Care for Creation with Transit

As a Catholic University, St. Thomas seeks to cultivate an ethic of care for God’s creation through sustainable stewardship of our resources. We know that decreasing reliance on the automobile is one element of this ethic. As more students and employees embrace transit, we reduce our collective carbon footprint and relieve pressure on our limited parking resources as well.

So St. Thomas has many reasons to celebrate our partnership with Metro Transit, including the new offer of discounted College Passes for incoming students announced in this newsletter. We expect that more students will take advantage of the unlimited transit access that College Pass provides, and the creation will be better for it.

Doug Hennes, Vice President for Government Relations and Special Projects

University of St. Thomas

College Pass Partnership Growing for 2017

CCAP college partners are again partnering with Metro Transit to increase transit ridership among their students. Metro Transit has committed to an expanded partnership by offering a significant discount on College Pass to new students.

The 2017 College Pass Initiative advances the Partnership's overall goal of increasing collective transit ridership among partner institution students and employees by 5% within five years.

Significant Discounts

"This offer from Metro Transit represents real progress in our transit commitment," noted Augsburg College President Paul Pribbenow. "We can make unlimited transit use an attractive element of campus life for our incoming students."

Incoming students at CCAP partner colleges will have the option to purchase a heavily discounted College Pass, good for unlimited rides on Metro Transit trains, buses, and the North Star line.

Fall semester college passes will be available to incoming students for $90 (an $80 discount). Academic year passes will be available for $150 (a $190 discount).

"We are very interested in promoting transit as a lifestyle choice," Metro Transit General Manager Brian Lamb explained. "We are grateful that the Central Corridor Anchor Partnership shares this commitment, and pleased to see this collaboration continue."

Participating college partners will purchase a $5 Go To card to familiarize incoming students with transit options. New students can use the $5 Go-To cards to test ride transit, and colleges can offer programming specific to encouraging transit familiarity among new students. 

Fall 2016 Transit Pass Promotion Results

Partnering with Metro Transit, CCAP scaled up its college transit pass pilot in fall 2016, adding three more schools—Bethel, St. Kate’s, and St. Thomas—to the pilot Go-To card for freshmen program pioneered by Augsburg in fall 2015.

Students received Go-To cards preloaded with $10, and were eligible to receive $10 bonuses if they loaded at least an additional $10 onto their cards. Program promotion included a social media contest asking students to submit a tweet about their transit usage on Twitter, with a gift card prize available weekly for the tweet with the greatest amount of social media engagement.

23% of all cards distributed in fall 2016 and spring 2017 were used at least once, and 20% of students who received Go-To Cards in fall 2016 loaded more money onto their cards.

Regions Employee Gina Krey Chose Transit and Isn’t Looking Back

Regions employee Gina Krey is on board with taking transit. Krey uses a Metro Pass paid for through a program Regions offers all employees to commute to and from work daily.

“I like the convenience of just walking to the bus. It goes fast, the driver is sweet, and it’s efficient timing-wise in terms of connecting to the light rail. I like that I’m saving gas money too.”

Krey saves about five minutes on her daily commute by taking transit, a modest benefit but one that is augmented by the other transit benefits she experiences. “Transit has helped me get outside more than if I were just in my car,” Krey said. Beyond physical health, Krey appreciates the stress relief that accompanies transit use. “It’s nice to just talk to whoever is on the bus or light rail and have somebody else drive for me.”  

Krey credits Regions’ Metro Pass program with inspiring her to consider transit. “It’s a huge benefit,” she said. “I’ve always thought about taking transit but it would be kind of complicated for me to figure out if I wanted to pay for that.”