Chicago Transit board approves new U-Pass terms

Posted on March 18, 2013

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) board voted on new contract terms for its University Pass (U-Pass) Program. The new contract with colleges and universities extends the program an additional five years, expands the participation of post-secondary schools and adjusts the U-Pass fare while still offering low-cost transportation for students. In addition, students will be able to use their U-Pass on Pace buses for the first time this fall.

U-Pass provides more than 35 million rides annually for students at 52 participating colleges and universities. This fall, the program will be expanded to post-secondary, certificate-granting schools. Currently U-Pass has only been available to schools that award academic degrees.

“The CTA is committed to making sure students have affordable access to public transportation during their academic enrollment,” said CTA President Forrest Claypool. “The U-Pass is one of CTA’s most heavily discounted passes, and now more students will be able to benefit from this popular CTA program.”

This fall the daily, unlimited ride fares for U-Pass users will increase by 26 cents to $1.07, consistent with past U-Pass price increases. The change, which works out to $15 a semester, offsets the higher operational expenses for the CTA, while offering a rate that is less than half of what a full-fare, single ride costs but with unlimited daily use during the school year.

On a monthly basis, students will save a minimum of $66 per month over that full-fare price.

The board also approved an intergovernmental agreement with City Colleges of Chicago for the transfer of two CTA buses to be used at Olive Harvey College for new transportation-related courses offered by its “College to Careers” initiative.

Transportation Delivery and Logistics classes will be offered to students interested in entering the transportation field. As part of the curriculum students will be able to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License, using the CTA buses during their instruction.

A lack of a commercial vehicle is often a barrier for those who need one when trying to obtain a CDL with the Secretary of State. The program also eliminates an often costly barrier for those looking to enroll in private CDL courses.

The agreement allows for the transfer of ownership of two Nova buses to Olive Harvey College at the cost of $1 per bus. The buses are fully depreciated and will be sold “as is” and stripped of all CTA logos, markings and fareboxes. The CTA will not be held responsible for any maintenance of the buses after they are transferred.

As part of the new agreement with City Colleges of Chicago, CTA is committed to interviewing those who successfully complete the six-week course of the College to Careers Initiative.


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