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Thursday, September 17, 2009

UC*Metro deal renewed for 2009-10 school year

University of Cincinnati students, faculty, and staff have enjoyed free or discounted rides on Cincinnati’s Metro bus service since 2007. The original deal allowed anyone with a valid UC ID card (“Bearcat card”) to ride for free by simply showing his or her ID.


In 2008, some changes were made to the program, requiring students, faculty, and staff to obtain a free quarterly UC*Metro card. This change was made in order to prevent abuse to the program from people with invalid UC ID cards. Eventually, the terms of the program changed, requiring a small fee for these cards.



The UC*Metro deal has been renewed for the 2009-10 school year, with some additional changes:

  • The passes will now cost $40 per quarter for students, and $120 per quarter for faculty and staff.
  • Riders must now present both their UC*Metro card and a valid UC ID.
  • The passes are now only valid for rides within Metro Zone 1. If traveling to an outer zone, the rider must pay the difference between the Zone 1 fare and the normally applicable fare.
  • UC will contribute an additional $100,000 to Metro for this year’s program.


Although this year’s program is more expensive for both riders and the University, UC*Metro passes are still a good deal for UC students, faculty, and staff. Students can visit Metro’s website and use their trip planner, order your UC*Metro card, and start taking advantage of our city’s mass transit.

5 comments:

Adam said...

Really good to hear. Starting classes at UC on Wednesday. I'll definitely take the $40/quarter over the regular Zone 1 monthly pass of $55/month!

Dustin said...

While this is a great deal, I have to complain. I took Metro to my co-op downtown this entire summer quarter, and most of the previous winter qtr. Metro runs great, so no complaints there.

However, for students that do not need to use the Metro (literally twice a day, every day for myself) they will be much less inclined to pay $40 out of pocket cost. Why can't UC add, say $15, to tuition to cover the costs and provide a Metro Card to everyone that orders it. You dont order it--you are SOL. You dont use it--you are SOL.

Making these swipe cards makes sense over the previous method of showing a UC id (we all know there were a lot of free-riders wernt UC students). The added fee to 38,700 (the updated #s of enrollment) could be so minuscule and many wouldnt mind the minor increase.

I think $40 is much too high, hell many of my fellow students didnt chuck up the $15 in the past few quarters! The price will discourage students from riding transit, and will limit them from traveling the city...

Grade: F ~ for FAILED POLICY

Randy Simes said...

I too have some issues with this. Not only is the program becoming more expensive, it's becoming more confusing. You now have to present two cards instead of one, and there is no constant fee rate. I understand the financial reasons behind charging additional rates for out of Zone 1 areas, but this makes the whole system more complicated and increases the likelihood that someone will just say forget it, I'll take my car.

What would be pretty cool is if UC presented a quarterly option on your tuition to pay for the card. You could check the box just as you do with health insurance. Once you do that your student ID is activated for the UC*Metro program and all you have to do is swipe your student ID when you get on the bus.

UCstudent said...

This is absolute BS, I really find it hard to believe that metro was losing over 200k from the free passes. Are there really that many people using the service that would have been paying $1.50 fares? Last year I couldn't believe they upped it to $10. Now apparently that still wasn't enough and it is up to $40. I guess I will be walking or riding my bike.

5chw4r7z said...

How can they lose money?
The bus is already running so I would say the additional money from UC riders is money in their pocket.
The extra money sucks but is still a deal, showing two id cards, that's ridiculous.

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