Beginning in July, taking a Lextran bus will be the cheapest option for University of Kentucky students, staff, and faculty members.
Lextran Board Chair Jeff Fugate hopes it will change the way people think about commuting. "I remember when I was a freshman here back in the 90's, I didn't have a car," said Fugate. "If couldn't walk there, I didn't go to it. And this will really open up our city to the students and then, at the same time, it gives the faculty and staff a way to get to and from work and maybe get out of their cars."
Lextran buses travel 21 different city routes which extend throughout and beyond the UK campus. Starting July 1, anyone showing a valid UK ID can ride for free.
The U-Pass program is intended to open up the campus and town to those affiliated with UK during a time of major transition on campus. Jenna Hollinden is Vice President in UK's Student Government Association. "You'll get a lot of those students who don't currently have a way to get to campus that doesn't put a dent in their wallet," she said. "I think that you'll reach a lot of students who don't typically use our bus system. So, I'm excited to see how that works out for them."
Hollinden doesn't anticipate students involved in nightlife activities to cause problems. "We will address that issue if it appears to be one, but I think our students are aware of the gravity of this agreement that we have and they will be respectful of our wishes," added Holliden.
The U-PASS program amounts to a one year $160,000 agreement with UK picking up the tab. It represents the first step in an expanding partnership with Lextran.