BYU president Kevin J Worthen announced today that beginning August 2018 and continuing for the next ten years, current BYU students and employees — as well as their spouses and other dependents — will receive free UTA passes.
“This is an effort to provide a service for our campus community that will also reduce congestion and promote clean air in the valley,” Worthen said. "We're grateful to all who made this possible."
BYU’s announcement came jointly with Utah Valley University, which will also be providing transit passes for its students and employees. Combined, the two universities will provide UTA access to more than 100,000 people annually.
The announcement came as a culmination of several years of relationship building with UTA, whose leaders “brought a vision of expanding services to help students in Utah County,” said Jan Scharman, BYU’s student life vice president. “This has been an important collaboration among UTA, UVU and BYU to benefit not just students and employees, but all of Utah County.”
UTA president and CEO Jerry Benson noted UTA’s commitment to working with local universities to provide quality transportation options. “UTA transit service improves the quality of life for individuals and communities. We connect people to school, work, recreation, friends and family while improving air quality and economic growth,” he said. “UTA is grateful to BYU and UVU for making these benefits more accessible to more people and for making transit an integral part of their universities’ and the region’s future.”
Locally, UTA’s bus rapid transit system (BRT), currently under construction and scheduled to launch in August 2018, will connect Provo and Orem in a 10.5-mile, 18-stop continuous bus loop. Buses will hit each stop every six minutes during peak travel times. UTA anticipates the BRT line will take thousands of cars off local roads each day and reduce harmful pollutants by more than 400,000 pounds annually.
With their passes, members of the BYU and UVU campus communities will have access to BRT, as well as FrontRunner, TRAX and other bus routes.
“By offering full transit access to students, we’re helping the next generation of workers become more familiar with public transit so they will continue using it for years to come after graduating,” Benson said.
At BYU, all full- and part-time employees, students who are taking courses on campus in Provo, and their dependents will be eligible for UTA passes (see this list for specifics on those who will be eligible). New BYU ID cards will double as passes, and the university will release information to members of the campus community in the next eight months about when and how the new cards may be obtained.
This early announcement about the passes will give the university time to transition to the new card system. Additionally, by letting incoming students know about their transportation options, Scharman said, “we’ll have many who will not need to bring their cars to this valley.”