Students, faculty and staff at California CSULB are finding out that sometimes there IS such a thing as a free ride.
University and Long Beach Transit officials announced that their U-PASS Partnership will allow the CSULB campus community to ride any Long Beach Transit bus or Passport shuttle free seven days a week, 365 days a year just by swiping a valid CSULB identification card through the bus’ farebox. The announcement followed a one-month trial of the program that far exceeded expectations.
“The U-PASS is a win-win for everyone,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander. “In terms of environmental and sustainability concerns, it makes good sense. But consider how this will benefit our students, faculty and staff in tough economic times, especially as gas prices have recently gone through the roof. The U-PASS will provide students with transportation not only to school, but when they want to go elsewhere in the city like Second Street and downtown for entertainment, or if they have employment anywhere Long Beach Transit serves.
“In many ways, we believe the U-PASS improves the quality of life for our entire campus community of more than 40,000,” Alexander continued. “This program would not be possible without the support of Long Beach Transit and CSULB Associated Students, Inc., who have been very instrumental throughout the process of making the U-PASS available. This is a model other universities could follow.”
The month-long trial of the U-PASS Partnership was established in response to high gas prices and the expected increase in on-campus parking congestion at CSULB when classes began for the 2008 fall semester. Before the trial, CSULB-related boardings averaged 1,400 a day. Since the trial began, CSULB-related boardings have averaged about 3,200 daily and have surpassed 4,000 at times during the week.
“The results have been phenomenal. The U-PASS program has more than doubled our boardings to and from the university compared to what we had projected,” noted Larry Jackson, president and CEO of Long Beach Transit. “The feedback from the students and staff has been overwhelmingly positive, and we are thrilled to partner with Cal State Long Beach.”
Long Beach Transit has more than 30 stops on and around the CSULB campus. The bus system serves the communities of Long Beach, Lakewood and Signal Hill as well as parts of Artesia, Bellflower, Carson, Cerritos, Compton, Hawaiian Gardens, Norwalk, Paramount and Seal Beach.
For students living on campus, Long Beach Transit is an easy way to get off campus. For more information, log on to www.lbtransit.com to find the best route using the Trip Planner, or call Long Beach Transit’s Customer Information line at 562/591-2301.