March 7, 2001
The CTA Board Wednesday approved a plan to extend its popular University Pass (U-Pass) program to full-time summer school students.

Approximately 40,000 students are enrolled in the current U-Pass program, which provides eligible full-time students at 22 Chicago colleges and universities with automated fare cards that allow unlimited rides on all CTA trains and buses for the duration of an academic term.

Each term, students automatically pay for the discounted passes as part of the regular tuition and fees assessed by the individual institutions. Customized to fit every school's needs, each pass bears the name, photo and school logo of the student who receives it.

?The U-Pass has been hugely successful in providing students with a convenient and economical way to pay for transportation to and from their classes," said CTA Chairman Valerie B. Jarrett, "and it has helped increase CTA ridership, particularly during off-peak hours. Expanding this program to full-time summer students will allow us to serve another important constituency."

A dozen Chicago schools signed up to participate in the U-Pass program when it was inaugurated in 1998 to tap new markets and broaden CTA's ridership base. In just the first six weeks schools were in session that fall, U-Passes were used for 773,647 rides, helping contribute to an overall increase in CTA ridership after years of decline.

?CTA ridership increased again in 2000 for the third year in a row," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. "U-Passes provided key elements for that growth, and were used to pay for more than 9,928,000 rides. This was a gain of over 23 percent from 1999, and shows students are making full use of the program. By giving summer students the chance to participate, we can look forward to even greater growth in the years ahead."

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