For the first time ever, University of Minnesota students are getting a chance to try Metro Transit for free.
From 6 p.m. Friday through the end of service on Saturday, students can simply show their U Card to board a bus, a light rail train on the METRO Blue Line or use the METRO Red Line, a new Bus Rapid Transit system with service to Eagan and Apple Valley.
Students can use the passes to get to home games at Target Field on Friday and Saturday nights or any other event occurring in the Twin Cities this weekend. The University of Minnesota campus is served by several local bus routes. Routes 2, 3, 6, 16 and 50 provide connections to downtown St. Paul and Minneapolis.
Several express routes also feed into campus during the week, allow students to study, read or simply relax as they travel to and from campus. Students on Route 252, which runs from the 95th Avenue Park & Ride in Blaine, said this week that they also used transit to avoid traffic and parking expenses.
This weekend’s special promotion is meant to introduce these benefits to new and returning students and encourage the purchase of U-Passes, which offers unlimited rides through the end of the semester for just $97. Nearly 500,000 U-Passes have been sold since 2000.
Jacqueline Brudlos, spokesperson for the University of Minnesota’s Parking and Transportation and Services department, said the school is excited to partner with Metro Transit on the free ride weekend promotion.
“This gives our students a chance to spread their wings and try out riding the bus - something that many of them have never done - before committing to purchasing a pass,” she said. “Our hope is that once they try out public transit, they'll be hooked.”
> University of Minnesota transit service
> Route 252: Blaine to books, on the bus