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$1 a Day for 260 Days of Unlimited Metro Rail and Bus Rides

A photo of one of the Metro Rail stations.
If AU students vote in favor of the U-Pass pilot, they will be the first in DC to adopt such a program.

Unlimited rides on Metro Rail and Metro Bus for $1 a day for 260 days (130 days fall semester 2016 and 130 days spring semester 2017). Express and Airport Express services included. For all full-time AU students. Do we have your attention?

It’s part of a program that WMATA (Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority) would like to offer all full-time undergraduate and graduate AU students (including full-time Washington College of Law students) for the fall 2016 and spring 2017 semesters.

And if you’re one of these students right now, you get to vote on it starting Monday, February 29.

U-Pass Pilot

If AU students vote in favor of this offer, they will be the first in DC to adopt such a program. The students will then take part in a year-long pilot. The pilot will assess market feasibility, student participation, and program expansion.

More than 200 colleges and universities in Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles have teamed up with more than 20 transit systems nationwide to offer their students similar programs. Called “U-Pass,” these programs allow students deeply-discounted ridership on transportation systems in the cities their schools call home.

The pilot AU WMATA U-Pass program would only be good during the fall 2016 and spring 2017 semesters. Passes would be available to students starting the first day of school. It would be good for using Metro Rail or Metro Bus to go anywhere, for any purpose.

  • Getting to and from your internship or your off-campus job? U-Pass.
  • Going to the Library of Congress to conduct research for a paper? U-Pass.
  • Getting to campus from your off-campus apartment and back again? U-Pass.
  • “Monumenting” at night, exploring U-Street, shopping at Tyson’s Corner, or catching a Wizards, Capitals, or Nationals game? U-Pass.
  • Heading to DCA or BWI to fly abroad or go home? U-Pass.

Serious Savings

Depending on frequency of use, students could save up to $1,000 a year, each. A bargain, since even at off-peak hours, a one-way ride on Metro Rail can run as high as $3.60--on Metro Bus, it can run as high as $1.75.

If current full-time AU students vote in favor of the program, all full-time AU students for the fall 2016 and spring 2017 semesters would participate and would be charged a student activities fee $130 each semester (total = $260). The fee could be included in students’ financial aid packages.

A photo of Clawed with a Metro representative.

Students can vote on the program on the portal starting Monday, February 29.

“With about 130 days each in the fall and spring semesters, U-Pass costs $1 a day,” said Dan Nichols, executive director of Risk, Safety, and Transportation Programs at AU.

“We structured the program similar to other models across the country,” said Tracey Foster, director of Customer Service, Sales and Fare Media at Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. “With this program, we hope students will use Metro to take advantage of all that the city has to offer.”

Metro and AU representatives will hold a Town Hall meeting on Monday, February 29 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in Mary Graydon Center (MGC) rooms 4-5.

AU held a transportation fair in MGC Monday, February 29. Metro representatives were on campus to answer questions about the program.

To vote on the program, full-time students should login to the portal (my.american.edu) between February 29 and March 4.

For more information about the program, go to www.american.edu/finance/transportation/Metro-University-Pass.cfm