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Comments from 2019 UPASS survey


Thanks for advocating on this! I absolutely think the UW should provide a subsidized UPass, and would be willing to contribute. I would use the bus occasionally instead of driving occasionally if I had a UPass. And as one of the state’s largest employers I think the UW should, as an institution, support our local public transit system.
Traffic is horrible, parking is limited and as state workers we have little to no perks. Having our transportation costs reduced would be an awesome benefits to UW employees and would contribute to the local community by reducing traffic and parking waiting lists. It would also encourage those who do drive to take the bus because it will save them a ton of money.
I went to a Board of Regents meeting with Sound Transit Riders Union to advocate for a free U-Pass for all. Climate change will hit coastal cities like ours the hardest, and the UW has to lead on this issue.

Seattle University has fully subsidized transit passes for quite a long time. When I changed jobs from SU to UW in 1999 I was quite surprised that UW as a state university did not provide this benefit for it’s employees, faculty and staff.

This would be a particularly rewarding benefit, if it is offered, and may entice new employees to work at the University of Washington.
“I agree that professional stuff would get free UPASS, however, some kind of limitation could be applied if there is a financial difficulty to give all stuff the benefit. For example, faculty members or certain levels of members could be eliminated from a benefit.

The other request… It would be really helpful if UPASS include Washington state ferry system.”

“Please help car-users become UPass users. It is hard to argue the $ for a car, so making it free might not result in the behavior change UW is seeking. The $50/mo I pay is already less than I pay to park, yet I still drive. If UPass was free, I would feel even less motivated to make sure I used it.
What % of staffers buy UPass now? Have you asked them what they would do different if it was free? A free pass will cost the administration a lot of $ and may feel like a labor-initiated win, but will it make a difference?
Idea: Ask the administration for $50 grants and ask staffers to “not drive” for 1 week and receive $50 for doing so after sharing their experience at a workshop. Maybe this is a way to crowd-source behavior change more effectively and create a culture where “not-driving” is cool.
Getting around in Seattle is a much bigger problem than $50 a month can solve.

I commute about 2 days a week so the difference between paying for parking and paying for a U-Pass is negligible (especially when one factors in the time and inconvenience of riding a bus). In fact, until parking rates went up in July, it was less expensive for me to drive to work than to pay regular metro fares round trip. A subsidized U-Pass would make a huge difference in my commute choices.

I want to make sure those with disabilities are not left out because public transportation doesn’t work for everyone. For example, to take the bus, I would need to walk too far with my mobility impairment just to reach a bus. Then, once I’m on the bus, it is too hard to stay on the seat when the bus starts and stops with the hard jerking of the bus. The hard jerking of the bus is also quite painful to me. I tried it the first week I worked here but I felt like my body was beat-up before I even started my work day. I get so frustrated because disabled folks for whom public transportation doesn’t work, always get left out with ableist policies that don’t work for them. Also, it’s disgusting that I have to ask the bus driver to get people to move from accessible seating when they can clearly see I’m getting on the bus using a cane.

Limiting need for parking structures, reducing Seattle traffic, and reducing our carbon footprint is a win/win/win scenario.

If UPASS were free to pro staff, I would be more likely to take the bus some days. Currently I pay for parking, but not UPASS because that adds to my monthly costs and it’s not worth it. If UPASS were free, I would drive less often to work to save $$.

subsidized UPASS for employees will help UW be more competitive with other area employers (Seattle Childrens, Tech companies, etc)

Nothing is “free”. Where would the money subsidizing a UPASS for everyone actually come from? What is being defunded or underfunded to pay for it? IMO, putting a price on something forces people to think about whether they need it or not and make a decision, vs. saying “sure, I’d love that thing since it’s free”.

Having subsidized UPASSes available for faculty and staff makes for a more equitable workplace and encourages use of public transportation. It is UW values in action and essential to helping ensure UW is a place where people are welcome and supported.

not applicable
Like many classified staff employees, professional staff can not afford to live in Seattle. Long commutes are the norm. Other large employers in the area help out their employees. It would be great if the UW would support all of it’s employees.

It would be more helpful for you to advocate for better compensation for categories of professional staff that are behind market.
I used UPASS daily for 8 years, then moved to another part of the area and transit availability is not as good, plus at the same time UPASS benefit was taken away.

Mass transit is the future of sustainable travel in Seattle so I am so happy to see us jump on board to add the incentive of a free bus pass for prostaff employees. These kind of simple yet powerful incentives have been offered at other organizations & businesses for years and would be most welcome and appreciated:)

UW should absolutely fully subsidize the UPASS! It will be vital to get cars off the road in the coming years, and fully supporting employees to take public transportation is a way to encourage this. While the UPASS subsidized at it’s current level is still appreciated, it means that many employees who don’t rely on the bus daily opt out of it, and then are more likely to use cars for other trips.

Bus routes are not sufficient for my commute.

I work in Wyoming at a Regional Office and do not utilize this service.

“Free UPASSs should be a student and employee benefit to encourage to take cars of the road. There is no simpler initiative to impact the Seattle traffic, lower the stress of employees and save the environment.

Expedia provides free ORCA cards to encourage employees to give up their cars and to free the roads. They even give employees $5/day for ea. day they don’t drive into work.

Microsoft provides free Orca cards to encourage employees to give up their cars and to free the roads.

Every employer in the area should provide ORCA or UW can provide UPASSs to positively ease the traffic in Seattle.

It’s a no brainer, just bring the free UPASS benefit to the students and employees and see how the benefit will exceed the cost of it.

Thank you for considering the free UPASSs, they are needed!”

I do support a free UPASS. However, do not limit all of the single vehicle parking in the U District. There needs to continue to be parking available at a reasonable level. In my opinion, new parking garages need to be built. Also, it is not appropriate to keep removing all of the street parking for vehicles.

Once light rail extends north I expect using transit every day to be more feasible for me, though if I had a fully subsidized UPASS now I would use transit some of the time despite the longer commute times involved (I currently drive alone to work daily).
The money has to come from somewhere. If we get a fully subsidized UPass then fees will just go up somewhere else, like commuter tickets, which are needed when we have to drive in. We’re all professionals. We can afford a few more bucks for a UPass.

King County has announced they are going to start blocking out spaces at many Park & Rides and charging $60-$120 a month for guaranteed parking. There are no pay-per-use options. Commuters are being price gouged – pay a hefty premium, or look for alternative parking on side streets, risking tickets or not finding a spot. This is going to make parking at P&R lots expensive, stressful, and unreliable. When the combined rate of UPASS and P&R parking is so high, paying a little more for on-campus parking becomes an attractive option. Fully subsidizing the UPASS would help off-set the cost of paying for a P&R permit.

make upass drastically cheaper and/or free and 100% I would use it daily. it is safer than driving the moped I drive to work everyday (especially in the rainy season). however, currently (since it is free to park my moped anywhere in seattle) it is cheaper for me to drive my moped. Once it is cheaper to take mass transit – I will 100% use it.

Our UPass already is being subsidized. Besides, people do not tend to value things that are free.

Thank you all VERY MUCH for your great service and advocacy! I’m deeply grateful for the work that the PSO does on behalf of thousands of us!

Most people will opt for a free upass if given the chance. I’d like to hear more about how this would impact the UW both positively (such as through decreasing single-occ vehicles), and negatively (such as large financial impact to the UW).
Other companies I’ve worked for subsidized ORCA cards 100% and/or had incentives for van pools and free van pool parking, or allowed more telecommuting.

Cost of living in Seattle quickly outpaces the raises professional staff *may* receive each year. Many professional staff can not afford to live in Seattle. In order to ensure UW can attract and retain the best staff, it is necessary to support them through a subsidized U-Pass.
Due to increasing costs of in-city living has made it difficult to live in the city, driving much of our staff to live beyond city limits increasing their commute times. Furthermore, pressure to reduce single car occupancy has impacted our lower wage earning staff. The assumption is that rapid transit and metro is readily available in the areas they reside in. Mass transit also requires commute and wait times, further impacting non traditional households, single parents, large families, parents of children requiring a higher level of care – with the reduction of time at home.

Yes, Pro staff should have a free u-pass, just like the classified staff.

Subsidizing UPASS for all employees would likely provide a large boost to transit use which would be more environmentally friendly as well as ease the congestion issues that plague the city right now. It would also help to unite all UW team members as one team instead of separating us into 2 different units.

My answer to this question depends on how UW will subsidize UPASS. If my current benefits will be affected because that money is going toward paying for transportation, then no, I’d much prefer to have my benefits untouched and paying the quarterly amount. If subsidizing UPASS w/o affecting benefits or salary is possible, then yes, that would be a great benefit for me. I will continue to use the UPASS (though I’ll drive into work once a week due to an after-work commitment I have) because I want to help in lowering congestion on the road whether its subsidized or not, but if this is part of a Washington State desire, then I totally think there should be funds from them to help UW employees to change their driving habits.

For the past 3 years I didn’t get a UPASS simply because it would have been more expensive than driving, despite living right next to a light rail station. Aside from cost it would have been a no-brainer to use a UPASS and LightRail!

I already take transit or bike whenever I can, but because of childcare and other logistics, I often have to drive. A subsidized pass would not change much for me.

The UPASS is already incredibly cheap compared to buying the same access via ORCA. No need to decrease it further.

