Elizabeth Suggs, reporter, [email protected]
Compared to the high monthly cost of an adult bus pass for $83.00, UTA have made it possible for college students to ride Utah’s public transit for an annual cost of $70.00, this September for a full year at Utah Valley University.
This gives UVU students the opportunity to pay substantially less than non-students, particularly on FrontRunner, a newly included tri-level train that runs up to speeds of 70 mph, compared to TRAX which only runs up to 60 mph.
However, UVU’s bus pass has increased steadily over the years to $70.00 and many students will not be happy, with this new increase.
“UTA charges us a substantial amount for its public transit passes, and UVU has to raise student prices [to keep up].” Dawn Burgess, the manager of both UVU Campus connection and the UVU post office, said.
Because FrontRunner south stations are newly implemented, some speculate that the student increase is due to the arrival of FrontRunner services.
Kris Martina, a UTA customer service representative disagrees.
“The raise has everything to do with the economy, not the FrontRunner.” Martina said. “We had our last raise in our prices as of April third and it’s going to stay same for awhile.”
Martina didn’t know when the next raise would be, although she loves the new FrontRunner stations. Her daughter, who is returning from Russia just enrolled at UVU and will be driving to South Jordan’s FrontRunner station and taking the FrontRunner down to Orem.
“My daughter loves it.” Martina said.
The FrontRunner is also very popular with UVU students, who seem to ask frequently if the bus pass covers the travel fare for the FrontRunner.
“I’m sure it’s making money, ” Mike Cluck, a UVU student, said. “It seems like there’s always a group of people waiting to get on.”
Cluck has ridden the FrontRunner many times, and finds it “More convenient and efficient” than its bus and TRAX counterparts.
As the FrontRunner prices range from $2.35-$9.50, depending on where you are going or where you are, part of the advantage is that students can pay attention to the bus pass price and not the actual ticket cost of the FrontRunner.
“I don’t even know how much it cost.” Cluck said with a smile.
Cluck explains that even though he loves the FrontRunner, it isn’t something he would invest a bus pass in.
“I don’t need one.” Cluck said. “I’m within four blocks of my job and school.”
Though, there is one thing that Cluck does not agree with. UTA has a rule where if you have a TRAX ticket you can bring it onto the bus no problem. The same goes for the bus onto the TRAX. The FrontRunner also works on both the TRAX and the bus, but according to rideuta.com, both the TRAX and bus tickets do not work on the FrontRunner.
Cluck’s first word to this is “Asinine,” which means foolish, unintelligent or silly.
“It creates unrealistic expectations, unless you knew that. I would’ve assumed that it would work on any of the TRAX, bus or FrontRunner if it already worked on two out of the three.” Cluck said.