Every student pays a fee for a U-Pass card. Less than 20% use it.

L.A. Metro stop at Expo/Crenshaw in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Shane Dimapanat)

This semester, USC expanded its U-Pass program which covers fares for all students to ride an array of bus and train lines throughout L.A.

The program works by supplying U-Pass cards to students which can be used on 10 different transit agencies, including Los Angeles Metro buses and trains. The cost of the program is included in a $93 Transportation Fee charged to all registered students at USC. Before the fall semester of 2023, USC’s U-Pass program was only available to graduate students.

“We launched this program to increase transit riders among the college sectors,” said Metro senior account executive Jocelyn Feliciano.

A Metro board report obtained by Annenberg Media shows that in November 2016, only 1% of the 1.4 million public college students in Los Angeles County actively participated in Metro’s reduced fare college pass programs. “So we needed to figure out what were the barriers to getting those people riding,” said Feliciano.

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