“I am fully supportive of increasing transit ridership and offering incentives for that, but I would hope that a few exemptions are considered including:
– full time cyclists
– people who do not live near the area”
Subsidies are absolutely valuable to the UW professional staff community and I favor increasing the subsidy, even up to full subsidy.9

I think it’s important for UW to support public transit for all employees, including ProStaff. The current cost of $150 per quarter doesn’t seem in line with the UW committment to environment and sustainability. The cost is currently high enough that I think it discourages many staff from using public transit. Thanks for your consideration.
The fully-subsidized U-PASS encourages me to use public transportation and walk to work every work day. I know that there are hundreds if not thousands more professional staff like me. This provides an immeasurably important impact on our regional climate and the health of our people. I encourage you to advocate strongly for it!

This is a benefit that many local employers are currently offering their employees. This will make the UW more competitive for job seekers. And there is the added benefit of being able to use the UPass on weekends and off hours as well.
With the current Seattle city counsel attempting to tax the downtown area in an attempt to relieve congestion it would definitely be a huge perk to work for the university. It’s also nice to have an organization that is doing it’s part in helping it’s staff get to and from work without having to pay for it.

thank you!

UW has taken away so many perks (cost of health insurance, number of employees,etc), it would be nice to get something back. I cancelled my pass when i realized that i was biking most of the time and I was making less money every year working at the UW, so i was trying to squeeze some money back. It was depressing for awhile there I would make less money every year as benefits started to cost more and the salary freeze.

I currently use a disability ORCA Pass, which I still have to pay monthly for, but if I had the option of a fully subsidized UPASS, I would use the UPASS.

“I don’t think cost is the reason most staff don’t use transit. There are other issues that are more important to me than a free UPass.

i believe there should also be cheaper parking options for staff on campus!!!

if you decide to do this, please make sure that push for additional buses as well flexible bus times.

I think something should be available for all employees rather using transit or personal car. For those who positions don’t allow the opportunity to use transit should get car maintenance disbursement in the cost of the UPASS towards oil change, tuneups or cost of car tabs.
I’d be interested in hearing more about the plan to pay for a fully subsidized transit pass.

You should have additional options, e.g., would we support a partially-subsidized U-Pass with either a cap to the cost to the staff member (with a much bigger % paid by the UW). I’m willing to pay something for the U-PASS, but it’s gotten pretty expensive over the years and is almost not worth it at this point. Having a fully-subsidized U-PASS is great, but I’d want to better understand how it would be paid for.

I think the U Pass should be subsidized, but I feel we are getting a good deal now with the small charge we pay.

I currently drive/park because it is only nominally more expensive to do so and slightly less time-consuming. However, if I had a free UPASS, I would definitely stop driving.

I believe this is a good option to have.
Subsidizing professional staff UPass will encourage staff to use public transportation

Seems like a reasonable incentive to achieve lower single vehicle occupancy rates, as well as encourage other transportation options and reduce car traffic and carbon emissions!

this survey doesn’t explain the consequences of subsidizing the upass for professional employees

Equity please, and fewer cars on the road. Much appreciated!

Providing a fully subsidized UPASS would not only be a great “perk” for pro staff, it would help ease transportation-related burdens that are increasing due to UW’s (and Seattle’s) continued growth.

(Personal opinion:) Nothing is free. Has the PSO considered where the University might find funding for a fully subsidized UPASS? Which trade-offs is the PSO willing to make — i.e. what should it or another campus group give up or pay more for? Never bring a problem without a solution.
I’d use a UPASS if I had one, but it costs me less than $100 a month in gas to just drive in, and find free public parking in the U District. So it is cheaper and more convenient to just drive.

This would be amazing! I use my UPASS 6x daily on my commute to work 4 days/week. I highly advocate this!! 😁

IF I move from where I now live, I know I will use the UPASS. Professional staff and faculty deserve it due to the new parking restrictions and costs, etc.

The bus from Magnolia, 31, does not leave early enough to get people to work by 0630.

While we all love working here, we also all know that UW can’t pay as competitively as some other employers in the region. And, while paid public transportation to/from work can seem a small thing, it is actually one of those powerful subtle benefits that can have a multiplying effect on the perception of job satisfaction @ the UW.

It is excellent advocacy for all professional staff since living expenses is very expensive at Seattle and we didn’t get as much as salary raises at UM.
I prefer you advocate for salary equity/increases instead.

I would use the UPASS everyday if presented to me.

I utilize my U-Pass regularly. It should be a responsibility and high priority for the 2019 PSO Board to obtain paid for U-PASS’s for professional staff so that we are more able to travel to work on public transportation, make a greater impact on reducing UW’s carbon emission footprint, and support growing public transportation. Anything less is a failure of the board to best represent its constituents as well as act in the best interests of the world at large. Please do not fail at this.

I fully feel like if it is free to classified staff, it should also be free to us professional staff. Or at least those of us who have been using the UPASS for 5+ years. Thanks.

Professional Staff also needs help with their Upass

A free UPASS would be excellent and show Professional Staff that the UW is committed to all of their employees.

My support for a universal fully sponsored Upass is limited due to the burden that change would add to UW’s budget. In particular I have concerns about fully tenured faculty who make more in a month than some classified employees make in a year complaining about the miniscule percentage of their salary goes to paying for a UPass. I am happy to pay for my UPass if it means that there are resources available to add a headcount to my understaffed organization or provide free menstruation products in all bathrooms on campus.

Maybe we could just give to folks who will use it, and not give to those committed to driving?

Would love more options. The increase in parking costs is making driving unsustainable.


If we don’t, chances are we will end up funding the subsidized passes of other users when they increase our fare.
Many companies such as Virginia Mason sponsor UPASS or Orca cards. If a card was subsidized, I would use it every day.

I appreciate the PSO Board’s willingness to advocate for this.

I was a temp employee for several months before starting a full-time position this summer. Not wanting to deal with parking and traffic, I established a good bus route to and from work. As a M-F bus commuter, I was very pleased to get my UPass. Having it fully subsidized would be incredible. Thanks for your efforts on our behalf!

Would be great if we could get Meteo and ST to support of putting back the 219 to Snoqualmie

If classified staff are entitled to subsidized UPASS, therefore Professional staff should be subsidized too.

This would be a great benefit for current PSO employees and a huge recruiting tool since a number of the Seattle businesses are starting to offer numerous incentives like Sound Transit subsidized passes. Thanks for considering taking this on for us!
Making transit free and parking expensive will provide maximum financial incentive for not driving.
With the increasing population of Seattle it is becoming ever more important to supply mass transit solutions and incentives in order to have as little impact on traffic and the environment.
“I used to use the corporate-sponsored bus pass before working at UW. I was surprised to learn about the no-subsidy for the UW staff.
The cost & benefit analysis after paying for the UPASS for 2 years made me change the mode of transportation to driving.

Having been a student, and now current employee, at the University of Washington, I fully understand the usefulness the UPASS brings. Quite literally getting me to and from work everyday, it seems almost insane that employees have been paying to use the bus pass for years. Granted I’ve only been at UW Medicine for 2 years now, and yes driving a car will get me to work 10 quicker, but knowing my efforts are at least a minimal effort into helping our environment so I’m all for it. Please help us out here, UW. Give us this.
Especially with more light rail coming to the U District with the Brooklyn stop, having an automatic UPASS benefit is the only sensible course.
“Thanks for this proposal.
I am sure you have already thought of this, but it is worth mentioning. The only way to really discourage single-occupancy vehicle owners from driving to campus would be to significantly increase the fees for yearly and/or quarterly parking. When single-occupant vehicle drivers see how much it costs to park on campus, you can be assured they will consider not driving to work.
The only instances where I can anticipate reluctance, understandably, is from parents who have to drop off their children at school on their way to work. There are many others who could use park & ride options, but they are lazy, in my opinion.

Do not raise parking rates in order to pay for free UPass to Pro Staff. Some folks need their cars but do not need higher expenses.
Seattle becomes increasingly expensive and while the UPass is affordable, every benefit helps!

I currently drive my child to daycare, park and ride my bike to campus from nearby his daycare. However, I live on a bus route that goes straight to my son’s daycare and on from there to campus. It would be easy to change to a bus commute with a free UPASS. However, I will still need to park on campus 2-3 times/month to attend offsite appointments.

I found out from my classified staff coworkers that they did not receive fully subsidized UPASSes because it was not actually for all classified staff but granted according to “bargaining unit”. I hope that the PSO is more transparent than the classified staff unions were about which professional staff will actually be eligible for the fully subsidized UPASS which will be helpful in avoiding resentments before they arise.

I really don’t like that you raised the parking rate in the garage to 8.00+ and we can only use it 2 times a week and when you do the gates are a pain to go through. It takes way to long for the gate to go up after it changes to the multi colored dot.

For years my UPass used to be included in my monthly parking rate, until early this year when the tower garage was switched to ppu. Not only do I pay an insane parking rate but now I have to pay for my monthly UPass at $50. This has overall increased my parking and transit unfairly while at the same time classified staff got a free UPass.
I bike half the time, bus the rest

I actually don’t have strong feelings on this one way or the other. I don’t find the current UPass rate onerous, and I’m not sure that the state’s taxpayers actually should be paying for my transportation (which I might also use for non-work transit). However, I agree with the goal of reducing individual car trips to the UW and appreciate PSO’s role in making sure UPass rates weren’t increased in a way that would have reduced the incentive for their use — as ICT rates were.

