Transit incentive benefit students

In 1997, the state Legislature challenged Metro Transit to increase the number of riders on Twin Cities bus routes. Using a variety of methods, the transportation agency has been able to significantly increase the number of riders without drastically reducing revenue. Some of these programs were introduced for an indefinite period of time to assist in meeting ridership objectives. Many of these programs, however, are quite useful to University members and should continue even though the current ridership objectives are actually being exceeded.
Ridership and revenue increased throughout the ’90s, although last year revenue declined slightly. This is partially attributed to several incentives and programs used to increase the number of passengers. Those most useful to University members include the free transfers program, discounted monthly passes and the stored-value cards.
The free transfers program allows riders to use a single ticket for up to two-and-a-half hours after it was purchased for travel in any direction. This program is especially useful for students traveling to classes, as transit to and from the University can be completed with a single fare. Since ridership is encouraged on routes popular with students — such as the 16 and the 52 — other members of the University benefit as spaces become available in transit lots and campus traffic generally decreases. The campus buses also become less congested and are more capable of meeting their schedules.
Although Metro Transit only introduced programs to increase ridership in response to legislative directives, many of the programs are beneficial to students and should remain in place.