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College Pass

College Pass is offered by participating schools to give students an affordable way to get to school, reduce parking demand and are valid for unlimited rides on all regional buses and trains. For fares above $3.25 (for example, select Northstar fares) stored value is required to cover the additional fare. Students purchase passes through their schools and not directly from Metro Transit.

A College Pass costs $165 per semester and is valid for these terms:

Spring: Jan. 1 – May 31
Summer: June 1 – Aug. 14 ($85 for shorter semester)
Fall: Aug. 15 – Dec. 31

College Passes are not renewable, so administrators must place an order each term.

Administrators: Contact us to submit your order or if you have any questions.

Universal Pass

Academic institutions offering College Pass may choose to provide a transit pass to every student – the Universal Pass. Because the pass is distributed to all students, the cost per student is significantly lower than other transit pass options. Schools are only charged for actual bus and METRO rides at the normal fare, up to a set maximum for the academic year. Schools choose how to fund the program; options include student fees, existing College Pass subsidies, or transportation funds. For more information, contact [email protected].

How it works for students

Carry valid student ID

A valid student ID must be presented along with a College Pass when riding. The student ID allows Metro Transit Police to ensure that the pass is being used by a student and prevents fraudulent use.

Validate the ride

Participants must validate each ride by touching a College Pass to a card reader every time they board a bus or train. Without validation, the ride is not counted and Metro Transit Police cannot verify that the pass is active and valid. Metro Transit reserves the right to deactivate the College Pass of a user who does not comply with fare policy.

Register and take proper care of your pass

The College Pass must be registered to receive a replacement pass during the semester for $5. If the pass is not registered, a new pass must be purchased for the full amount. We encourage all College Pass cardholders to register their pass.

For details on how the pass works and how to take care of it, read the online User's Guide or see the guide included with the pass.

How it works for school administrators

Each participating school assigns an administrator to manage the College Pass account. Metro Transit has an online administrator site, which makes it easy to track current passes and students, temporarily suspend or cancel passes, and issue replacements.

At the beginning of the school year, the school administrator receives College Passes that are ready to be issued to students; they are already valid for unlimited rides on buses and light rail, so it is very important to track each pass on the administrator site.

Canceling passes

If you need to cancel a student’s pass, promptly deactivate the card using the administrator site.

Replacing lost, stolen, or defective passes

First, check to see if the pass was registered. You can do this by signing into the administrator site and going to the "Register Pass(s)" page. Enter the student's name to check if the pass has been registered. If the person's name is not found, the pass has not been registered.

If the pass was registered. Use the administrator site to deactivate the old pass and issue a replacement from the initial shipment. If you do not have any unsold pass inventory, contact us. A $5 fee will be charged for any replacement pass unless the pass is deemed defective (it has no apparent physical damage and cannot be read properly). Defective passes must be returned to Metro Transit for verification. A credit will be issued to the school each month for the total number of deactivated passes that were replaced. The credit amount is the difference between the pass cost and the replacement fee (e.g. $165 less $5 replacement fee = $160 credit).

If the pass was not registered. Sell the student a new College Pass. If it is at the end of the semester and the student does not want to purchase a new pass, they can purchase a Go-To Card.

Note: If the student has a defective pass, it does not have to be registered in order to request a $5 replacement. However, the defective pass must be returned to Metro Transit for verification.

Suspending passes

An administrator can temporarily suspend a student’s pass. There is no replacement fee for this process because a new pass is not issued.

Payment information

Prior to each semester, the administrator must request passes and the school will be invoiced for each order placed. At the end of the semester, the school must return any unsold passes within 30 days for a credit.