I would only use an UPASS for work and it doesn’t seem worth the $100 a month. If it was completely free I would be much more inclined to use the bus system.
I mostly bike commute, so I do not currently pay for a UPass. I sometimes drive and sometimes ride the bus, paying out of pocket when I do. A free pass would definitely incentivize riding the bus when biking isn’t a good option.

I find it disconcerting that the UW would fully subsidize the UPASS for a portion of the staff but not do it for all staff. PSO shouldn’t have to advocate for this – UW should simply step up and do the right thing. If UW wants to reduce the # of people driving to/parking on campus, they shouldn’t do so on the backs of the staff.

Currently I drive in 90% of the time (UWMC), but if the UPASS was free/paid for, I would commute MUCH MUCH MUCH more often. I’m sure many other people would agree – a free UPASS would actually encourage MANY more people to get out of their cars and use Mass-transit . .
While a full subsidy may have been negotiated for classified staff, I believe cost-sharing of a U Pass is appropriate for prof staff. The program costs UW (and WA taxpayers) money and it’s fair for employees to share in the cost. Without a cost share, I fear many more people might sign up and not use the pass regularly. I don’t think a full subsidy would change SOV use, and plans such as the Pay Per Use Parking already address occasional needs to drive. Some subsidy is consistent with other employers, but we shouldn’t need to give this away. Thank you.
UPASS should not be subsidized for any UW employee. Subsidization results in select groups of employees paying for other groups of employees through various direct or indirect means. It also results in loss of a variety of gratis benefits as UW must find ways to cut costs to ultimately pay for employees who do not pay for their own commuting costs.

In addition to being a staff member, I am also a graduate student. Even though I did not need to register for classes this summer, I paid the fee as the student transportation fee was cheaper than the staff rate for UPASS. I have been on the waitlist for parking and am still only #200, employees should be incented to use public transportation.

“I worked for Group Health and Seattle Childrens.
I only had to pay 38/yr for my ORCA card when I worked at Group Health.
I paid $72/yr with Seattle Children’s in addition every time I rode the bus, bike or car pooled I would get $4 added to my paycheck. We had a sight we had to log into and enter commute options in order to get the $4 subsidy. So they were actually paying me for taking public transportation!!! They have a bike department, people dedicated to provide education on how to ride your bike on the road. They actually ride with you and teach you how to load the bike on the bus rack. They have teams! You can take your bike in for a tune up as long as you’re riding your bike to work-it’s worked on while you’re at work.
We need to get more cars off the road. It would help to have more shuttle stops at popular bus transfers or near those locations. ”

I am in support of a fully subsidized UPass but am concerned about how the university will pay for this. I also think unless driving solo is more onerous and more expensive (parking, tolls, etc) we will not see a greater increase in transit ridership, despite the low/no fare.

Please advocate for fully-subsidized UPASS for professional staff. It is standard for large employers in Seattle to fully subsidize transfer passes. UW should be no different. It is essential to reduce the carbon footprint and reduce congestion. It is simply a best practice for employers. Also, it would match classified staff receiving fully-subsidized UPASS.

I think the current price for UPASS is too expensive. It’s also interesting that as a state employee that we don’t get free public transportation. If the PSO can’t provide it for free, it should be cheaper.
see comments in “Other” answer to previous question.

I take a bus, ferry and train to work so I am grateful for the discounted pass. And I support goals to reduce the # of single occupancy vehicles coming to UW. But a free pass will not negate the very rare occasion I have to drive. And it may not motivate people for whom using mass transit is not convenient. e.g. those who don’t live near a bus stop, have young children, are physically impaired and cannot traverse 4-5 blocks between connections. Can the pass be reduced for those making less than a certain amount per hour or year? I’m happy to pay for a pass, especially if it helps someone else reduce their expenses.No need to respond but thank you for asking for feedback.

As a pedestrian and bicycle rider, fewer cars on and around campus would certainly make me feel safer and healthier (even though I wouldn’t use a pass much for commuting except for icey winter days).

I’m assigned by my department to 100% telework. I come to campus a few times a month, making ICT parking the most feasible choice. I would instead use a U-Pass if it were provided by the university, just as all regional local-government branches do for their employees, and now UW classified staff as well. The UW no doubt receives revenue from selling parking privileges but spends to support alternative transportation benefits, but salaries and benefits are not keeping up and this isn’t asking much of administration.

If i had a UPAss i would try the bus, but for me it requires a 10 min walk before and after the bus. I currently work 10 or 11 to 6 or 7pm which is fine in the summer but i wouldn’t want to walk as a single female in the area alone. A friend was stabbed to death in Wallingford a year and a half ago and i’ve been afraid since. Also there have been several attacks on the streets and coutless breakins and thefts to cars in the area with absolutely no police response to any of them. Additionally i’ve seen 2 bike riders hit by cars in the last 6 months. My nerves are kind of shot.

In addition to transit passes, some employers have provided credits to people who regularly bike to work. Also, investing in one or more secure bike parking facilities may help nudge people who are concerned about bike theft.

I’m okay paying for my UPass, as long as the fees aren’t raised to pay for the subsidized passes of Classified Staff.

I have a very unpredictable work schedule, with many early morning calls every week. I need to be able to drive some days. I don’t want to spend money on parking as well as the UPASS (I work on first hill and can’t get parking on campus).

“I have to travel from UWMC, NWH, HMC and UWNC clinics having to pay for parking in all these locations can get costly. I also can’t drive when its dark due to vision so have to depend on other transportation like the bus, train, street care and link rails.
I utilize one or two of these options DAILY.

I love working at the UW. I believe in our mission and know my being here is beneficial to the organization. I know my skill sets would receive a higher salary in the private sector and frankly the UW will never be able to counter that completely. However, this kind of investment in the staff goes a long way to ensuring talent stays, especially as this city becomes more and more expensive thereby pricing us further out. The ability to use mass transit to get to work is good for the UDistrict and allows us a better commute and potentially the opportunity to work while commuting. However, the cost of the UPAss is a significant one for every worker. I think it is in both the UW and all staff’s interest to have fully subsidized access to mass transit. Most employers in this area of equal size already invest in this way and in this way the UW can and should compete. Thank you

Current subsidy is sufficient. Apply funds to other needs, such as tuition support for students.
When new light rail stops open in UDistrict, using light rail will be the best option for me for transportation to campus, and I imagine for many others. I have had a UPass in the past and would be happy to use it again, particularly if it were free or even a nominal cost (~$5 per month).
I think it would be awesome if the UPASS was completely subsidized. I do not know what the implications would be in other areas for this to be done – so the lowest possible cost possible would work well too.

Both parking and UPass, in my opinion, should be fully subsidized to staff and faculty by UW. It is extremely uncommon to pay for parking and transportation in most industries.
I strongly believe that it’s only fair an equitable to give everyone working at the UW a UPASS. UW is the largest employer in the state, they should encourage public transportation, but providing their employees a UPASS

This is such a common benefit that companies offer their employees. Parking is already very expensive and limited. Having some, but not all, employees get this as a benefit seems unfair.

In 2016, when the light rail began operating to UW, all of bus routes were altered and some even cut, I foresee that happening again when the light rail opens three stops in 2021. Modifying existing routes is big issue because the commute sometimes becomes long rail even though the rail is suppose shorten the commute. It’s not the UPASS I have problem with it is the City of Seattle because it always seems the are misappropriating funds that leads to cuts and they tend to come up with overambitious projects that look good on paper but are more costly in the long run. The SR99 tunnel was way over budget, and the City has screwed the funding for Seattle StreetCar which will end up with more cuts or higher fares. The biggest issue throughout Seattle is our transportation networks are not very good.

Currently I am driving and parking because it is convenient and the cost is not that much different than having to purchase a UPASS. If the UPASS was provided without any cost to me I would absolutely switch to taking transit instead of driving.
Having been an undergraduate student at UW, a temporary hourly employee, a full-time classified employee, and now a full-time professional staff employee I have seen the world of transportation through many lenses. I believe it is the duty of the University to uphold its world class reputation in all areas related to employee productivity including commuting to and from work. Employees need the ability to access and workspace using the path of least resistance.
Also would like to encourage more folks to ride bikes to campus, as they can

“Increasing UPass use is a nice idea, and I hope it is successful. I also have concerns:

A UPass is a nice perk, but does not address family-focused issues such as transporting children to school/daycare and other responsibilities that staff may include in their morning and evening commutes. And, many staff members do not earn enough to live within proximity of campus, and park and ride availability can be very limited.

For jobs that require frequent driving, a UPass is less useful (also, raising parking fees and reducing spaces creates an unfair burden for those staff). Using university vehicles is an option, but requires advanced planning that’s not always possible based on job duties, and passenger vehicles can be in short supply. I find it more efficient if I simply pay for my own parking and drive most days.

However, I still support the UPass program. It is very important.

