College students in North San Diego can get around a little easier thanks to program using Cap-and-Trade dollars to subsidize transit passes.
With a grant from Caltrans’ Low Carbon Transit Operations Program, the North County Transit District (NCTD) offers deep discounts on monthly college passes to students from four eligible schools including Palomar College, Cal State San Marcos, Mira Costa College and Vista Adult School.
For just $19-24, compared to $59 for a regular pass, college pass holders get unlimited rides on NCTD’s integrated bus and hybrid rail routes. By attracting riders at a young age, the program intends to encourage regular ridership.
NCTD is a vital piece of San Diego’s regional transportation network, serving San Diego County between the Orange County boundary and city of Del Mar. The system moves approximately 11 million passengers annually, serving over 800,000 people in a thousand-square mile service area.
Ultimately, the college pass program aims to create lifelong transit riders who choose more environmentally-friendly ways to get around, helping reduce congestion, pollution and GHG emissions.
NCTD spread the word on campus and throughout the community with radio, print and kiosk ads. The program shattered its goal of increasing enrollment 10 percent in the first year, growing instead by more than 50 percent. These early results are positive proof that, when made easy and affordable, people will choose to transit over driving alone.