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U-Pass likely to go the distance

Cal State Long Beach officials will be sitting down with Long Beach Transit to discuss the renewal of the U-Pass program, which offers free rides to students, faculty and staff year-round. The current contract expires at the end of the 2009-10 school year.

“There is really not a chance of the program being discontinued. If there are, it is extremely slim,” said Mark Rudometkin, general manager of Parking and Transportation Services, via e-mail. “We will soon be sitting down with Long Beach Transit to discuss next year’s program and costs associated with that.”

With the large number of people who take advantage of the program to help offset student fees and furloughs, CSULB plans to make every effort possible to provide relief from the high cost of driving and maintaining a vehicle. This will allow those who are not able to take advantage of the program to have the ability to arrive, park and leave campus as safely and efficiently as possible, Rudometkin said.

Long Beach Transit marketing manager Marcelle Epley said that there are “no plans to cancel the U-Pass program.”

While no figures have been mentioned for the 2010-11 U-Pass cost, the concern is tempered by the benefits.

The “cost is substantial, but with the large number of folks on campus who utilize the U-Pass it balances itself out with less traffic on campus, available spaces for those who need to drive their vehicle and the overall good will that it allows parking to provide,” Rudometkin said.

At this time, the cost of the program could increase or decrease due to the number of riders using the program. However, CSULB is working toward a fair agreement for both parties, Rudometkin said.

Elissa Thomas, rideshare coordinator, told the Daily 49er in April 2009 that the program costs CSULB about $1,200 per weekday this school year and $250 per summer weekday.

 

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