Just because I am Professional Staff does not mean that paying out of pocket for my UPass doesn’t have financial impact. I am not Professional Staff that is making 6 figures. Making this no cost is necessary for all staff in order to meet these transit goals, for the environment, and for staff retention. Once the Northgate light rail station is open I am going to be expected to use the light rail to go between the two UWMC campuses. It would not be right to charge me when this is the only way I will be able to visit both work sites. I assume with this push that Metro will also be providing larger and more frequent bus service? Right now my bus runs every 10 minutes but they are often small buses and overcrowded. Knowing I might have to stand with bad knees is sometimes a deterrent for me. Thanks for your efforts in making this happen.
“The UW should have a consistent practice making the U-pass free of charge to ALL UW employees and not just some of them based on classification. This shows consistent practice and benefits for ALL UW employees.

Also, if the U-pass is made at no charge for pro staff employees as well, hopefully this will not create an increase in charges for medical premiums employees pay so that the cost of the UW-pass being paid for by the UW is not absorbed by the UW employee in another way.”

Other organizations offer free bus passes to their employees or at little cost ($5-10 a month). UW should do the same and offer this to their employees to help reduce the number of cars and traffic on campuses.
UW claims to be all about sustainability. Free UPasses would be an obvious to show that commitment.
I’d be happy to support a fully subsidized pass for people who make below a certain income level. For someone like me, it isn’t necessary to subsidize. If I can help make it feasible for others by paying my fair share, I’d be glad to.

“The University must place more focus beyond public transit to reduce SOV rates. Here are five ideas:
1. Increase use of bicycles and scooters by decreasing fees for lockers and motorcycle parking.
2. Provide UW specific employee shuttles from residential areas similar to those provided by many large private tech companies.
3. Greatly decrease rates for carpool parking permits. The cost is currently the same as SOV. Is the UW trying to discourage usage?
4. Decrease the cost of ICTs. They are now on par with SOV rates. Easier access to ICTs will increase the number of employee’s using multiple forms of transport for their commutes.
5. Increase the cost of SOV permits. Honestly, walk through S1 and see the types of cars using SOV permits. Someone driving their Porche Cayenne everyday does not feel the pressure of the $2K SOV cost. Double the cost and you will see your reduction.”

Wifi on the buses would be an incentive for greater use. It could allow the time commuting to be used effectively.

Incentivizing the commute will contribute to less congestion, pollution and transportation congestion.
I rely on the UPass and would otherwise drive. It is one of the bigger perks of working at UW, even though it isn’t that big of a cost/savings.

People need more incentives (both carrot and stick) to take public transportation. This is the carrot method. The other is to increase parking prices to make more take public transportation (stick method). You could offset fully subsidized UPASSes with an increase in parking, and thereby contribute to decreased traffic congestion and the environmental benefits of mass transit.
Hopefully this will not increase parking fees, which are high enough. If anything it should decrease, considering that the UPASS comes with the parking fee so if there was no fee for the UPASS the cost for parking should be less.

As of now, it seems Pro Staff are the only UW staff who do not have their passes fully paid. Classified recently received this as have postdocs now that they’re unionized.

The UPASS is great. I always had one and used it until I turned 65 and the Senior ORCA made more sense as I only came to campus 4 days/week and occasionally used a ICT an drove if I needed to go to an appointment before or after work.

“All staff should be treated fairly when it comes to
transportation incentives. ”

It’s so frustrating to have an employer that does not provide a subsidized bus pass. It’s such a small thing to show that they support their values of diverse staff and support, but it’s still not done. It’s really not an insignificant amount of money pulled from my paycheck to cover the pass, and when you work for UW your doing it for the mission not the pay. Anything they can do to help support their staff should be done.
UPASS should be subsidized for all employees to encourage more use of mass transit to get to and from campus.

I STRONGLY urge the PSO to advocate for the fully subsidized UPASS! The UW needs to join other major local employers with this benefit to its employees and commitment to sustainability.

I bicycle commute year round and commute by car maybe a few days per month, so the UPASS cost was a losing proposition. I would likely commute more often by bus/light rail if the UPASS were included as a work benefit.

Would be nice to have options to use transit pass in conjunction with parking and pay appropriately. I use PPUP for parking but pay out of pocket for bus because I do not use often enough to cover the monthly cost. Would like option to get discounted rate for less usage.

“Considering the current cost of loving in the Greater Seattle area, and the University as a state funded entity, it would behoove the board of trustees and/or other influential entities to exercise impactful and responsible action to assist not just classified staff, but PSO as well. I believe it is a small price to pay to subsidize the cost for those that choose to utilize public transportation-for environmental and economic reasons alike. UW has the opportunity to come out ahead and model social justice righteousness for what all know to be a imbalance in a city that has otherwise failed to address disproportionate cost of living to wages earned for many.
Thank you for considering. ”

A fully subsidized UPASS would definitely encourage greater participation in public transportation use. There are many buses near the UW Link Light Rail Station that will take you to all parts of campus, so that is not an issue. The expense, however, does add up. Additionally, if you live in South King County, you are eligible for an additional King County service, Via (currently being piloted and could expand), which allows for transportation to/from the nearest Link Light Rail station and one’s home. However, this service costs roughly $2.75 per trip. With a UPASS, employees would also be able to take advantage of this service for no additional cost–another benefit of having a fully subsidized UPASS for all professional staff.

This would be extremely helpful in getting more people to use transit.

Given the mismatch between UW salaries and the cost of housing in Seattle, the university should subsidize employee commutes. This is a common practice for other employers in the area.

“Overall, I appreciate having a place close to work to park. I appreciate the times when I need offsite parking to use my UW Tower Garage Husky Card and not have to pay additional fees. It would be great as ProStaff/leadership to be able to use the Husky Card/UPASS to park at neighboring hospital facilities without having to pay for parking (NWH, HMC, UWMC, SLU, etc.)
If cannot offer free parking for ProStaff at least reduce fees by having offsite free parking for all our UWM facilities. ”
If more transit options were available from my home town, I would take advantage of UPASS.


fully subsidizing a upass would promote people taking public transit which will help fight climate change and have a positive impact on our city. Not only that, but it would also help give employees a small bump in their paycheck (to the tune of 600$ a year) which would help raise their standard of living, help pay off student debt or help with other financial goals. Finally, it would be good for the UW to do this because it could attract more employees because this would be a show of good faith that the university actually cares about its employees and may help keep current employees longer. Do it for the world. Do it for us. Do it for yourselves.

Living up to the 2018 UW Master Plan approval is UW’s responsibility. We must use cleaner transit that is less harmful to the environment, as the lives of future generations of people depend on it.
I noticed that UW Medicine is one of the larger employers in the area that does not completely offer full subsidy on bus passes. Seattle Children’s, whom we are affiliated with, offers a program where employees could earn money for taking public transportation. Please upgrade and invest in your employees. Thank you.

“Part of the issue is not just the pass which I have and rarily use but it’s the fact that the light rail has not been extended to where I live, Edmonds, WA and won’t be until 2024. Therefore, my use of the pass will continue to be highly limited because buses get stuck in the same traffic as cars so using the bus does not get me to campus any faster. In fact because of apps like Waze which help you beat traffic you are way more nimble to navigate traffic on surface streets while the bus is stuck on the same route everyday battling traffic.

Honestly I voted yes for getting fully subsidized U-pass for the people who it will make a difference for and personally it won’t do much for me and I plan on still driving my car to campus a minimum of 3x a week.

I would like to use transit some of the time, but can’t afford both parking and the monthly U-PASS. I would be more inclined to use the UPASS several days a week if I had it.
Would love to see this happen! I currently cancel my upass during spring summer and bike in most days & buy an orca card for transit days. In the winter I use the bus and reactive my upass because then I’ll get my money’s worth out of it.

Please stop trying to act for or advocate like we are union employees. We have one of the most generous compensation packages and benefits in the region. Focus on our mission and doing good work instead of wasting our time with this stuff. If I wanted to join a union and pay union dues, I’d already have done it. I certainly don’t need you negotiating on my behalf for free, especially without my consent, either. Stop it already.
“I’d like to see more flexibility with transportation during the summer. For those of us with kids, summer has them at camps at different locations every week and generally requires more driving. Many bus routes serving the UW also run reduced frequency during the summer. There’s also more parking availability in the summer as there are fewer people on campus. Some options: free UPass during summer; reduced parking rate during summer or all school breaks (if necessary, offset with higher parking rate during the school year); have summer only parking passes available for purchase.

I’d also like to see availability of showers on campus. Running or biking to work would be easier if you could shower for free near your job. Even offering free shower access in the IMA would be a start but better yet if it’s within a 5 minute walk of your job. ”
As a Upass holder since its’ introduction I believe strongly in the program and believe it should be funded.

Due to skyrocketing costs of living in Seattle, many UW staff must live far from where they work. Assistance with managing the costs of increasingly long commutes is a valuable priority.

If the university wants to increase staff & faculty’s use of public transportation (and is required to do so), then providing a free UPass only makes sense. We also see minimal wage increases – 2% a year in Enrollment Management, where I work – while the cost of living continues to rise at a rate higher than 2% each year. This means that our salaries are not keeping up with the cost of living. Providing a free UPass seems like the least the university can do to help provide a more livable wage, as compensation remains lower than needed in the area. This benefit would also help to attract and retain talented staff and faculty.

I do think that the UPASS should be subsidized across the entire university population

“While I would enjoy a fully-subsidized UPASS, I’m not convinced that it is an essential item for ProStaff. Health insurance and wellness benefits are a bigger priority for me. I’m also concerned that driving up benefit load rates will continue to impact the willingness/ability of the university create and maintain professional staff positions.

