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Unlimited Access Jeffrey Brown Daniel B. Hess Donald Shoup Institute of Transportation Studies Unlimited Access Jeffrey Brown Daniel B. Hess Donald Shoup Institute of Transportation Studies

US Transit Ridership • Some foreign cities have more transit ridership than all U. US Transit Ridership • Some foreign cities have more transit ridership than all U. S. systems combined • Riders now occupy only 27% of available seats on public transit • Service improvements to attract new riders have been disappointing and costly

What is Unlimited Access? • Students present university ID to board public transit • What is Unlimited Access? • Students present university ID to board public transit • A transit ride to campus or anywhere else is free at any time everyday • The university pays the transit agency for student rides

35 Unlimited Access Programs • 61 ¢ cents per ride • 50 rides person 35 Unlimited Access Programs • 61 ¢ cents per ride • 50 rides person per year • $30 person per year

Why is Unlimited Access So Cheap? • Universities buy at the pass rate • Why is Unlimited Access So Cheap? • Universities buy at the pass rate • Universal coverage avoids adverse selection • Uses excess transit capacity

Unlimited Access Fills Empty Seats Source: Student Response to 1998 -1999 CTA U-Pass Program. Unlimited Access Fills Empty Seats Source: Student Response to 1998 -1999 CTA U-Pass Program. Chicago Transit Authority.

Who Pays for Unlimited Access? • 1/3 of universities pay the full cost • Who Pays for Unlimited Access? • 1/3 of universities pay the full cost • 2/3 of universities require students to pay some or all of the cost

Students Strongly Support Unlimited Access In February 1997 students voted 4 to 1 in Students Strongly Support Unlimited Access In February 1997 students voted 4 to 1 in favor of a transit pass program, and the program began operation in April of the same year. Central Ohio Transit Authority The student body reaffirmed their support by voting 15 to 1 in April 1997 to raise student fees to enhance the transit pass program. University of Colorado at Boulder In Spring 1996 student voters approved, with 84% of the votes cast in support, continuing the transit pass program.

UNLIMITED ACCESS INCREASES STUDENT RIDERSHIP University Cal. State. Univ. , Sacramento University of California, UNLIMITED ACCESS INCREASES STUDENT RIDERSHIP University Cal. State. Univ. , Sacramento University of California, Davis University of Wisconsin, Madison Univ. Illinois, Urbana-Champaign University of Colorado, Boulder Year Began 1992 1990 1996 1989 1990 First-Year Increase in Student Ridership Fare Before After Change Elasticity 315, 000 587, 000 812, 000 1, 058, 000 300, 000 537, 700 1, 054, 000 1, 653, 000 3, 102, 000 900, 000 + 71 % + 79 % + 104 % + 193 % + 200 % * Subsequent growth rate not available because the program started in 1996. -0. 26 -0. 28 -0. 34 -0. 49 -0. 50 Subsequent Growth Rate (%/year) +2% + 10 % * +8%

Unlimited Access Reduces Parking Demand The philosophy behind starting our program in 1989 was Unlimited Access Reduces Parking Demand The philosophy behind starting our program in 1989 was a cost avoidance measure to keep from building more campus parking. University of Illinois at Urbana. Champaign The bus program has reduced parking demand by about 750 spaces, and has reduced political pressure to expand the parking supply. University of Colorado at Boulder

Unlimited Access Increases Students’ Access Students love the program. It gives them tremendous freedom Unlimited Access Increases Students’ Access Students love the program. It gives them tremendous freedom at an acceptable cost. Marquette University Students can live in better neighborhoods and get free rides to the university. They can also get to movies, shows, sports, and shopping. University of Pittsburgh

Unlimited Access Saves Students Money Unlimited Access Saves Students Money

Transit Agency Goals • Increase Transit Ridership at a Low Marginal Cost • Improve Transit Agency Goals • Increase Transit Ridership at a Low Marginal Cost • Improve Transit Service for All Riders • Improve Public Image by Demonstrating Willingness to be Innovative • Foster Town-Gown Links with University

How Transit Systems Benefit from Unlimited Access • • • Increase Total Ridership More How Transit Systems Benefit from Unlimited Access • • • Increase Total Ridership More Riders per Bus Reduce Operating Costs per Ride Add Vehicle Miles of Service Reduce Operating Subsidy Per Ride Reduce Total Operating Subsidy

Examining Transit System Benefits • Methodology – Federal Transit Administration’s National Transit Database – Examining Transit System Benefits • Methodology – Federal Transit Administration’s National Transit Database – Before and after data: • • • vehicle revenue miles unlinked passenger trips passenger miles annual operating expense passenger fares

Small Transit System • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Champaign-Urbana MTD • Unlimited Small Transit System • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Champaign-Urbana MTD • Unlimited Access began in 1989 • In 1997 -1998, students made 191 rides per year at a cost of $0. 38 per ride • Unlimited Access rides account for 61% of all rides on system

Total Ridership Total Ridership

Riders per Bus Riders per Bus

Vehicle Miles of Service Vehicle Miles of Service

Operating Cost per Ride Operating Cost per Ride

Large Transit System • University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee (1994) and Marquette University (1995) Large Transit System • University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee (1994) and Marquette University (1995) have Unlimited Access programs with the Milwaukee County Transit System • In 1997 -1998, students made 114 rides per year at a cost of $0. 54 per ride • Unlimited Access rides account for 3% of all rides on system

Total Ridership Total Ridership

Riders per Bus Riders per Bus

Operating Cost per Ride Operating Cost per Ride

Why Don’t More Universities and Transit Agencies Offer Unlimited Access? • More universities add Why Don’t More Universities and Transit Agencies Offer Unlimited Access? • More universities add Unlimited Access every year – Since our study year (1997/98) 6 to 8 programs have begun, plus the Chicago U-Pass program (20 colleges) • Many have not heard of Unlimited Access – failure to innovate, be creative • Unlimited Access has high start-up costs – overcome tremendous resistance – hard work and careful negotiation

