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UPASS further reading


As a condition of the 2018 Campus Master plan approval, the City of Seattle requires the University to reduce its combined single-occupancy vehicle rate to 12% for all campus members. The UW must do this in stages over the next decade. The combined rate is currently 18.9 % UW 2018 Master Plan:

Increasing UW Staff transit use is an important piece of the UW meeting this new goal

As part of the collective bargaining process, many of the UW Classified staff Unions won a fully subsidized UPASS (multi-modal Transit pass) this year.

The fully subsidized UPASS for Classified staff is currently paid for using a combination of benefit load rate funds, an institutional subsidy, and Transportation Demand Management fees applied to campus parking.

The Faculty/Professional Staff UPASS is currently paid for using a combination of User fees, an institutional subsidy, and Transportation Demand Management fees applied to campus parking.

Please note that Professional Staff in the UPASS program are NOT subsidizing a UPASS for any other employee group. There is complete separation between the Student U-PASS, the Classified Staff U-PASS, and the Faculty/Professional Staff UPASS. These are 3 separate programs with no cross subsidies.

For further reading on these issues see:

– The UW UPASS program:

– UW Transportation mode share statistics can be found on page 9 here: (current as of Feb 2019)

– Some 3rd party coverage of the 2018 UW Master plan process:

– What is the Benefit load rate?

– What did the Unions achieve in bargaining this year? SEIU 925 contract is here:

– About the PSO

– Is the PSO a Union?

Research on the impact of subsidized Transit Passes at Universities across the United States:

Block-Schachter, D., & Attanucci, J. (2008). Employee Transportation Benefits in High Transit Mode Share Areas: University Case Study. Transportation Research Record, 2046(1), 53–60.
(a pretty dense article that weighs the pros and cons of different transit pass/parking models)

Brown, J., Hess, D. B., & Shoup, D. (2003). Fare-Free Public Transit at Universities: An Evaluation. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 23(1), 69–82.
“The substantial mode shifts caused by BruinGO refute the common assumption that fare-free transit cannot entice commuters from their cars. Transit ridership for commuting to campus increased by 56 percent during BruinGO’s first year, and solo driving fell by 20 percent. Because these startling results were achieved in a city famous for its addiction to cars, they suggest that Unlimited Access can work almost anywhere.”

Dong, H., Ma, L., & Broach, J. (2016). Promoting sustainable travel modes for commute tours: A comparison of the effects of home and work locations and employer-provided incentives. International Journal of Sustainable Transportation, 10(6), 485–494.

“Furthermore, we found that employer-provided financial incentives, in particular, parking fees at workplaces and the provision of subsidized transit passes, could also be very efficient policy levers to encourage commuters to use more sustainable commute modes, especially public transit.”

Ghimire, R., & Lancelin, C. (2019). The relationship between financial incentives provided by employers and commuters’ decision to use transit: Results from the Atlanta Regional Household Travel Survey. Transport Policy, 74, 103–113.

“We find that employees who were provided free or subsidized transit pass had 156% higher odds to commute on transit, but employees who were provided free or subsidized parking had 71% lower odds to commute on transit, all else equal, compared to their counterparts.”