However, I would support some intermediate UPASS solutions such as greater UW subsidy (UW pays a bigger %). Or, better yet, a tiered plan based on salary bands. I think any ProStaff making less than $50K per year should receive a greater subsidy. ”

I have utilized UPASS for the past 5-6 years in order to make an effort to reduce my carbon footprint for the good of all. I find it disheartening and unfair that the cost of the UPASS continues to rise. With the increased UPASS cost and the Metro’s proposal to implement pay to park at a number of their Park and Ride locations, a case can be made for switching back to daily driving to work. I fully support a 100% subsidized UPASS for all UW employees.

Would a subsidized PSO UPASS also be partially paid for with benefit load rate funds? This seems to be the difference between the current PSO and Classified models.
I am of a mix mind on this issue. On the one hand, I am an absolute advocate for regional transit offerings to increase. I have lived in Renton, North Bend, Tacoma, and Burien, all of which have provided me with baroque and mixed mode transit options. An extended Tacoma Link, a spur on Link that ran to Renton, etc. would all have benefited me greatly. On the other hand, there is the off hand day that I will drive to campus to haul gear or the like. There are also members of this community entirely un-served by transit, or whom through a variety of reasons must drive to campus. If subsidizing the full cost of my UPASS would fall onto a person who already is impacted by rising parking costs, I would not want to increase their burden. I realize this is not a strong or popular position but I believe it to be important.

I strongly support this — as a part-time professional staff member, 50 bucks a month is a not insignificant amount of my paycheck. The Upass is a great thing – we can make it greater!
If nothing else Professional Staff earning less than say $80,000 to $100,000 should receive a free pass
The cost of transit without the use of a UPASS would be about $11 per day given I take two bus lines at 110-minutes commute each way. It would be a hardship to take transit when driving with parking being near the same cost as transit… reducing the incentives to take the time to use transit.

“I would be in favor of a subsidized pass for anyone who would USE it. When I used to get a pass included with my Tower parking pass, I didn’t use it enough to justify the cost of me having it so I wouldn’t want funds spent for naught.

If PSO could advocate for better connections from West Seattle to UW, that would be great too, LOL. The tunnel is a beast and I would prefer not to drive!

Even if we cannot get fully subsidized–preventing an increase in prices or a decrease could be important for those paid the least.

In order to avoid driving and parking, I use my UPASS everyday to get to and from work. From an environmental, social equity, and financial standpoint I would strongly advocate for the UPASS to be fully subsidized by the university. Education salaries are not nearly as competitive as those in the private sector, so benefits such as UPASS can be good incentives for employees to remain at educational institutions.

$50 per month for a bus pass is not incentivizing taking the crowded Metro city bus to work. Every non-profit company I’ve been employed by in the past has either subsidized my ORCA card in full, or paid the majority of the monthly cost, resulting in a monthly employee fee of less than $20.

While I do support a full subsidized UPASS advocacy, however, taking a responsibility for 5-10% of the cost by the PSO members may not be a bad position to consider.

“I take the bus everyday and I believe in using public transportation. My bus is always late and always crowded because of all the single drivers entering and leaving the UW clogging the streets that funnel in and out of the university.
I believe all UW staff members should take the bus if possible.
I also believe that pro staff who take the bus should be fully subsidized as well. ”

It would be very beneficial to have the UPASS.

I think a UPASS is a great idea for all UW employees….if not free, a heavily subsidized pass would make a world of difference for where they can live and commute from, especially in anticipation of the light rail coming in all over the region.

This will have a positive impact on retention and help create more sense of worth since the union employee’s now have “free” passes. Thanks for considering and good luck!
I’m all for having a free UPASS I use it very frequently. Thank you!
UW should absolutely offer free UPASS benefits to all faculty, staff, and students. Not only is this important for transit equity (the fee is more burdensome for folks at lower incomes) and making progress towards lowering our environmental impact, but is increasingly important as income inequality grows and middle-income and lower-income staffers are pushed further and further from the center of the city and rely on longer transit trips to get to campus. For folks with longer commutes, a free transit pass may be the difference between taking transit and driving to campus and paying for parking.

At a university that embraces the ideals of sustainability and understands different backgrounds and situations, it is necessary to provide complementary UPASS to employees in order to provide means for employees to commute sustainably, and support early career professionals who may have significant student loan debt or others with differing backgrounds that otherwise cause the commute to be a financial burden.

If the UW is truly committed to cutting down traffic in the area, it needs to target all staff.
I don’t really want a fully subsidized UPASS to come at the expense of people with longer commutes paying more for parking. But I do like the idea overall, especially if there were some less regressive way of sharing this cost.

“I stopped using the UPASS bus pass for two reasons.

1. I’m retiring about six months into the year of the buss pass.

2. It doesn’t take into consideration those of us 65 years and older.”
I believe the UPASS should be free from an environmental standpoint–I want to make it easier for people to lower their carbon footprint. However, at the same time, if someone is already engaged in carbon-free commuting (biking or walking), I don’t believe the UW should waste funds on providing a UPASS to someone who doesn’t need it. If this initiative is successful, I would like to see a way for employees to opt out of the UPASS so that the funds can be conserved.
UPass for professional staff should be subsidized. In addition, the University should have a cost reduction for parking with staff with disabilities. Thank you.

While I could use a transit pass several days a month but do not because is more expensive to maintain a Upass than it is to park, I do not want to see the cost for a subsidized pass pushed along to the people who need to drive. Parking rates just went up considerably and I believe it was in part to make up the difference the university was getting from Upasss purchasers.
As you all know, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to reach the University of Washington in any mode of transportation. We’re wasting hours sitting in traffic each week, whether in buses or private automobiles. We need to highly encourage University leaders to expand options to work at home, at least part of the week, make it policy so managers don’t get around it by forcing people to stick to their cubicles, and we need to provide a bus/Orca pass with no additional out-of-pocket expenses to all UW staff. This is not a perk. It is an obligation to help us reduce traffic congestion and reduce green gases. The UW has an obligation to the communities it serves. Providing a “free” pass to all employees would send a strong signal that would resonate statewide.

I do not currently work on the main campus. However, if I did, I would certainly make every effort to get to campus via mass-transit rather than taking my personal vehicle.
I also don’t currently use a UPASS because of the cost.

Limited bus service near the South Lake Union campus and the unreliability of the UW-South Lake Union shuttle are additional major reasons I do not currently use a Upass.
This is a good incentive to increase the use of collective transportation.

This is of medium importance to me. I live close to campus and don’t need this for my daily commute, but would definitely use it when my UW work takes me down south for meetings. I would prefer to take link rather than drive in afternoon traffic down south.

I pay for parking, and several times have considered stopping and relying only on a UPass (and paying in the garage on occasions when I really need to drive), both to save money and help the environment. but, I discovered doing the math that the cost savings are not that much if I still occasionally need to drive, because of the cost of the UPass. So, I end up continuing to drive in because it’s more convenient. If the UPass were free or extremely cheap this would change the math and I’d be mostly bussing. I am sure I am not the only person who would react that way.




Best thing ever.

While childcare responsibilities would limit the days when I could use a UPass, on the days when it is feasible, I would most certainly take public transit, rather than pay for my PPUP. Additionally, this pass would lead to me taking public transit with my children on the weekends when possible further limiting my use of a vehicle.
We are generally paid significantly less than faculty. So a fully subsidized pass makes more sense for our professional class.

Great idea! Been using mine for 14 years
“Hello PSO Board,
I ride the bus everyday. It is my fastest commuting option. Having a subsidized UPASS would be an excellent benefit for all Professional Staff at the University of Washington.
Thank you ahead of time for your consideration of this employee benefit. Margaret Collins”
I may not use the Upass all of the time, but do use it when I have to go elsewhere between home, work, etc.

Until either the UPASS is provided for free or the transit services that are covered by the UPASS dramatically improve in terms of efficiency are convenience, I wont use the UPASS. Sadly this means I will have no choice but to continue to drive and park on Seattle city streets where parking remains free and walk the remaining way.
Salaries are more important than subsidized UPass.

“In order for the UW to stay competitive with employers in the Pugent Sound area, we need fully subsidized passes. Most industries already do this.

Further, in order to meet UW goals, all employees, no matter their income, should have access to transit. As the university grows, there will be less room for cars. We need to solve this problem before it becomes worse. ”

I don’t suggest fully subsidized UPASS because I think our transit system needs better funding, and not from a state entity–the community needs to be involved and invested in mass transit. I would suggest subsidizing partially. UPASS is cheaper than gas and parking combined, and if the financial incentive isn’t enough to encourage use of transit (and the traffic) then you’re not charging enough for parking. Consider an education effort to show people where park-and-ride facilities are around the area. R

I hope that by PS not paying for a UPASS that the parking garage rates do not go up.


“Please proof your surveys before publishing:

likelyhood –> likelihood
dont –> don’t
would you be more likely use … –> to use …”
“Since I travel from Kitsap County to work at the UW campus in Seattle, a fully subsidized UPASS would be IDEAL! Currently, my transit consists of bus, ferry, lite rail, and bus. So I fully use my UPASS, and drive occasionally.

