University of Washington Commuter Services is proposing a drastic increase in the cost of the ubiquitous U-PASS.

The monthly cost to students would nearly double from $16.67 to $33. For staff, cost would increase from $23.33 to $40/month.

As the U-PASS allows unlimited rides on Metro, Sound Transit, Community Transit, Everett Transit, Pierce Transit, and Kitsap Transit, this is still a tremendous deal.  An equivalent PugetPass would cost $171 and not get you anything on Kitsap Transit.  Of course, in practice most students and staff don’t take the Sounder all the way from Tacoma (maximum fare of any non-ferry transit trip), and therefore would purchase a cheaper pass.  A peak-hour commuter within Seattle would pay $72 for his or her pass, and $80 after the scheduled February 2010 Metro fare increase.

SOV parking passes would also increase from $95 to $120 a month, and the daily maximum in the lots would climb from $12 to $15.

The proposed increase is a result of widespread fare increases, a higher payment to Metro based on ridership, city parking taxes, and an effort to manage demand due to the loss of some campus parking.

There will be a public hearing Wednesday, April 22, from 12:30-2:30pm in Room 310 of the HUB.  There is also a web comment form.

19 Replies to “UW Commuting Costs May Increase”

  1. makes me seriously want to start looking at my Masters. My MS ID doesn’t work on Pierce and I have family down there (so I carry a $0.75 Puget Pass along with my ID and RFP – Pierce Transit, hint hint)

    1. UPASS only recently re-added Pierce Transit. Previously when visiting the in-laws in Tacoma I would walk down to 10th and Commerce to catch the 586 without needing a transfer. :)

      For staff the UPASS is opt-in by the way… I love how they call $17/month a “drastic increase”.

      Unfortunately our ORCA UPASS is delayed until 2010.

  2. FYI a pass good for Kitsap Transit, WSF walk-on, and $2 Puget Pass is currently $207.80. A pass good just for Kitsap Transit is $50 and for WSF walk-on and Kitsap Transit is $130.80.

    It would be nice if some of the surrounding transit agencies would join programs like Puget Pass, U-Pass or the MSFT program. ORCA should make some of the issues currently keeping them out easier to deal with.

    1. :::cough::: Intercity Transit into the MSFT pass program so we can take the bus to lobby for more ;)

      IT is a pain with their Puget Pass acceptance.

      Far fetched idea: Perhapse they should join the ST District so we can take the Sounder or 596 to the Capital?

      1. I’m pretty sure Olympia doesn’t WANT the Seattle crowd down there. I want Thurston to be part of the ST district, but I suspect it’ll be 2016 or even 2020 before we can make that happen.

      1. Yes, I know– and actually, the floor version is more fun– easier font to read without all the sidebar clutter ;)

      2. The anti-Seattle amendments seem more like anti-Puget Sound votes, the more I read.

        And there’s one that would effectively shut out Sound Transit from joining any associations…

        This is so nerve-wracking.

  3. That’s a tremendous deal indeed. Do they have an alumni pass? ;-)

    If memory serves (it’s pretty dim) it cost me close to $30 a month back in 78-79 to ride from Redmond direct to the HUB. Then the next year they dropped the service to campus. I think Parking in the Montlake lots back then was a quarter or 35 cents but better than that it was some nominal charge ($3 per trimester?) for a permit that let me park my motorcycle in the underground garage. The bummer was even with a passenger motorcycles weren’t allowed to use the 3 person HOV lane on 520.

      1. No. My memory isn’t that dim. Graduated in ’80 and 520 had 3 person HOV lanes back then. I remember talking with a State Patrol Officer about how unfair it was that I had two people on a bike and wasn’t able to use the HOV lane. It wasn’t so much a time saver as a safety issue.

      2. Wikipedia is wrong:

        In 1973, the right-side shoulder of westbound SR-520 from Bellevue Way to the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge was converted for use as a transit-only lane, so that buses could bypass the tollbooths for the bridge. The existing general-purpose lanes were narrowed to accommodate the conversion. In the late 1980s, the lane was redesignated as a HOV lane for carpools of 3 or more, in addition to transit use.

        It may not have been call HOV but I was riding a ’72 Honda CL450 into the UW in 1980 with a passenger from Union Hill. The right shoulder was 3+ person vehicle occupancy (no toll booth). Motorcycles were not allowed.

        (Tolls I believe ended in summer of ’79)

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