Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (Metro) and Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky (TANK) are making it easier for college students to get to class by forging partnerships with local universities and colleges to offer discount or free fare for students.
Metro partnered with the University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, and TANK partnered with Northern Kentucky University and Gateway Community & Technical College for programs to help students reduce their commuting costs and give them a little last-minute study time on the bus.
Metro’s program with the University of Cincinnati currently has two fare options for students and faculty. The UC Metro Card, which can be purchased each semester, allows students and employees to swipe the card and ride in Zone 1 for free. The EZ Ride Card is free to eligible students and employees, allowing them to ride for only $1 in any zone at any time.
Metro's partnership with Cincinnati State includes a Cincinnati State Metro discount card program that allows students at Cincinnati State to ride Metro for $1 with their card.
TANK works with Northern Kentucky University and Gateway to provide students with the U-PASS program, which allows faculty, staff and students to ride TANK buses. Participants swipe their valid NKU All-Card or Gateway ID in the farebox when they board and they can ride any route in the TANK system for free. More information can be found on TANK’s website.
These programs have lessened traffic congestion, freed up valuable parking on and near campus, and reduced transportation costs for students.
“We want to introduce students to transit before they enter the job market,” said Terry Garcia Crews, Metro’s CEO. “We are fortunate to have such great partnerships with UC and Cincinnati State. They understand the value of subsidizing fares for their students to make commuting to college more affordable. It’s a win-win.”
“We are pleased to continue our partnership with NKU and Gateway to encourage bus ridership and promote our environmentally friendly mode of travel to college students,” said Andrew Aiello, TANK’s GM. “This program helps students save money and allows them to have access to dependable transportation to go to class, to work and out with friends.”