Thanks for considering.”

I was on the bargaining team to get the subsidized UPASS for union members before moving to a Pro Staff position. I will fight for it again if I have to and find it unacceptable that the UW did not give this to ALL staff and faculty, and only offered it to union members. This creates an unjust system for employees.

I had a UW-subsidized UPASS as a benefit previously to my parking permit but it was eliminated and the cost to me until the lot became pay-per-use. I pay marginally less than I used to under the old system, but not nearly the value of a UPASS. If the UW can provide a UPASS to some, they should provide it to all.

It would be appreciated if all staff received a subsidized UPASS and it would also encourage staff to lower their carbon footprints and reduce traffic congestion by taking transit. Thanks for you help in advocating for equity throughout the university.

Driving and parking on campus is not feasible and becomes more difficult over time. It is unacceptable that the UW does not offer its professional staff a free transit option to get to work.

I can’t always take transit due to my health, but days I could I won’t spend the additional money out of pocket when I am already paying to park when I need that money to cover health costs.

“Without knowing the positions and relative salaries of most professional staff, I can only comment for myself and my current status. While $50 a month for a UPass is feasible, it is at a price that requires one like myself to ride nearly every day to pay for itself. Else it is less money to load an ORCA card when commute types vary by outside influences.

Thanks for asking about this!

A fully subsidized UPASS would be so great. I live far away and use the bus and occasional paid per use parking, and feel like i spend a decent amount of money just to get to work.
please this would be very nice
Thank you for taking up this charge, I hope we can find a way to make this happen!
I’m grateful to be in a position where I can afford a UPASS and I still think it’s a great deal compared to any other option for getting to campus. I’d be curious what other employee benefits we might be giving up in order to receive fully subsidized UPASS, but in general I believe that it would assist with reducing the percentage of people driving to campus, which is of course important.

Please do not increase the parking rates again if this goes through.
I don’t mind contributing toward my UPASS. What was discouraging for me is to learn about other companies that have better subsidized passes in Seattle that only pay $25/month vs $50 month professional staff currently pay.

Thank you for working on this.

“See comment to previous question.

This survey came through at 10:36pm from an unknown email, and the body of the email makes it look like spam. If response rates are abysmal, please re-send to elevate this issue and opportunity!

I feel strongly that the UPASS should be fully subsidized–if UW is truly committed to acting on climate change and reducing single occupancy vehicle use, this is a critical step.

Please advocate on Pro Staff’s behalf for this responsible, sane, sustainable, humane transportation option!”

can there be subsidy for commuting in general? (e.g. bikes)

I do not have a UPASS because it is my ORCA card is a better value since I do not use transit enough to cover the cost of a UPASS. I live close to the UW, carpool with someone that drops me off before heading downtown. Don’t feel I need to pay even more to use the garage occasionally to subsidize the entire staff. My previous job gave free transit passes and most of the staff hardly used them to get to work.

Having fully subsidized UPASS for staff will encourage more public transportation usage and in turn decrease green house gas emission. UW should/needs to do more about climate change 🙂
I am not sure what is meant by fully subsidized. But I support full subsidization of the UPass for all UW employees including temps and student employees.
I would be more inclined to at least use PPUP as an option and thus park on campus less. I do use transit in inclement weather. Once light rail comes north, I will be even more inclined not to drive as it runs more frequently.

Subsidizing UPASS fully for all Professional Staff will encourage professional staff to take public transportation rather than being a single occupant driver.

Our UW scientists tell us that climate change is real. UW Human Resources can choose to take action that makes single-use vehicle trips less attractive to employees.

“Pro staff often make the same or less money, and don’t have the same protection or job security as many classified staff. Why are we being singled out as having to pay for a UPASS? Are we subsidizing passes for classified staff?
Shouldn’t ALL staff be treated equally?”
The UPASS for pro staff is already one of the last great bargains available. There’s no need to make it free.

Please advocate for fully subsidized u passes. Other major employers in the region including, Amazon, MSFT, the City of Seattle, and so many more all provide fully subsidized passes. Offering similar benefits will make UW a more competitive employer and make compensation for current employees more comparable to peer employers.
“The general problem is how to make non-car commuting more attractive and I support efforts to do that. BUT If you want me to support a specific proposal, you need to provide specific details on it. You did NOT do that here, so you cannot expect an informed answer from me!

How can I say whether we should all have a fully subsidized pass without knowing what it would cost the university, whether the pass would be mandatory (costing the university money for the people who don’t use it), whether we need to give up any other initiatives in order to fund this…

I support making non-car travel easier and cheaper, but if you want me to vote meaningfully on specific proposals, you need to provide specific details.”

I think it would be better to reduce the monthly subsidy first, rather than eliminate it all together. Maybe reduce it in half? If we end up increasing daily parking rates to pay for the reduction or elimination of the subsidy, then it ends up potentially costing employees more money. Despite even good transit options, staff need to occasionally drive in to work for appointments, child-care needs, etc.

“We should have UPASS.

Also improved bike benefits. I have worked at Seattle Childrens and at Fred Hutch and biking here is the least supported. For example, help with bike maintenance and safe storage.

Less cars on the road is good for everyone and it’s sad that UW isn’t a leader.”

This would be great. Right now the UW expects us to be everywhere, all over campus and non-campus locations. The shuttle system is inadequate and so we spend a ton of money and time trying to drive and park. This would be a great way to support your staff.

If we all had a UPASS, it would reduce congestion and pollution around the campus.

I would like for staff which work at UW Tacoma or UW Bothell to be able to purchase the UPASS at the rate for that campus regardless of where their payroll originates. I work for the UW Autism Center and we are housed in Health Sciences/CHDD but have a satellite Tacoma clinic which is where I work M-F.

If the UW plans on attracting and keeping talent – a fully paid u-pass is the only way to go. Nearly every company in Seattle pays for this. The UW is way behind when it comes to benefits and pay. Too many other attractive places in Seattle to work.

Please subsidize a U Pass! As a person who bicycles, I would love to have fewer cars on the road and encourage people in Seattle to use transit. I also prefer transit when the roads are icy.
I would like to have a UPass, and I would use it. Currently, it is an expense I had to cut out of my budget. Cost of living in Seattle is raising much higher/faster than my salary. (Housing cost the biggest impact)
Given the increasing housing costs in this region, I would think all U-PASSES would be provided without cost to encourage use of public transportation. If classified staff fringe benefits are supporting their free U-PASSES, why can’t the same be done for Pro Staff?

PSO should absolutely advocate for a fully subsidized UPASS. IF that were available to pro staff employees, I would definitely utilize it. I cannot use transit everyday, but I would welcome the pass to utilize at least several days per week.

making the UPASS universal to employees will make it a more resilient benefit

I get a free Upass as part of my annual parking permit.

Using transit via Upass would substantially improve my health due to getting more regular excersize.
“It would be great if this pass could also cover fares for pedestrian traffic on ferry’s.
Thank you”
The UPass is essential in the reduction of air pollution as so many utilize it for commuting. It also reduces the financial impact on single-income households for vehicle maintenance and associated costs.

Thank you. Helps bring UW on parity with other companies in the region.
The city of Seattle has become unbearably expensive. The struggle that many University of Washington staff face under the still rising costs of this city are extreme, many of whom pay 50% or more of their income to rent. Anything the university can do to keep pace with the rising costs of living in this city or alleviate transportation expenses will help the university retain talent that must otherwise seek employment in less expensive cities or at institutions with higher paying salaries.
If the UPASS was supplied free to me, I would partially or fully replace my commute with public transportation.

I believe this would be very beneficial for pro staff and one more enhancement in retaining staff.

Although the pass is definitely cheaper than driving a single occupant vehicle especially for a person that comes from where I do(Tacoma). It definitely would be an added benefit to future employees as a no brainer when accepting employment.

Equity across the University for transportation use/cost is necessary.
The UPASS should include all WA State Ferries, not just the inconvenient fast ferries that are at sporadic times.

I am ok paying up to $25 a pay but subsidized would be very helpful. We just moved here and housing costs are so high, every cent helps.
I would be happy to have a free UPASS but I also don’t mind paying for it. The fee isn’t much and I use it enough that it’s a good deal for me.
I enthusiastically support a fully paid UPASS in order to promote the UW’s environment goals and encourage the expansion of transit use in our city. My husband has always received a free ORCA card with his private sector positions; it is one way in which the UW does not match the benefits of other organizations in terms of employee support (though our other benefits are super). Thank you for your advocacy.
A subsidized pass not only makes sense because it makes sense. The University should continue to be a responsible caretaker for the environment and subsidizing would be a great step forward.

It would also be great, and make a lot of sense, to include travel on the Washington State Ferries.

I feel strongly that transit should be as inexpensive as possible for users.

Make it available to all, but if we don’t used it have the city not charge the U or charge significantly less to help the cause – too much traffic and no infrastructure for it!

I don’t understand why employers like the City of Seattle and Seattle Community Colleges can get their employees free transit passes but somehow UW can’t. It’s bad enough we are being paid less than most large businesses in the area, the least UW could do is get us free transportation.

I would most certainly use a UPASS if fully subsidized. Currently I would not use it enough to justify the cost, but I would gladly use public transportation more and leave my car at home if this was an option.