Bruin. GO Institute of Transportation Studies Bruin. GO Institute of Transportation Studies

Top-Ranked Bus Transit Systems in U. S. , 1997 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Top-Ranked Bus Transit Systems in U. S. , 1997 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Santa Monica Champaign-Urbana Unlimited Access Tucson Santa Barbara Unlimited Access (2 programs) Milwaukee Unlimited Access (2 programs) Method: Each system’s ranking was determined by comparing its performance against national averages for 12 different measures. Source: Hartgen, David T. Comparative Performance of Major U. S. Bus Transit Systems. Charlotte, N. C. : Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Goals of Bruin. GO • Increase public transit ridership to campus • Reduce vehicle Goals of Bruin. GO • Increase public transit ridership to campus • Reduce vehicle trips to campus • Reduce parking demand on campus

Preliminary Results • Faculty and Staff: – Transit ridership to campus increased by 73% Preliminary Results • Faculty and Staff: – Transit ridership to campus increased by 73% – Vehicle trips to campus fell by 6% – 828 fewer vehicle trips to campus per day – Campus parking demand reduced by 828 spaces

How Does it Work? • All UCLA students, faculty, and staff are eligible • How Does it Work? • All UCLA students, faculty, and staff are eligible • Riders swipe UCLA ID card through electronic farebox • Riders can use the Blue Bus on any line, day or night, in any direction

Cost of Bruin. GO Cost of Bruin. GO

Walk Share Increased “Both my husband I work on the UCLA campus. Although we Walk Share Increased “Both my husband I work on the UCLA campus. Although we have a parking permit, we ‘walk and swipe’ to work several times a week. While we have the parking space, we use it less because of the ability to use the bus. ”

Cost of Bruin. GO $ 0. 45 per ride x 1. 5 million rides Cost of Bruin. GO $ 0. 45 per ride x 1. 5 million rides $ 673, 000 total for first-year pilot program $10 person

Benefits of Bruin. GO • Reduced parking demand • Reduced vehicle travel • Reduced Benefits of Bruin. GO • Reduced parking demand • Reduced vehicle travel • Reduced vehicle emissions • Savings for students, faculty, and staff

Daily Transit and Vehicle Trips UCLA Faculty and Staff Before Bruin. GO After Bruin. Daily Transit and Vehicle Trips UCLA Faculty and Staff Before Bruin. GO After Bruin. GO Change % Change Transit Trips 1, 656 2, 871 + 1, 215 + 73 % Vehicle Trips 14, 499 13, 671 - 828 -6%

Reduced Parking Demand • Reduces parking demand by 828 parking spaces • 828 spaces Reduced Parking Demand • Reduces parking demand by 828 parking spaces • 828 spaces x $2, 517 per space = $2, 085, 000 “I love Bruin. GO. I gave up my parking permit because of it. ” “I never plan to apply for a parking permit again. ” “I mothballed my car and take the bus to school every day. ”

Reduced Vehicle Travel • Bruin. GO eliminated 273, 000 faculty and staff vehicle trip Reduced Vehicle Travel • Bruin. GO eliminated 273, 000 faculty and staff vehicle trip to campus • 273, 000 trips x 8. 8 miles per trip = 2. 4 million VMT “Its about time that LA and its universities started to take some responsibility for the horrendous traffic problems. ” “My car now sits in my driveway for weeks on end because I don’t need it. ”

Reduced Vehicle Emissions • 42, 000 fewer pounds of CO • 3, 018, 400 Reduced Vehicle Emissions • 42, 000 fewer pounds of CO • 3, 018, 400 fewer pounds of CO 2 • 3, 800 fewer pounds of Nox • 5, 100 fewer pounds of ROG “Students contribute to a healthier Los Angeles and we aid the community with this simple innovation that reduces pollution. ” “I feel good about not driving to campus and thereby conserving natural resources. ”

Reduced Fare Payments • UCLA paid $ 673, 000 for 1. 5 million bus Reduced Fare Payments • UCLA paid $ 673, 000 for 1. 5 million bus rides • This subsidy is a direct benefit for riders “I love the Bruin. GO program. I have like 700 bucks total … no kidding … and the Bruin. GO program is like my lifeline. ” “I save about $10 weekly getting back and forth from school. $40 a month buys a lot of groceries. ” “I know $1 a day doesn’t seem like a lot, but being able to ride free means I can put the $25 I save per month to other things like schoolbooks. ”

Comparing the Benefits and Costs • Total benefits: $ 3, 252, 000 (reduced fares, Comparing the Benefits and Costs • Total benefits: $ 3, 252, 000 (reduced fares, reduced emissions, reduced congestion, reduced parking demand) • Total costs: $ 673, 000 • Benefit/cost ratio: 4. 8 “Bruin. GO is one of the smartest things UCLA has done in years. ” “Its wonderful to have ‘free’ transportation. ” “Bruin. GO makes me feel proud to be a Bruin. ”

Benefits and Costs of Bruin. GO Benefits and Costs of Bruin. GO

Conclusion Bruin. GO is • a successful transportation policy • a creative financial aid Conclusion Bruin. GO is • a successful transportation policy • a creative financial aid program

Conclusion • Nearly 3/4 of all seats on public transit are empty • Unlimited Conclusion • Nearly 3/4 of all seats on public transit are empty • Unlimited Access is a creative, low-cost way to take advantage of excess capacity • Unlimited Access improves students’ mobility • Unlimited Access reduces vehicle trips • Unlimited Access benefits students, universities, transit systems, and communities