ASU students ride the METRO light rail system in BIG numbers. During the first year of METRO operations, students rode for “free” if they asked for a U-Pass. From free, the charge went up and was $80.00 for the academic year. Once again, times are changing as ASU announced that the price of a 2011-2012 student U-Pass will be $150.00 for the academic year which covers the period of Aug. 16 – May 15. For the summer months of mid May – mid August, students can ride for $25.00. So, for a total of $175.00, ASU students can have unlimited access to METRO Light Rail as well as local, LINK, Express, and RAPID Valley Metro bus routes. At less than $15.00 per month, it costs less than five passes a month that us normal stiffs have to pay.
We know that many students leave for the summer, so let’s break down the cost of the ASU U-Pass for the academic year.
9 months of unlimited rides is going to cost you $150.00
Basic math says that 9 goes into $150.00 at a tune of $16.66 which is your monthly cost. ( Is it a coincidence that the new, higher number ends in 666? )
For you number nerds, ASU sharpened their pencil to show you that the U-Pass is about $0.55 per day if you look at 270 days worth of unlimited transportation use.
I’m no real math wiz, but I still think it’s still a pretty sweet deal and one that I would pay in a heartbeat.
To be clear, METRO does not set the price of the U-Pass. In fact, they do their best to distance themselves from this type of news.
If you want complete details about ASU Parking and Transit fares or information, you will want to contact ASU via their web site, the ASU Transit Facebook Page, or follow them on Twitter. You can also purchase your pass online.
So, remember this:
Current U-Passes are valid until May 15, 2011. Summer 2011 U-Passes, valid from May 16 – Aug. 15, are $25 and will be available for purchase beginning May 16 online and at each campus PTS office.
U-Passes for 2011-12, valid from Aug. 16, 2011 – May 15, 2012, will be available for purchase beginning Aug. 1 online at http://parking.asu.edu and in-person at all four ASU campus PTS offices. The 2012 Summer U-Pass will be $50.
The 2011-12 Employee Platinum Pass, valid from Aug. 16, 2011 – Aug. 15, 2012, remains unchanged at $390 (Local service) and $520 (Express service), and also will be available for purchase beginning Aug. 1.
For more information, please visit the ASU Parking and Transit Services website at http://parking.asu.edu.
I have a feeling that ASU students will still see a good value in the pass but am curious to see what they really think of the changes. While the price has more than doubled for the coming school year, it still seems like a better value that paying to park on campus.