U-Pass comes to fruition

University President Mark Yudof inserted a sample U-Pass into the farebox of a city bus to introduce a new University agreement with Metro transit that will provide students with unlimited city bus rides for $55 a semester and faculty members with heavily discounted fares.
The agreement is funded by a $5.5 million federal grant earmarked for programs to improve air quality and supplemented by a $5 charge for every enrolled student.
Nine of 11 Big Ten schools have similar programs, and University Parking and Transportation Services estimate the deal will improve ridership figures by at least 40 percent, thereby cutting congestion in the area and alleviating campus parking woes.
Metropolitan Council Chairman Ted Mondale said the increased ridership and decreased reliance on automobile transportation will cut carbon dioxide emissions by 865 pounds a day in the University area.
–Travis Reed