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Undergraduate Students Say “Yes” to Universal Access Transit Pass at UCLA

Bruins 4 Better Transit student advocates

Trips on public transportation just got a little smoother for UCLA’s undergraduate students. With 93% of the votes in favor, a transit pass referendum passed in the Undergraduate Students Association Council spring election, effectively granting all undergraduate Bruins unlimited access to L.A.'s public transit system for a quarterly fee less than a cup of coffee.

The approved Universal Access Transit Pass, available at the start of the next academic year, will provide undergraduate students with unlimited-use, fare-fee rides on the seven transit agencies serving the UCLA campus—LA Metro bus, rail, and on-demand rideshare service Metro Micro, Santa Monica Big Blue Bus, Culver CityBus, Antelope Valley Transit Authority, Santa Clarita Transit, Long Beach Transit, and the LADOT Commuter Express—for the small price of $3.30 per quarter.

And it's estimated for 55% of undergraduates, financial aid will cover the fee. 

“This pass will open a lot of opportunities for Bruins. Every undergraduate student will have the ability to get to where they need to go, whether that’s commuting to campus, traveling to internships or jobs, visiting family and friends, or simply enjoying the many sights and attractions that L.A. has to offer,” said third-year student Jeff Van.

Jeff, an environmental science major, helped lead the Bruins for Better Transit campaign coalition that developed and advocated for the measure. Raising awareness about the referendum through social media, flyering around campus, and other outreach activities, the student group educated fellow Bruins about the importance of accessibility and sustainability, and the benefits of taking transit, particularly its affordability and positive impact on the environment.

“The pass provides a better alternative to existing transportation, like rideshare or owning a personal vehicle, reducing costs like parking, gas, and taking Ubers and Lyfts everywhere. And increasing transit ridership helps the climate, improving air quality,” said Jeff.

First-time freshman and new transfer students will arrive right in time, with the pre-paid pass ready for undergraduates beginning in the fall quarter. A brand-new TAP card Bruins can pocket will feature artwork by senior Sami Williamson, the winner of a design contest sponsored by Bruins for Better Transit. The pass will be available for three years; then, the program will require another approval by the undergraduate population to continue.

"Essentially the pass will benefit everyone by reducing parking demand, roadway congestion, and greenhouse gas emissions. Importantly it helps current riders, particularly those that depend on public transportation, and encourages new riders, promoting sustainable transportation," said Jeff.