U-PASS Program ContinuesPublished: September 15, 2011
CSULB’s Parking and Transportation Services has announced the continuation of the popular U-PASS program in partnership with Long Beach Transit (LBT). All CSULB students, faculty and staff with a valid campus ID card will have access to any LBT bus or Passport for free rides throughout the campus and city from now through May 25.
“We’re excited about this program,” said Mark Rudometkin, CSULB’s General Manager for Parking and Transportation Services. “It’s been a tremendous success for everyone during the past few years. Even those who do not directly take advantage of it by riding a bus do feel the impact by being able to get here and know that they will have a space available to park on campus simply because the program has freed up additional spaces.”
The program will have one noticeable change—uninterrupted service through the winter break.
“It’s a little different this year,” said Rudometkin. “It started Aug. 22 and it’s going to run through May 25, the last day of commencement. We figured it was more beneficial to include the additional five-week span during the break between semesters. We didn’t feel right telling folks who were trying to use it during that break that, ‘Sorry, we’ll start the service up again on Jan. 21.’ During the break campus is closed so there’s really minimal usage and during the three weeks of winter session it’s minimal usage as well, not nearly the demand we have during the fall and spring.”
Rudometkin noted that at peak times during the semesters there are approximately 7,000 different riders taking the bus each day, which by modest estimates takes 3,000-4,000 cars off the campus.
“The success of the U-Pass allows us to meet the demand right now from a parking space standpoint,” added Rudometkin. “It really helps offset some of the overflow parking we have had in the past because it provides faculty, staff and students a way to save on gas, the cost of parking, wear and tear on their vehicle. And we’re hoping that if the residential students don’t have a vehicle they can feel comfortable knowing they can get anywhere in the city on a Long Beach Transit bus. Once you get the hang of it, it’s easy and you just swipe your campus I.D. card and away you go.”
The U-PASS Program, which began in 2008, sees CSULB pay an annual contract amount to allow current students, faculty and staff to ride all Long Beach Transit buses for free. Simply by swiping their CSULB identification card through the farebox, university customers can not only access the more than 30 bus stops on and around the CSULB campus, but have better mobility throughout the city of Long Beach.
“When this pilot program began it was supposed to be for one month,” said Rudometkin, “but it was so successful that Long Beach Transit offered to continue it for the remainder of the school year as well, and now we are into our fourth full year.”
Long Beach Transit serves more than 29 million boarding customers in Long Beach, Lakewood and Signal Hill—as well as portions of Artesia, Bellflower, Carson, Cerritos, Compton, Hawaiian Gardens, Norwalk, Paramount and Seal Beach—with regular bus and shuttle services including the Passport, AquaBus, and AquaLink. LBT has nine routes that directly serve the campus: the 81, 91, 92, 93, 94, ZAP, 171, 173, and Passport D.
If you have any questions regarding the U-PASS, visit the campus’ Parking, Transportation and Event Services website. For information on schedules and bus routes visit the Long Beach Transit website or contact the CSULB Rideshare Office at 562/985-4091 or Long Beach Transit at 562/591-2301.