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Student Pass Transit Police

Harrington named Transit Professional of the Year 

| Tuesday, October 20, 2015 10:05:00 AM

​Chief John Harrington was recognized as Transit Professional of the Year at the Minnesota Public Transit Association’s annual awards on Monday.Chief John Harrington was recognized as Transit Professional of the Year at the Minnesota Public Transit Association’s annual awards on Monday.

Harrington was recognized for his efforts to grow and diversify the department and for strengthening its commitment to community-oriented policing. With nearly 40 years of police experience, Harrington was sworn in as the agency’s seventh chief in 2012.

“I’m grateful for the recognition and the support,” Harrington said. “But this isn’t an individual award. It represents a lot of great work by our officers, department leadership and all our partners both at Metro Transit and around the region.”

Harrington is the latest Metro Transit leader to be recognized by MPTA as Transit Professional of the Year. Deputy General Manager Mark Fuhrmann was honored in 2014 and Jan Homan, Deputy Chief of Operations-Bus, was recognized in 2012. 

In addition to the Transit Professional of the Year honors, Metro Transit received a Management Innovation award for its work on the Student Pass program.

Around 10,000 eligible high school students at Minneapolis Public Schools and elsewhere have received a Student Pass this school year. The pass can be used to ride transit to and from school, work and other activities.

    > Meet Chief John Harrington

    > Student Pass

    > Awards and Recognition

Community St. Paul Student Pass

Students make the case for expanding transit access 

| Thursday, June 25, 2015 9:12:00 AM

For several years, high school student Spencer Willits has used transit to travel to and from school, work and other activities.

At 16-years-old, he says riding buses and trains has given him greater independence to travel around the Twin Cities and delayed his pursuit of a driver’s licenses.

His ambition now is to help make transit more easily accessible to his peers.

In support of that goal, Willits, Sebastian Alfonzo and Breanna Simon, members of the Saint Paul Youth Commission’s Transit Access Subcommittee, spoke this week to Metropolitan Council members about expanding the Student Pass program to schools across St. Paul.

“Using transit has had a really profound impact on how I get around the Twin Cities, and I think it’s something everyone should have available to them,” said Willits, who will be a junior at Great River School this fall.

For the last three school years, qualified high school students at Minneapolis Public Schools have been provided Student Passes that can be used for unlimited rides while classes are in session. Several other metro-area schools also participate.

Students use regular route buses to get to and from school and enjoy the flexibility of taking an earlier or later trip so they can participate in before and after school programs. Students can also use the passes to get to work or other activities.                                                             

Beginning this fall, more than 1,000 students at St. Paul’s Johnson Senior High School will be provided Student Passes in a pilot project that will help determine if additional high schools in the Saint Paul School District can be included in the program.

The Saint Paul Youth Commission – a group of young leaders focused on community issues –asked the Saint Paul School Board to pursue program expansion last year.

To bolster their case as discussions continue, the Youth Commission provided 14 students at Central and Harding high schools with Go-To Cards that could be used to ride Metro Transit for free from January through June. The students were then surveyed about how they used transit during those six months.

Survey results shared with the Council showed that students used the passes several times a week to get to school and a variety of activities, including work, tutoring and sports.  

Testimonials from those who received the passes were also shared in a short video. In interviews, students said the passes saved them money and boosted their school performance by allowing them greater access to after-school programs. 

Youth Commissioner Alfonzo, a junior at Central High School, said the feedback affirmed his belief that students would greatly benefit from having a Student Pass.

“Students who need this, I feel like they’d jump at the chance,” he said. “It’s something I think would help a lot of people reach opportunities that they otherwise couldn’t.”

Photo: Students from the Saint Paul Youth Commission spoke to the Council's Transportation Committee on Tuesday, June 23. From left are Spencer Willits, advisor Lisle Bertsche, Breanna Simon and Sebastian Alfonzo.

Bus Express Bus Fares Light Rail METRO Blue Line Metropass Northstar Promotions Ridership Student Pass University of Minnesota

Ready, Set, Go-To 

| Thursday, December 19, 2013 10:04:00 AM

Go-To Cards are the easiest way to pay a fare when boarding a Metro Transit bus or train – as customers are increasingly noticing.

Go-To and Go-To lite cards were used to pay for a record 57 percent of fares in November, and have accounted for nearly 53 percent of all fare payments this year. In 2012, Go-To Cards represented 47 percent of fare payments.

With a Go-To Card, customers simply touch a plastic card to an automatic card reader instead of using cash. The cards hold stored value, rides or multi-day passes that are automatically deducted. Customers can add value to their cards online or by phone anytime or at one of Metro Transit’s rail ticket machines or retail outlets. The cards also store transfers, can be automatically refilled and can be replaced if they are lost.

Go-To Card usage figures also include fares covered by program passes like the Metropass, U-Pass, Student Pass and College Pass, which offer unlimited bus and train rides at a fixed price over a period of time (e.g. a semester). U-Pass sales for the spring semester at the University of Minnesota are now on sale.

Metro Transit expanded the Student Pass program available to Minneapolis Public Schools high schoolers to South and Southwest high schools earlier this year. Through November, students have used Student Passes to take more than 1.4 million trips, a nearly 59 percent increase compared to the same period last year.

Ridership is also higher among customers participating in the employer-based Metropass program. Passes can be purchased pre-tax and some employers also subsidize their purchase. From Dec. 26-31, Metropass customers can bring a friend on regional buses, METRO lines and the Northstar Commuter Rail Line for free.

The widening use of Go-To Cards is aided by their expanded retail availability and the introduction of Go-To lite Cards.

Go-To Cards can now be purchased or refilled at more than 125 retail locations across the metro, now including all Cub Foods stores. New Go-To lite Cards, which provide 10 fares for a discounted rate, are also sold at retail outlets and in bulk to schools and social service agencies.

Go-To Cards have been available since 2007 and can be used on any bus trip operated by all regional transit providers, as well as the METRO Blue Line, Northstar and METRO Red Line.

    > Go-To Cards

    > Go-To Card User Guide

    > Cub Foods is your go-to store for Go-To Cards

    > Back to school with Metro Transit

    > Metropass

Bus Light Rail Student Pass

MPS Student Pass rides surpass the one million mark 

| Wednesday, March 13, 2013 10:51:00 AM

Photo: Students from Minneapolis senior high school unboard a Metro Transit bus

Minneapolis senior high school students using Go-To Student Passes have taken more than one million rides on Metro Transit buses and trains in just seven months. An expanded partnership between Minneapolis Public Schools and Metro Transit to provide students with transit passes for the 2012-2013 school year began in August 2012. 

Passes, which are combined with student ID cards, were issued to eligible students at Edison, North, Patrick Henry, Roosevelt, Washburn, Wellstone and Transition Plus. Passes can be used to travel to and from school and other activities between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. seven days a week. South and Southwest high schools are expected to join the program this fall. 

In a recent survey of MPS Go-To Student Pass users, eight in 10 said they use their passes to engage in learning opportunities throughout the Twin Cities. The top six activities reported were tutoring, athletics, school clubs, mentoring, internships and jobs.

Thanks for riding with us, MPS students!

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