“Thanks for the advocacy.
To truly be declared a leader in espousing responsible commuting, the University of Washington should follow the lead of other major employers in the area and subsidize transit for its employees.

Services should be paid for use, this includes professional staff. Other staff should have to pay for their upasses as well, and not provided for “free”. Providing free upasses only rolls the cost on to others in the form of increased parking rates (some people do have to drive), increased cost of tuition, or other rising costs to incur burden on others.

coming from Bothell, the park and rides fill up far too quickly to be useful for someone who has to use childcare.

I use my UPASS every day! With rent increasing every year, every little bit of savings helps.
Having a fully subsidized UPASS would be monumental in my commuting life. It would make not driving to work worth it

Equity across campus is important to all job classifications.

The reduction in parking on campus is ridiculous. There are many of us that have difficulty walking but do not qualify for handicapped parking and the UPASS system is not close enough to our homes for many people with physical handicaps. In addition, there are many people using handicapped parking passes illegally on campus. There needs to be more parking staff to monitor this.

Currently, a free u-pass is included with parking permits. I would expect the cost of parking permits to drop so that the benefit of a fully subsidized u-pass is truly a benefit to all professional staff
With the bus routes/times being as they are, it is impractical for some of us to get to the UW via transit. Being already underpaid, given the raised cost of parking, I would not continue to work at the UW if I had not been able to get a telework arrangement for part of the week. I imagine there are others who feel similarly but are unable to telework due to job duties, etc.

I don’t want to ride with other people. Try working on getting the parking costs down instead. We get paid too little to have to pay so much for parking!
It’s crazy that it’s not free for all employees! This is a benefit at almost every company in the Seattle area. As one of the regions largest employers, the UW should be ashamed that they don’t already offer this.

“I wish your survey was more explicitly tri-campus in orientation. I am on the Tacoma campus, and the UPASS is less relevant to our daily work experience.
The issue could be addressed easily by just changing the survey copy to make it clear that the issue is most relevant to Seattle-campus staff.”

I am not really clear where the funds would come from to subsidize a fully funded pass. It is not a major expenditure for me and I would be hesitant to surrender some other benefit for the subsidized pass. I would need full information, namely how the subsidy would be paid for, before I would vote on approval of such a measure.
From 9/2006- 11/2018, I took the bus to work. However, it is a 3-bus commute for me now and a much longer commute. However, the main reason I switched to driving last November was because of my evening commute home — frequently the first few buses are too full to stop at my stop, and then it is challenging for me these days to stand on an overcrowded bus with not much to hold on to so I don’t fall. Most students sitting in the front section don’t look up to offer seats even if you have a cane.
I have a car; most people in the US outside of NYC think they must. I’d prefer not to drive my car; in fact I rode my bike to and from a group run last night. I’d prefer to bike to work if possible but often take the bus as it is convenient. However, beyond getting to work I have benefited from using my UPASS to transit HMC to campus and back. I’ve also used it to get to the stadiums on weekends for sporting events and concerts. My ability to choose public transit, apart from commuting to work, benefits us all. Let us help make public transit an easy, preferable choice for more people.

Unless you use the UPASS AT LEAST twice a day every day, it’s cheaper to just use an ORCA card. I have to drive to daycare, and then would bike or walk or bus from there, and like having those options. I would take the bus more if it was cost effective!

Compensation is below market. Parking is unnecessarily expensive. Please support staff in this important way.

If the university wants to reduce how many vehicles park and drive on campus, a terrific incentive and motivator is a free u pass for ALL staff.

“I think UW should do everything to reduce single occupancy commuting for all employees. It’s misleading for the UW to only include students (who are more likely to commute by bus or bike anyway) in counting how well the UW encourages mass transportation. Why can’t UW professional staff have fully subsidized passes like other non-education state employees?


I definitely support fully subsidized U-Passes for people who need them, but I would want to know what the financial ramifications are for offering them to people who can easily afford them or won’t really use them. It would be silly for the university to pay for a U-PASS for me when I only take transit a couple times a month, and I’m biking the rest of the time. But this would be an important benefit to some coworkers!

I rely on the metro system to commute from home to UW SLU campus during the weekdays. I see multi-benefit in this advocacy as it will not only be less financial burden to the U-PASS holders, but eco/environmentally friendly as well.
For the future generation and the earth future, we should all do our best. UW should do better to encourage people to use public transportation system. That is the right thing to do.

The UW is far behind regional large employers when it comes to providing free transit benefits to employees. New employees are unpleasantly surprised that the UW does not offer this increasingly expected benefit.

UPass is great for people without little kids to commute regardless of weather conditions. We also have to carry a lot of kids items in case there are pee/poop accidents. I hope UW can be a little more friendly towards parents with little kids (sometimes twins or more) to provide better/easier work environment.
I have used my UPASS to travel to and from work since Sept 2005. I’ve ridden the train, light rail and buses. Fully subsidizing the UPASS for the professional staff will be beneficial for the enployees, but the organization as a whole. And will solidify being the Employer of Choice.

The free upass is nearly worthless to me. I am a huge believer in Public Transportation. However, I can’t get to work on Metro without 2 busses and a minimum of 2 hours, and I only live 5 miles away! Public Transportation just doesn’t work for my daily commute. I would rather see an emphasis on carpool/vanpool/shuttles or something else.

I hope this advocated across the UW system, including Bothell and Tacoma.

I’m actually a bike commuter but I believe in making more use of transit and getting people out of cars – fewer parking lots on campus the better!

I would like to see a tiered UPass option that offers free passes to lower wage/salary tiers and progressively less subsidized passes to those in higher wage/salary tiers.

I would be open to using public transportation if the UPASS is free of cost to Professional Staff.
UW should be a trendsetter on issues like these, not catching up with other public employers in the area. I know funding is tight, but giving a UPASS to employees seems like a no-brainer and something the University should have done 30 years ago.

This is a standard benefit for someone in my profession, and it’s significantly cheaper for the UW to achieve parity in this area than to provide a $20,000 raise to match industry level salaries.
I think it’s fair for those who use the pass to pay something for the pass. I don’t agree with spreading the full cost across all faculty/staff as not everyone has an option for riding transit to work. However, reducing the fee to make it a more favorable option for those who have a choice could be beneficial. The current fee can be prohibitive for some.

I am a new employee and didn’t purchase a UPass due to the cost. I live on Capitol Hill and the transit commute is longer than walking or taking a Lyft. However, I’m sure this winter I will need to use the bus. I would be much more inclined to ride the bus for work and other reasons if I had a UPass, but I don’t want to pay for it if I don’t use it every day. I think ALL UW employees deserve a free pass.
At this time, I would not want the advocacy of a subsidized UPASS to come at direct cost to students in the form of increased tuition/fees or decreased services to them. There are higher priorities than a subsidized UPASS.
This is long due

Taking public transportation is 3x longer than driving and the financial savings is low. There is no parking at the park and ride to pick up the bus and then I believe it is 3 buses to get here from my residence. I have school aged children that I need to pick up and take to evening activities, so a 1.5hour public transit commute will not work for me.

I think it was a great move to start covering the U Pass for classified staff members, but to be a truly green, 21st century university, UW needs to offer a fully subsidized U Pass for all professional staff members as well. UW has lost a lot of great people to tech companies over the past few years. These companies offer attractive compensation, but also free transportation (ORCA or shuttles like the Microsoft Connector). UW has a good benefits package, with the exception of the U PASS. A full subsidized U PASS would make the benefits package great! As commutes to the UW grow longer and longer, I think it’s important for UW to cover the U PASS.

A fully subsidized UPass would be nice, but I don’t think it should be a high priority for PSO. Other topics which seem to merit more attention are more reasonable workloads for professional staff (so that individuals are not expected to do the work of multiple people – yes, we work until the job is done but no one should regularly work more than 40 hours per week), higher merit increases (2% is a cost-of-living increase, not a merit increase), and fostering workplace cultures which value and prioritize professional development. Regarding transportation, PSO could do more outreach so professional staff understand the benefits of UPasses and lobby improved public transit options to campus from all parts of Seattle and the greater region.
A subsidized UPASS would help relieve my family’s overall transportation burdens, allowing us to drive less frequently and reduce financial and other stresses.
With a fast and large increased in Great Seattle area population density, having fully-subsidized UPASS will tremendously encourage commuters to take public transportation. It will be good for the UPASS holder health, the community health (less car-driven pollution) and of course the PLANET.

I’d take the bus more if I have a free U-Pass.

This benefit is provided to professional staff at other area hospitals.

It’s a complete joke that an institution that touts itself as a friend of the environment does not have a fully subsidized bus pass for ALL employees/students.

So many tech companies already do this for their employees in Seattle to reduce the number of commuting vehicles into the city. This should be done ASAP. Results may also require other incentives to be deployed to opt buy-in from vehicle owners. This also goes hand-in-hand with reducing vehicle emissions and carbon footprints.

Most other large workplaces have fully subsidized transit passes. However, an important part of this conversation is where the money would come from and whether allocating funds for this would mean the loss of something else. The University has lost a lot of state funding and I wouldn’t want a subsidized transit pass to result in less funding for students.
It is unfair to increase parking rates and u-pass rates on one segment of the UW employee population. Wages have been stagnant for many professional staff and no additional merit has been given. U-pass should be a covered benefit of all UW employees regardless of classification.

