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SLU Competes in College Transit Challenge

Saint Louis University is competing against four area colleges and universities to see which has the most mass transit riders during the first-ever College Transit Challenge, Wednesday, Aug. 28.

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The College Transit Challenge underscores the value of a robust public transit system to students, faculty and staff at area institutions of higher education.

In addition to SLU, St. Louis Community College, Southwestern Illinois College, University of Missouri-St. Louis and Washington University in St. Louis are participating in the College Transit Challenge. The event is sponsored by the Citizens for Modern Transit, Metro Transit, Metro Transit Public Safety and the MetroLink Police Unit.

The College Transit Challenge kicks off at 8 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 28, at the Grand MetroLink station, with SLU students joining the Billiken for festivities. Students can help SLU win College Transit Challenge bragging rights and a MetroLink Train trophy by logging their trips on MetroBus or MetroLink through social media that day.

Participants check in at a Metro Transit Center – via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter – and post a status update or photo with #iTakeTransit, along with #SLU, SLU’s hashtag.

All College Transit Challenge participants will be entered in a prize drawing for St. Louis Cardinals tickets and more. Plus, those who show a Metro U-Pass to the Bureau of Transit Police and Metro Transit public safety officers when traveling via MetroLink or MetroBus on Aug. 28 may receive a special prize.

All students who live in SLU housing automatically are enrolled in the SLU U-Pass program, which can be used to ride MetroBus and MetroLink at no charge. The closest MetroLink train station to SLU is Grand Station, located between the north and south sides of campus. SLU’s Grand Shuttle provides transportation to the station, as do MetroBuses.

Metro student passes also can be purchased in the Parking Card and Transportation Services office by full-time students who live off-campus and are 23 or younger. In addition, pre-tax Metro passes are available to full-time faculty and staff through payroll deduction, with subsidies for employees earning less than $38,505 annually.

High school, college and university students accounted for nearly 2 million MetroLink and 1.6 million MetroBus passenger trips during the last school year.

“One of the goals of this challenge is to spotlight the fact that academic institutions are helping to support sustainable transit access through transit fare programming,” said Taulby Roach, Bi-State Development’s president and CEO.

“More than 119,000 passes provide students, faculty and staff unlimited access for MetroBus and MetroLink trips during the school year through Metro’s U-Pass program. In addition to getting to and from campus, these passes can be utilized to gain free access to restaurants, shopping, employment opportunities, sporting and concert venues, and St. Louis culture. It’s safe, convenient and far more cost effective than driving, paying for parking or utilizing on-demand ride services.”