RIDEpass program changes and registration details announced

May 13, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State Transportation Services has announced several program changes, as well as registration details, for the new "RIDEpass" reduced-fare mass transit program for full-time faculty, staff and graduate students at University Park.

Proximity restriction reduced, nine-month pass eliminated

Members of the Transportation Services leadership team held several focus group sessions in March with current "Ride for Five" pass holders to discuss concerns and suggestions related to the new "RIDEpass" eligibility requirements. Upon review of these sessions, Transportation Services, in collaboration with Finance and Business senior leadership, will institute the following changes to the "RIDEpass" program:

  • Program participants must live more than 0.75 miles (walking distance) from a CATA campus service Blue Loop or Red Link stop to be eligible for the "RIDEpass" program. This is a reduction from the previously announced requirement of 1.5 miles.
  • The previously announced nine-month pass option has been eliminated, and all "RIDEpass" passes will be valid from the date of receipt through the end of the program year, which will run from July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017. Participants may exit the program early and receive a prorated refund for time remaining on the pass or stop the recurring payroll deduction (depending on method of payment). However, participants who choose to exit the program before the pass expiration date will not be eligible to re-enter the program until the start of the next program year.

Registration begins May 16, no participation cap or deadline

Online registration for the "RIDEpass" program will be available on the Transportation Services website beginning at noon on Monday, May 16. Upon successful completion of the application, participants will receive an email confirmation with details regarding when passes will be available for pickup at the Parking Office.

With no cap on the number of program participants in place this year, a lottery will not be necessary this year and interested faculty, staff and graduate students may apply at any time throughout the 2016-17 program year. However, to reduce wait time at the Parking Office for all customers, those who wish to receive a pass prior to July 1 are asked to register no later than Friday, June 10. Participants who submit their applications after June 10 will be able to pick up their passes beginning Tuesday, July 5.

Other Program Details

All other "RIDEpass" program details will remain the same as previously announced in February as part of an initial two-year pilot program. Participants will have access to a CATA ONEPASS (valid for all CATA routes) at a discounted rate of $15 per month, with Transportation Services continuing to cover the remaining monthly cost for each pass holder. The program will be open to University Park faculty and staff with standing, fixed term I, fixed term multi-year, and postdoctoral appointments, as well as University Park graduate students living off campus. Employees and graduate students residing at apartment complexes that provide access to a CATA pass as part of their rental agreement will not be eligible for the program, and participants may not be registered for a daytime-access Penn State parking permit while enrolled in the "RIDEpass" program, though they may register for an evening/weekend parking permit.

Prior to the 2018-19 academic year, all aspects of the "RIDEpass" program, including the monthly cost and proximity restriction, will be reviewed and may be subject to change in subsequent years.

More Information

Visit the graduate student or employee RIDEpass pages for more information regarding the RIDEpass program. If there are any questions, call the Parking Office at 814-865-1436 or email ridepass@psu.edu.

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Last Updated June 15, 2016