Pasadena City College students can ride Metro for cheap all semester

Pasadena City College. Photo by Dave Mayerhofer via Flickr.

Full-time students attending Pasadena City College (PCC) will soon be eligible to receive heavily discounted Metro passes – $30 for unlimited travel on all Metro bus and rail lines for an entire semester. Part of Metro’s I-Pass program, this new partnership will bring affordable transit to 8,800 community college students.

Without the I-Pass discount, students would typically pay $36 a month for Metro passes. That adds up to $114 in savings for an entire semester.

Metro and PCC hope the program will encourage students to try public transit for its economic benefits as well as reducing the parking challenges the school faces. If enough students leave their cars at home PCC may be able to delay having to build costly new parking facilities and students can avoid the daily grind of searching for a spot.

If the discounts are a hit among students, PCC is considering inviting Foothill Transit and Pasadena ARTS to join the program and increase transit options available to students.

The PCC campus is located about three-quarters of a mile from the Allen Gold Line Station and the school offers a free shuttle to and from the station during the day.

Read the full press release after the jump.

METRO, PASADENA CITY COLLEGE PARTNER TO OFFER STUDENTS AFFORDABLE TRANSIT PASSES

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) and Pasadena City College (PCC) have partnered to offer low-cost public transportation passes to 8,800 community college students, making it one of the largest transit pass programs in the region.

The agency’s Institution Pass (I-Pass) program enables colleges to subsidize transit passes for their student body with the goal of providing affordable commuting solutions while encouraging public transit use.  I-Pass stamps will be distributed for the Spring 2010 semester for the nominal fee of $30 to PCC full-time students enrolled in at least 12 units.  The regular fare for non-participating college/vocational full-time students is $36 per month.  The program will save students $114 over non-participating school pass prices.

“The I-Pass program will give Pasadena City College students a substantial savings that could help them offset education-related expenses such as school supplies, textbooks and tuition,” said Ara Najarian, Glendale City Concil Member and Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board Chair.  “It’s a fantastic bargain that every student should take advantage of in these difficult economic times.”

Students can visit Student Business Services on their campus to purchase the passes.

The county’s community colleges currently experience severe parking challenges as year-over-year student enrollments swell.  Participating I-Pass program campuses may be able to delay construction of new parking facilities by encouraging students to leave their cars at home and take transit to school.

“Pasadena City College is excited about the opportunity to further its longstanding practice of responsibility toward the environment,” said Richard P. van Pelt, Ph.D., Interim Vice President, Administrative Services at PCC .  “By encouraging students to use public transportation, we will help foster a more sustainable future, and change the paradigm of single-person vehicle use among a very large segment of our population.  This new program will also significantly reduce the costs students incur in their educational pursuits.”

To ensure the program’s success, PCC also provides shuttle service to the Metro Gold Line in Pasadena to encourage students to use transit.  If the program proves successful, PCC may invite Foothill Transit and Pasadena ARTS to join the program in the Fall to greatly enhance its students’ transit options.

The  I-Pass is valid on Metro buses and Metro Rail lines seven days a week.  Students can use the transit access passes for all other transportation needs, including work, shopping or recreation.  Because they are saving transportation costs, students may be encouraged to take additional college units and can invest the free travel time transit affords them to study or rest.

Many other campuses offer similar subsidized pass programs, including:  Los Angeles City College, Los Angeles Trade Technical, East Los Angeles College, Pierce College,  Los Angeles Valley College,  Los Angeles Mission College,  Los Angeles Southwest College, West Los Angeles College,  Los Angeles Harbor College, Rio Hondo College and UCLA.

For additional information on the Institution Pass program, call 213-922-2811.  For transit trip planning assistance over the phone, call 1-800-COMMUTE or visit metro.net.