Our Statewide Student Transit Pass Strategy


We believe that in order to meet California's climate goals we must build transit ridership, and that a discounted student transit pass program for all public college and university students statewide is key to growing ridership: These are student riders are especially important because they may start making decisions about where to live and work based on whether there's transit nearby—they may even develop a life-long transit habit—and this is a program that would also reduce the cost of getting an education for both student riders and for schools.

Renown UCLA Professor Donald Shoup and other UCLA researchers published a landmark study of 35 universal student transit pass programs around the US in 2001 finding, among other things, that these programs increased transit ridership from 71% to 200%, and reduced the cost of going to school by $2,000/year since students didn’t have to own a car (these costs are probably much higher now).

Professor Shoup has supported our efforts to get the California Legislature to create a statewide transit pass program, pointing out in one letter that "UCLA established a university transit pass program, BruinGO, in Fall 2000. Bus ridership for commuting to campus in increased by 56% during BruinGO’s first year, and solo driving fell by 20%.

"Three years of commuting data showed the surprisingly high cost-effectiveness of BruinGO.  During its first year, BruinGO cost only $810,000, and the drive-alone share for commuting to campus declined by 4.1%. Three years after BruinGO began, UCLA opened a new $47 million parking structure, and the drive-alone share increased by 4 percentage points.  Offering fare-free public transit to reduce parking demand was far cheaper than spending $47 million to add 1,500 new parking spaces. (Italics are Move LA's.)

We believe that our new governor will support a statewide student transit pass program unlike his predecessor, who had other priorities. We will keep you updated on our progress! Read more about our student transit pass strategy HERE.

Donate Volunteer Find an Event


get updates