U-PASS canceled for summer

The U-PASS program, which provides free bus service for Cal State Long Beach students, faculty and staff, will be suspended for summer, but university officials are negotiating a contract with Long Beach Transit to continue service for the next school year.

Mark Rudometkin, general manager of parking and transportation services, said he is certain the program will return next year.

“We are extremely confident that U-PASS will be in place for the next academic year,” Rudometkin said in an email. “We have a great working relationship with Long Beach Transit and we both know how successful the program has been for both LBT and the campus. [We] are working hard on an agreement that will benefit both parties.”

U-PASS allows students, faculty and staff to ride the LB Transit or Passport shuttle for free with the swipe of a valid CSULB ID card.

Last year, the university and LBT negotiated to keep the program after struggling with its costs. In June 2010, the Daily 49er reported the program carried about 1,200 people daily.

Rudometkin said the agreement to suspend summer service is the most manageable in terms of money.

Parking and Transportation Services funded U-PASS during its first three years but Rudometkin said that, beginning in the fall, some student fees will help fund the program.

Some students said that U-PASS saves a lot of money in terms of parking and gas.

“It’s pretty important,” sophomore civil engineering major Kira Delk said. “I use it more than 10 times a week.”

Delk also said she uses it to get to school and work.

Junior international business major Aekaphol Huangnam doesn’t use U-PASS often, but supports the program.

“I think it is very important,” Huangnam said. ” I don’t use it often, but it’s important for students who do.”

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