College student transit promotions allow us to introduce new students to the regional transit system. In 2014, we worked with Metro Transit to launch the Try Transit initiative which provided discounted passes to 1,500 Anchor students and employees. We again worked with Metro Transit in 2015 to expand our transit initiative.
95% (666) of the allotted number (700) of Go-To Cards were sold to Allina, Fairview University Medical Center, Metro State University, Regions Hospital, and the University of Minnesota.
In 2016, we initiated the Freshmen Go-To Card Program in partnership with Metro Transit, which included subsidized transit passes for four partner campuses (Augsburg, St. Kates, St. Thomas, and Bethel). Freshmen were provided a pre-loaded Go-To card and encouraged to load at least $10 onto their cards to be eligible for a $10 bonus, with each school providing the matching funds. The Partnership has also developed an app – Green Line Go! – to orient students to the amenities and activities within a quarter mile of each METRO Green Line station.
In Phase II, 94% (748) of the allotted number (800) of Go-To cards were sold to Augsburg College, Hamline University, MCTC, St. Kate’s, Saint Paul College, and St. Thomas.
After providing Go-To cards for incoming freshman in August 2016, ridership and sales transaction data were reviewed in November. A summary of transactions was provided to relevant staff at participating institutions, and participating students received information via e-mail about transit, multimodal transportation, and College Pass from Metro Transit.
46% (1,166) of all Go-To cards distributed were used at least once. Nearly 21% (242) of all Go-To cards used redeemed a bonus.
As of fall 2016, 2,845 Go-To cards were ordered and 309 were returned.
Ridership by students at partner institutions from August to December 2016 totaled 11,512 rides, with an average of 9.7 rides per participating student.
At the end of fall semester 2016, Metro Transit conducted an online survey of participants. The Partnership continues to work with Metro Transit to develop a sustainable, long-term transit promotion strategy.
The majority (69%) of students used the bus while 25% used the light rail, 5% used the A Line and 1% used others, such as Metro Mobility, Northstar Commuter Rail, METRO Red Line, and the St. Cloud Link.
CCAP college partners are again partnering with Metro Transit in fall 2017 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 5 years.
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). 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.
Partners have instituted programs to introduce and promote the use of the MetroPass, a monthly pre-tax transit tool offered by Metro Transit, to promote transit use among CCAP employees.
From 2013 - 2017, there was a 59% increase in transit use at Gillette Children’s (a former Anchor) and a 21% increase at HealthEast.
Employees remark that taking transit reduces their commute time, incorporates physical activity into their daily routine, and reduces the stress that accompanies their commute.
In 2015, Regions Hospital transitioned its employee transit incentive program to the MetroPass program, increasing its employee transit use by 34 employees, all of whom have since given up their parking contracts.