On July 1, 2015, the University of Kentucky and Lextran began a partnership that would allow UK students, faculty and staff to ride any Lextran bus route free of charge simply by showing their valid Wildcard ID. The partnership — dubbed BluPass — has grown tremendously in its first 15 months of service, recently surpassing 1 million rides.
The program — funded by Parking and Transportation Services (PTS) — was implemented in an effort to decrease single-occupancy vehicle use, give students and employees more choices in transportation options and to ultimately reduce campus parking demand.
"One of the major goals of the Transportation Master Plan was to mitigate parking demand through the use of alternative transportation and transportation demand management," said Lance Broeking, director of Parking and Transportation Services. "We're trying to provide university employees and students with opportunities to shift their mode of transportation using a variety of alternative transportation options from bicycling to walking to campus. Mass transit is just another one of the tools in the toolbox."
Lextran travels throughout 24 different city routes extending throughout and beyond the UK campus into the Lexington community. The program includes all Lextran routes, both on and off campus, allowing UK students, faculty and staff to travel to, from, and around campus while also accessing the city.
"BluPass has saved me a lot of money and time. I don't have to pay for parking. Timewise, it's just much easier to hop on, get to where you need to be instead of spending half an hour walking to class," said Ryan Hoover, sophomore special education major.
BluPass has proven to have a number of benefits for its users. Students and employees who were already riding Lextran prior to the introduction of BluPass experienced an immediate cost savings with a fare-free commute. Students and employees who switched to mass transit after the introduction of BluPass also saw reduced vehicle operating and parking costs, along with a lowered carbon footprint.
Chemistry senior lecturer Kim Woodrum says by using BluPass she has saved time and money and is grateful for the opportunity to ride the bus to work using BluPass to work.
"I really appreciate UK making this available," Woodrum said.