ASU Parking and Transit Services will be raising student U-Pass prices for the 2013-14 academic school year, as a result of the March 1 Valley Metro fare increase.
The U-Pass price for the upcoming school year will increase to $200 from last year’s price of $150. The summer 2013 three-month pass will be priced at $75. The U-Passes offer the same level of service as Valley Metro’s express passes, which include unlimited rides on METRO light rail and buses.
Parking and Transit Services spokesman Aaron Bryant said in an email that Parking and Transit Services considers several factors when deciding on the U-Pass price for students. Considerations include the projected number of passes that will be purchased, the budget set aside for the U-Pass program, anticipated student usage and the price-per-ride fee that Valley Metro charges Parking and Transit Services each time a student uses their U-Pass. As of March, this was $1.32.
“The price per ride paid by PTS on a student U-Pass has increased by more than 15 percent since the last U-Pass price change,” he said in the email. “Students with a U-Pass overall use more individual rides than they did in 2011.”
The normal cost of a Valley Metro express pass is $936 for a nine-month period, or $104 per month, while the cost of the U-Pass breaks down to $23 per month with the price increase, a 75 percent discount, according to the Parking and Transit Services website.
Valley Metro officials did not answer attempts to reach them.
Urban planning senior Jordan Dildy said he has a U-Pass and uses it every day.
"I think (the price increase) is worth it," he said. "If they need to raise prices to pay for costs, then that's what they need to do."
Political science senior Adrian Rush said he chooses not to buy a U-Pass, because he is only on campus a couple of days a week.
However, he said there shouldn’t be a charge for the U-Passes.
“Considering how much we pay in tuition, it should be free,” he said. “I think it is cheaper to buy the daily passes.”
Parking and Transit services originally offered free U-Passes to students; however, because the department doesn't receive any University or state funding, growing transportation expenses forced them to start charging for the passes.
English literature junior Brianna Valdez owns a U-Pass and said she uses it every day to take the train to and from a park-and-ride station.
“I feel $200 is worth it,” she said. “It is more convenient and less expensive than paying for (on-campus) parking.”
U-Passes for the 2013-14 school year will be available for purchase beginning July 15.
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