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With Auggie Pass, students pay a little, ride a lot

Posted by Drew Kerr | Tuesday, September 03, 2019 10:00:00 AM

Augsburg University undergraduates can ride transit as often as needed this school year, without facing significant expense, thanks to a first-of-its-kind program advocated by students. 

For the first time, all undergraduate day students who pay the school's Green Fee can use an Auggie Pass to take unlimited bus and light rail rides. Augsburg's student government approved a $5 fee increase to help cover program costs. The school is also contributing operating funds. 

This is the first time a Twin Cities college or university has automatically provided transit passes to all eligible students, equitably expanding access to transit. 

“As someone who uses the bus every day, it’s great not to have that financial burden,” said Skye Rygh, who advocated for the program as a student government member. "It’s really economically advantageous to students who pay for school, like me, to not have to choose between textbooks and bus fare.”

The Auggie Pass is part of an ongoing effort to promote sustainable, economical transportation options at Augsburg. The school has also hosted transit tours and other educational events to increase awareness among students, faculty and staff. 

Augsburg's West Bank campus is served by the METRO Green Line, METRO Blue Line and multiple bus routes. 

More than 30 area colleges will offer College Passes this year. College Passes allow students to ride as often as needed for $165 per semester. 

“Efficiently connecting people to school, work and other destinations is at the heart of what we do,” Metro Transit General Manager Wes Kooistra said. “We are excited about this partnership and hope it develops into a model that can be duplicated.”

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