University of Minnesota: Universal Transit Pass offers unlimited transit for more than 39,000 U of M Twin Cities students

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More than 39,000 students on the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus now have unlimited access to the Metro Transit regional transit system with the new Universal Transit Pass (UTP), a collaboration between the U of M and Metro Transit.

Students enrolled for the 2022 fall semester who pay the Transportation and Safety Fee automatically receive the UTP, which is up to a 74% savings compared to the discontinued U-Pass program.

The U of M is the largest school to offer all students unlimited ride transit passes in the region served by Metro Transit and its parent agency, the Metropolitan Council. The UTP is the product of a years-long development led by University and Metro Transit, and more recently received additional consultative support from undergraduate, graduate and professional student leaders.

“Students expressed their strong support for expanding access to destinations in a sustainable way, which is what transit offers,” said Ross Allanson, director of Parking and Transportation Services at the University of Minnesota.

The UTP supports access to grocery stores, a greater diversity of housing choices, increases the number of routes to and from campus at all hours of the day, and reduces the need for single-occupancy vehicles — a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions.

“The Universal Transit Pass will provide students enhanced and more equal access to nutritious food, affordable shopping and recreation, from Target Field to the Mall of America and beyond,” said Daniel Tobias, infrastructure director for the Twin Cities campus Undergraduate Student Government. “With this initiative, students will be healthier, happier and better able to take full advantage of what the Twin Cities have to offer.”

The University of Minnesota is served by the METRO Green Line and several local and express bus routes.

“Introducing students to transit not only helps them while they’re in school, on a budget and often without a vehicle, but also helps create lifelong transit use habits that we hope will continue in their professional lives,” said Wes Kooistra, Metro Transit general manager.

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