U-Pass celebrates 20-year partnership between UAA and People Mover
by Matt Jardin |
A person could ride the bus a lot over the course of 20 years, and that's precisely what UAA riders have done thanks to U-Pass.
The U-Pass program lets UAA students, faculty and staff present their WOLFcard to ride any People Mover bus without charge, not just to and from university locations or during the term year. U-Pass also extends to the Valley Transit system for commuters who live in Palmer or Wasilla.
Loosely modeled from similar initiatives in the Lower 48, U-Pass encourages fewer single occupancy vehicles on campus while providing more robust commuting options akin to larger institutions.
"Many Seawolves rely on People Mover to provide access to campus while pursuing a degree," says Glenna Muncy, director of UAA Parking Services. "In addition to saving students money, U-Pass reduces vehicle congestion, provides an alternative to challenging winter driving and gives peace of mind to parents and students that mobility is merely a swipe away."
The partnership also assisted People Mover with achieving higher ridership, which in turn helped them qualify for available transportation resources to improve the fleet and routes needed to better connect the whole of Anchorage.
"It's incredible to have such a long-lasting partnership that benefits both organizations," says Bart Rudolph, People Mover's planning and communications manager. "With multiple routes traveling through campus and service every 15 minutes, we're proud to be part of UAA's transportation solution. We know a lot of students live off-campus and use our services to go to school, work and other recreational activities, and we hope to continue this partnership for another 20 years."
Since the launch of U-Pass, WOLFcard holders have accounted for an estimated 4,607,988 rides between 1998 to 2017, making up roughly 6.4 percent of People Mover's total ridership.
The university plans to commemorate the longstanding partnership with a year's worth of special events beginning in the new semester.
"The celebration starts at Campus Kick-Off and runs through the fall and spring semesters," says Brandon Moore, marketing coordinator for UAA Parking Services. "Some of the activities we're looking at doing are participating in International Parking Day, an art show and more."
Happy 20th anniversary, U-Pass!
Written by Matt Jardin, UAA Office of University Advancement