St. Petersburg College and the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority have launched the new Universal Pass initiative, which enables SPC students and employees to ride the bus for free by showing their university ID as they board.
Per the agreement, St. Petersburg College will pay the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority $75,000 from student activity fees to provide free bus rides for the coming year to the college’s 45,000 students and 3,900 employees
As reported by The Tampa Bay Times, this isn’t the first bus pass program that St. Petersburg College has provided for its students, but Seminole campus student government President Jonathan Jacques said the Universal Pass system, UPASS for short, is much simpler. The new program grew out his efforts and those of the Student Government Association to advocate for better transportation for SPC students.
Last year, the college spent $75,000 on bus passes, which were handed out through the Student Government Association. Students submitted applications, which took student government time and resources that delayed the approval process, Jacques said. The new UPASS system does not require pre-approval but students must retrieve their new student ID for the 2014-15 school year before they can ride for free.
In addition to standard hours of operation, the UPASS initiative includes expanding bus routes and times for students who commute to class during the afternoon and evening hours.