Riding light rail between the Tempe and Phoenix campuses of ASU is pretty darn convenient. In fact, it is just about door to door service. While riding Metro light Rail or Valley Metro Bus, students can use their “U-Pass” to enjoy discounted fares. Un-like last year, the service will now cost $40.00 per semester for unlimited student use.
From PTS at ASU we learn that… “the Student U-Pass is $40 per semester or $80 for the academic year not including summer sessions. 2009-2010 U-Passes are valid July 1, 2009 – May 15, 2010. Students can pay $80 for the full academic year or $40 in the fall and spring semesters. Beginning summer 2010, summer session U-Passes, good for both summer sessions, will sell for an additional $25.”
For students that attend both campuses and don’t want to take advantage of the discounted U-Pass, ASU has a free shuttle available. Information on their site also mentions… “To assist students who are required to attend classes at the Tempe and Downtown Phoenix campuses, PTS is enhancing its free West-Tempe intercampus shuttle service. Beginning fall 2009, all buses on the West-Tempe intercampus shuttle route will make a stop at the Downtown Phoenix campus.”
ASU employees are eligible for discounted fares as well. Currently, the ASU site mentions University employees receive the pass for the discounted rate of $390 annually for a local transit pass and $520 annually for an express pass.
If using a U-Pass, students must validate every trip before boarding the light rail. The fare is validated by simply touching the back of your U-Pass to the orange card reader (“target”) located on the transit vending machine kiosk at each boarding station.
Upon touching a valid U-Pass to the orange target, an audible “ding” can be heard, the screen will display a “thank you” message and will show the expiration date of the U-Pass, and the target light will turn from yellow back to green. No type of printed confirmation or ticket is issued.
Since some returning students may not be aware of some of the June 12th announcement’s , the PTS Frequently Asked Questions page is helpful for getting caught up on the latest information. For those of us not attending ASU, there are other light rail fare options to consider as daily, weekly, monthly passes can be purchased from Metro.
The $40.00 per semester U-Pass option might make a lot of $ense for students that don’t have a parking pass at any of the campus parking lots. The light rail park and ride lots are free of charge for people wanting to leave their car in the lot, hop on the train and get to the light rail stations at Rural/University, 5th and College or at Central/1st Ave and Van Buren.
Hey Devils… Your Life is on the line…