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ACC Board Approves Bus Pass Pilot Program

The Austin Community College District Board of Trustees voted Monday night to approve a pilot program that will provide free Capital Metro bus passes to ACC students, faculty, and staff (pending approval by Capital Metro’s Board of Directors). The initiative, called “Green Pass,” is intended to help students get to class, ease parking congestion, and reduce ACC’s carbon footprint while gathering important ridership data.

In an agreement reached with Capital Metro, the college will be charged a discount rate per ride. The goal of the pilot program is to collect ridership data, gauge interest in free use of mass transit, and assess the need for new routes.

“This is just one example of our commitment to minimizing ACC’s impact on the environment,” says Andy Kim, the college’s director of environmental stewardship. “We appreciate the vision of the Board of Trustees and the enthusiastic support from students and employees.”

ACC will launch the Green Pass effort for the spring 2010 semester. Beginning in January, the college will issue Capital Metro passes to students, faculty, and staff, who can use bus service (and rail service, when it comes online) at no cost to them.

“This new ridership program will benefit not only the students, but the environment as well, and ACC students are always trying to find new and innovative ways to improve life using green practices,” says Joshua Bacak, president of the college’s Student Government Association.

The initial cost of the program will be $250,000, covered by funds from the parking fee increase that went into effect this fall.

Visit austincc.edu/sustainability for more information on Green Pass and other ACC sustainability initiatives.

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About the Austin Community College District (austincc.edu):

ACC, Central Texas’ community college, is the primary gateway to higher education and career training for residents in eight counties. The college provides access to affordable, quality education. ACC enrolls more than 40,000 credit students, offering university transfer courses, two-year associate degrees, certificates, Early College Start, access programs that get students “college-ready,” and continuing education. At ACC you can “Start here. Get there.”

posted in: ACC Newsroom, Official ACC Press Releases


21 Responses to “ACC Board Approves Bus Pass Pilot Program”

  1. Great to see that A.C.C. has done so much to give students a way to make such a big impact on the environment.

  2. ACC Staff says:

    Hello Dawn,

    The Green Pass initiative will be available to students, faculty, and staff.

  3. Dawn Leach says:

    As someone who drives and rides a bike to work (using bus service for the ride home), I think it is great that ACC is encouraging alternative ways to commute. Since I also now pay increased fees for parking as an employee, I hope that the program will be available to staff and faculty as well as students.

  4. Marie Perez says:

    Awesome, very grateful. Thanks ACC

  5. Erica says:

    I like that ACC is working on ways to be green but i’m not thrilled that I am contributing (monetarily) to something that I might not be able to use. What about the people already using the bus system? It’s great that they are but that means that they are not buying the parking permits to contribute to their own riding and what if they are only taking one classes do they get the same pass as someone who is taking say 12 hours?

  6. Liz says:

    I really like this idea, but unfortunately do not have the time to hop from bus stop to bus stop, having to walk miles in between each one. Cap Metro: please expand your operations over in the northwest area of Austin!

  7. Keri says:

    That’s awesome! Will it be available to Continuing Ed students too? Hopefully a campus to campus route will be in the works next!

  8. BJ says:

    Would this mean an increase in our payments as extra fees?

  9. BJ says:

    Awesome, thanks for setting this up. We appreciate it!

  10. Juliet says:

    yaaaaaaaay. This is a good move, and I’m not just saying that because I ride the bus! Hopefully we can keep it up. A few dollars per credit hour ain’t no thang.

  11. Michelle says:

    This is great news! I already ride the bus and I’d even be willing to pay for half-price rides on Cap Metro. But free is even better!

  12. Elaine Harris says:

    This is great! I rode Cap Metro this summer to class at Rio. It saved me money, time, and stress. I was able to do homework and study for exams while traveling.

    Are there plans to provide bus service to the Cypress Campus? This is one of the last entities in my life that I can not get to by bus.

    Service between campuses would be awesome!

    ACC, you rock!

  13. ACC Staff says:

    ACC is not funding the Green Pass program with tax dollars. It is supported by parking tag fees and a sustainability fee ($1 per credit hour, with the average student paying $8 a semester, beginning next spring).

  14. ACC Staff says:

    The Green Pass initiative is a pilot program that will enable ACC to collect ridership data, gauge interest in free use of mass transit, and assess the need for new routes. The goal is to help more students get to class (lack of transportation can be a major barrier to higher education), reduce ACC’s carbon footprint, and ease parking congestion.

    This is one of a number of initiatives designed to lessen parking problems, which is an issue at virtually every college and university. The college opened a new parking garage at the Rio Grande Campus this fall (adding about 400 new student parking spaces and more than 100 additional employee spots), and ACC is building a new parking lot at the Pinnacle Campus, expected to open fall 2010 (adding approximately 438 new parking spaces).

    ACC hopes Green Pass will also lessen the college’s impact on the environment. ACC operates under a board policy (C-9) that emphasizes environmental stewardship and reducing dependence on non-renewable energy sources.

  15. gloria smith says:

    This is just wonderful, like Madea sez,wait on the Lord and He’ll give you a lift.

  16. David Tobey says:

    Outstanding!!!! Great job ACC. I will be riding the train.

  17. Dawn says:

    That’s awesome! I currently ride the bus to ACC and I have wondered for a while why U.T. students get to ride for free, but we do not when parking at the Riverside Campus is a NIGHTMARE.

  18. Robert Brown says:

    Since ACC operates on tax money, what justification did the board use in voting to approve this action?

    R Brown, Georgetown

  19. Kenneth Cox says:

    Capital Metro, the tax rip off that cannot even get the light rail system to function? Build parking garages and bigger lots. I guess your just going to follow the mismanagement of Capital Metro! With campuses not having enough parking you utilize the increase in fees to buy into a system that is broken! When did you take a poll or study of what students want or need for transportation and parking? Even I can figure out you will still need parking spaces for the increase in students you have now. Capital Metro is like adding a crutch, another taxing authority that is mismanaged.

  20. April says:

    This is great! I had no idea this was in the works and am glad they are using that parking garage to further affordable and ecological transportation. Go Austin CC!

  21. Dustyn Cope says:

    That’s rad. Good job, ACC.