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ACC board approves Green Pass fee

The Austin Community College Board of Trustees has approved a $25 per semester Green Pass user fee to offset rising transit service costs.

A Green Pass allows free rides on Capital Metro bus and rail services. It is available to all ACC credit and Adult Basic Education students, faculty, and full-time staff.

“The Green Pass program has been a tremendous success,” says Andy Kim, ACC director of environmental stewardship. “Since 2010, almost 4.5 million rides have been recorded – that’s a lot of money saved on transportation, and a lot of automotive emissions reduced.”

ACC has financed the Green Pass program with revenue from the college’s sustainability fee and from proceeds from a 2009 parking fee increase. The $25 fee – which is 70 percent less than a comparable Cap Metro pass – is necessary because of rising transit service costs and the popularity of the passes.

ACC parking permit fees for 2014-2015 will remain unchanged.

Students and employees can obtain a Green Pass at any campus Cashier Office beginning August 12. The pass is valid for one semester.

posted in: Current Students, Faculty and Staff News

14 Responses to “ACC board approves Green Pass fee”

  1. Answer the question says:

    Mreyes you dodged the question! Why do Green Pass holders asked to pay $75 while drivers pay $15-$50? I understand the
    Green Pass is a huge savings and I appreciate it. However, address the question as to why Green Pass holders have a higher fee than drivers.

    • Taylor says:

      We have to buy gas and pay for vehicle maintenance? Duh.

    • mreyes says:

      Any questions or comments regarding the fairness of Green Pass vs. parking permit fees should be addressed to the Board of Trustees. They welcome public comments via email or before their meetings. See the Board of Trustees website for information. You also can view video recordings from the meeting where Green Pass was decided – click here.

  2. Be Green! says:

    With this change, ACC is not living up to it’s promise to support sustainability as stated in the Board of Trustees Policy C-9.
    For the Green Pass to go from $0 to $25 is a huge jump. I realize that the cost is discounted from what Cap Metro charges, but the way this increase is being rolled out will not encourage use of public transportation. Doesn’t ACC want to reduce the number of cars being driven to campus? This change does not support that goal.

    1. Student parking passes at UT are $120 -$180. ACC should phase in a higher cost for parking permits to cover some of the cost of the Green Pass.

    2. With the $25 per semester fee for a Green Pass, it is now less expensive to buy an annual parking permit. Why are we making the Green Pass cost to $75 per year when a student parking permit costs only $15 per year?

    3. UT students can ride Cap Metro for free with just their student ID. Why does ACC have to have a separate pass?

    4. Many of our students are on very tight budgets. The students who rely on public transportation are most likely the ones who have the least money. Why are we raising their costs and not the costs for parking passes?

    I am concerned that this change places an unfair burden on the people who want or need to rely on public transportation without also increasing the cost of a parking permit. The result will be more cars and fewer people riding the bus – ACC just got less green.

  3. Dominga says:

    My concern lies with the PER semester cost. A parking pass is valid for a year, so the fee is yearly, not per semester. Can the same not be done for the Green Pass? This could cost students $75/year.

    • Bus Rider says:

      I’ve been using the green pass for a few semesters and it’s great. It will still be a huge bargain at $25/semester so I’m okay with that but Dominga has a good point: if the parking pass is an annual fee shouldn’t the green pass be too? Also, will we no long be paying the sustainability fee now?

  4. shannon says:

    So, do UT students still get to ride for free?

    just saying.

  5. George Legate says:

    We all would do ourselves a favor by accepting that NOTHING is free forever. We need to thank ACC that this service was provided as a comp for so long. Asking students, employees, and faculty to pay $25/semester is STILL extremely generous. Get over the entitlement–it’s a dinosaur.

    • Chris says:

      I agree!

    • Concerned says:

      I agree that nothing is free forever, but to go from $0 to $25 for students and staff is a bit extreme. Since ACC is a commuter college and we are trying to increase enrollment, this was a lure. I don’t think this is an entitlement issue, it is ACC success issue.

  6. concerned says:

    This is really a shame. ACC offers Students and staff the green pass for free for so many years to help students come to ACC classes. You keep marketing ACC, but you continue to do things that bring the price of attending up and keep building campuses that are not cost effective or self sustaining. How is this helping ACC community and students? Is there a board member who is from capital metro that pushed this forward?

    I am at Northridge Campus, parking is a big issue here…Capital Metro has been the saving grace…when are renovations at this campus going to be a priority? When does Parking expansion on existing campuses who are self sustaining become a priority instead of new campus that does not have enrollment figures that justify it?

    Love ACC, but frustrated by poor decisions.

    • Chris says:

      You are talking about $6.25, it breaks down to per month. It is still very discounted and remember, this is not even required of them.

      Be thankful for the discounted amount and that you had free passes for many years.

    • Also concerned says:

      I have to agree with concerned above. Capital Metro just got a huge amount of money awarded to them yet money still has to come out of the students’ pockets?

      Thanks Capital Metro board member – I am sure your pockets are well lined.

    • mreyes says:

      Thank you for your feedback, Concerned. The Green Pass fee allows the college to continue offering the pass even as mass-transit costs are rising. While no longer free, it can still make a big difference in a student’s transportation costs.

      Improvements at Northridge and ACC’s other campuses are proposed in a bond election scheduled for November 4. Click here for details of the proposal.

      I hope this helps address your concerns. We appreciate your commitment to ACC.