership through campuswide newsletters and information available at the University Ticketing Office, have ongoing promotions or special events throughout the year in conjunction with the Student Government Environmental Committee, include U-Pass information in Admissions publications that are sent to perspective students and periodically present a Green Bay Metro video on the campus television station.
Last year Green Bay Metro made route changes that are more convenient to UW-Green Bay campus users. Those changes meant shorter ride times to campus from the Green Bay Transit Transfer Station and vice versa, and routes that include more frequent stops on Humboldt Road, a popular neighborhood for student residents.
The city will also provide two shelters on campus, a "bus wrap" advertisement promoting the U-Pass program and buses to the annual Student Shopko Night, a late-night sale at the east side Shopko store intended for college students.
Both the city and the University are exploring the development of direct morning and afternoon bus routes between the transfer station and campus to facilitate faster trips to and from campus and encourage ridership.