The winter months at a Midwest university can be brutal. Heavy snow and freezing conditions can make what would otherwise be a quick 10 minute walk or short drive to class a absolute nightmare. It’s for this reason that students rely heavily on campus bus services.
At Michigan State, students turn to the Capital Area Transportation Authority buses for a lift to and from classes, purchasing a semester bus pass for $50. But according to a report from the university’s student paper, The State News, students are turning to Facebook to buy second-hand passes at a lower cost.
The Facebook group is used by Michigan State students on campus to post items they are looking to buy or sell. The group has some 11,000 members and typically lists textbooks, electronics and other small items.
Now, however, students on campus have been selling bus passes on the group at reduced prices as low as $30. According to the report, the passes are a hot-ticket item.
Moreover, some students have been selling the bus passes in bulk to the tune of 20 at a time, raising concerns as to where the passes are coming from.
Some apartments complexes offer residents free bus passes as a result of contractual agreements with the transit provider. Transit authority officials insist that the department provides training and equipment to link passes to students’ IDs in an effort to discourage the resale of the passes.
Bus passes purchased on MSU’s campus, meanwhile, require students to present a university ID to be linked to the bus pass in order to verify enrollment.