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March 07, 2005

Bus Boom

According to the Vancouver Sun (subscription required), transit ridership in greater Vancouver jumped 8 percent in 2004. That’s the largest increase since 1986 and corresponds to 11 million additional transit trips.

Most of the growth was on the metropolitan area’s ubiquitous buses, not on its elevated light-rail SkyTrain.

High gas prices and, especially, the late-2003 U-Pass program stimulated much of the increase, which was the biggest jump among large transit systems in Canada.

U-Pass gives unlimited transit rides to students at the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University. (We posted on it here.) It’s a perfect example of the Best-Buys-First approach to transit we’ve long encouraged.

U-Pass is also exceptionally successful at the University of Washington, where it has allowed enormous financial savings by making additional parking garages unnecessary.

Readers: which other Cascadian colleges and universities offer free transit passes to all students?

Posted by Alan Durning | Permalink


The University Of Oregon has offered public transit passes to students, faculty, and staff for several years now. Although, the passes aren't "free," so to speak, since they're covered by incidental fees in the students' tuition.
But at the moment, this is a rather sticky issue, because the public transit system that serves Eugene and the rest of Lane County, just went on strike today...
However, the silver lining of this strike is that the U. of O. is encouraging the university community to walk, bike, or (yes!) even CARPOOL to campus!
Vibrant green (and golden yellow) solutions for everyone -- GO Ducks!!!

Posted by: Michelle Parker | Mar 7, 2005 5:48:28 PM

The University of Victoria has a U-Pass system which has been in place about a year longer than the program at UBC. As with the University of Orgegon example, the passes aren't free, but are part of the fee package all students must pay when they register. There is discussion in Victoria about expanding the program beyond the university to other major institutions.

Posted by: Mark Hornell | Mar 10, 2005 10:35:33 AM