Elements of Successful Universal Student Transit Pass Programs from Planning to Implementation: A Benchmark Study

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - universities, planning - surveys, ridership - perceptions


U-Pass program, planning, launching, implementation, transit agencies, educational institutions, students


Key elements in developing a successful universal college student transit pass program (U-Pass program) are investigated from the perspectives of three involved parties of interest: transit agencies, university administrations, and students. By collecting information from online surveys, case examples, literature, and other useful online resources, a generalized procedure of a U-Pass program is proposed, broken down into three phases: planning, launching, and implementation. In each phase, key elements and actions that lead to successful programs are investigated from the perspectives of the three involved parties. The roles of the three parties as well as how they interact with each other are also examined. Furthermore, some of the underlying factors that lead to program success are explored in the context of different built environment settings. As a benchmark study, this paper extends work from a Transit Cooperative Research Program synthesis to gain insight into how U-Pass programs have been planned, launched, and implemented. The research findings could assist responsible transit agencies and educational institutions in enhancing their current U-Pass programs or launching new programs in the future.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by SAGE, copyright remains with them.