I do believe that if the pass is partially covered more staff are likely to use it, or if there are other incentives as well such as an app that keeps track of how often public transit is used and for how many miles. If it shows certain goals or things they can earn with those miles or public transit usage. Make it a fun way to keep track of how they are helping and getting so much closer to the goal of lessening their carbon foot print etc. It can keep track of how much is in their pass, the benefits, how many miles, earnings such as coffee? UW swag? Coupons?
Speaking only for myself, my sense is that the city and Sound Transit do not adequately meet the needs of Seattle citizens who want to use mass transit. Buses are too often full and bypass stops, and nothing has been done to address the traffic crunch caused by the very significant volume of Uber/Lyft drivers on the streets.

I am alright paying the already heavily subsidized UPass charge. If we press on this issue, and are successful in not getting charged for the UPass, the cost has to be shifted somewhere else. The UW already provides generous benefits, and as a state agency, the U is constantly battling to balance the budget. I would rather pay the $50/month fee than see a rise in healthcare premium cost sharing. As a 9-year employee, we should also think about institutional loyalty, and not a “me too” mentality just because classified staff do not pay for the UPass. That said, I appreciate PSO sending the survey for comments. Thanks.

I live in West Seattle and use my UPASS on the bus and light rail as a part of my daily commute. Due to downtown traffic and 99 reroutes that commute has significantly increased from 50 minutes one way to 75-90 minutes. Having a subsidized UPASS would increase the incentive to continue using public transportation to commute. Thank you.
Most big companies in Seattle provide subsidized Orca cards for their employees. This includes federal employees based in Seattle. The UW is very far behind in supporting employees with subsidized transportation.

The streets are a mess right now. U-PASS should be offered to reduce the amount of individual drivers on the road as well as reduce the carbon footprint. It would also make it safer for bikers like myself.
Many for-profit companies of various sizes offer fully subsidized public transportation passes to encourage commuting on mass transit. Also, the fee-based permitting taking effect in the park-and-ride lots is not helping to encourage the use of mass transit. Providing a fully subsidized UPASS should help UW commuters.

Cars are a hazard to public health and to the health of the planet. Everyone will ultimately benefit when no one drives themselves to campus. Affordable and accessible mass transit is crucial, and individual drivers must help foot the bill.

My UPASS is free with paid parking, I don’t use it to commute to/from work because I work a flex schedule and the bus schedules don’t meet commuting needs.
i ride the sounder and the light rail daily.
With the ever increasing economy just to survive…live and work… in Seattle coupled with the minimal increases in UW salaries over the years, including a salary/merit increase freeze for several years, this would go a long way to foster a feeling of being valued as an employee. It might also encourage people to use public transportation more readily. Thank you.

UPASS should be free for all UWMC employees. If I had a free UPASS then I could potentially move further out from Seattle and increase my quality of life.
I have not purchased a upass due to cost to me. But I am in a position to use mass transit for all of my commute and would like to do so – a fully subsidized UPASS would facilitate that. Thank you!

Reduced fare prices for metro would be beneficial for people who commute just 2 days a week

“As a parent who has children in daycare and in school, with a partner who also works a full time schedule, it is difficult to take community transit from our home to work. Seeing the increase in parking rates across the board was frustrating, as it is already a challenging choice to drive. My commute by bus is an hour each way. With a full time work schedule, that is two hours a day that I am not able to give, without also increasing my childcare costs.

Regardless, I am not able to change my schedule, or make other concessions, even though I wish I could take public transportation. I feel like the university is pushing to price people out of parking, and that is very frustrating to me, especially as cost of living rates increase, but my yearly pay does not. Across the board increases like this adversely affect individuals who make a more modest salary, and are just getting by.

UW should without a doubt have been providing this UPASS all along. City’s are for people, not for cars, and UW should be doing their part to give the public what they deserve – public transit.

“This is great to consider possibly offering the UPASS to all UW Employees. As it is a positive benefit for the environment and also a lot of professional staff are upset that a service or benefit such as the UPASS is not offered as a free benefit to ALL staff.

Thank you.”

““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.”

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. ”

There are days of the week I can definitely take a bus to get to work, but I do not do so, because it is not paid by UW. I would take the bus as much as possible if it was paid by UW. This would hopefully help to reduce traffic in Seattle.

not covering the U-pas is just one of the many reminders that the UW employment isn’t as good as private sector.

I’m not educated enough to know if a fully subsidized UPASS would have negative effects for me elsewhere. I’m voting yes, with the hope that those driving this push are aware of any and all repercussions that may occur as a result of a fully subsidized UPASS, and have our best interests at heart.

“I believe the current fee for the UPASS for proffessional staff is a little high.

I do not think a completely subsidized (eg, FREE) UPASS is necessary.

The PSO board should consider the cost-benefit to the individual tipping point, in terms of uses per work week, when considering their negotiations. Eg, if the staff plans to use the UPASS at least once per week round trip, then if the cost of the UPASS is $22 or less per month the staff would be incentivized to buy a UPASS instead of self-paying. And once they have the UPASS, they may be more likely to use transit because the marginal cost per use has been removed.”
“I would like to save that money,to invest on my household. I have 3 kids.

Every year when/if we get a salary increase it’s typically eaten up by an increase in UPASS cost (along with other annual increases). Having a fully subsidized UPASS would be GREAT!!!!
Governor Inslee’s signature issue is climate change. The state should find the funds to encourage more use of mass transit by taking the financial disincentive to use a UPASS out of the equation.
With the reduction of parking spots and the push by the administration and the city of Seattle to use more public transpiration, as well as to be competitive with the companies in the area, I see it only fair and equitable to provide free bus passes.

I rely on public transportation to get to and from work as parking is too costly in resources. I live in the city, using public transportation helps keep me off the road. Living in the city is very expensive, any subsidies would be greatly appreciated.

My first priority when choosing transit for work is cost. This year’s UPASS is on a trial period to see if it’s worth keeping while I explore my other options. Mass transit has been a convenient method for getting to the UW. If the PSO UPASS were subsidized, I would easily commit to taking mass transit.

I personally would not use a UPASS but I know several coworkers that do take the transit system who would really benefit and appreciate not having to pay for the UPASS.

You’ve already administered the survey, so it might be late for this suggestion, but expense concerns should have been in the list of why someone wouldn’t have a UPASS. I would definitely use the pass for everyday commuting if it was subsidized. This should be a benefit to prostaff as well. Please advocate for this! Thank you.

I would likely do a combination of riding my bike, taking the bus, and walking. Now I drive part-way in, park in a neighborhood where there is free parking, then walk in on days that I have something I need to do right afterwork. I bike when I can. It might be good to have more locked bike cages. A friend got his bike stolen recently.

I would strongly prefer not having UPASS be part of the benefits package here at UW because it is of no use to me. It is not free, as the costs to UW will simply be deducted from employee compensation in an opaque manner.

if granted a UPASS I’d likely still be an occasional user – not sure if there is a way to have less costly bus passes/tickets for that occasional purpose.

The current cost of the UPASS has deterred me from taking public transportation at all. The cost of the upass is too expensive and with it, the benefits of taking king country transit to work do not outweigh the costs. It is only slightly more expensive to take my own car to work every day and pay for parking. So I choose to put another car on the road and drive individually because of the UPASS cost alone.

“Public transit is a realistic option for childless staff. However, Seattle traffic and inefficiency associated with the Metro prevents Transit from being a realistic solution for families that need to drop off and pick up children. For single parents, driving is essential. There is no other parent to lean on. And hiring drivers for children is not affordable at UW compensation levels.

In addition, for years, I lived 7 miles from my office. By bus, this commute took 1.5-2 hours. I can drive it in 30 minutes. Even if I didn’t have children – my time has value. Driving is a no-brainer. ”

“I primarily get to work by bike, but my UPASS is so important to have when the weather is too rough for biking, if I’m injured, or if I have a bike maintenance issue or an emergency at home.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if the “”norm”” on campus was to bus or take a train to meetings or events across town, rather than carpooling? I believe this could happen with a fully subsidized UPASS, particularly given the new light rail station next door to the Tower.
I live paycheck-to-paycheck. I could buy nearly ALL my groceries with $50/month. Subsidizing the UPASS would make a big difference for me.”

Right now there’s no incentive for me not to drive. I would definitely use a UPASS if I didn’t have to pay for it on top of parking because I can’t bus everyday.

“Working at the UW Tower for the last 7 years I’ve had a gratis UPASS with my SOV parking permit. I would use it to get to work instead of driving, but also it was great to use on the weekends to downtown and various Seattle events. It really felt like a perk on top of an alternative to driving in to work!

When my UPASS was deactivated because the UW Tower parking became pay-per-use it limited my options to just driving in every single day, and I no longer feel the security of having public transit as an alternative.”

Even though I walk or bike to work, it would be nice for me to have the option of taking a bus. There is currently no bus line that goes directly to work, so it is quicker for me to walk or bike, but there may be a line in the future. I would also take the light rail more often if I had a UPASS.
As faculty and classified staff continue to improve their either salary or resources, professional staff are left to fend for themselves. We do not make much money. We struggle. Especially if a professional staff member has a family. Our income is a teeny drop in the bucket of what faculty make, yet we make our administrative systems run and programs work. We literally have no rights. No way to fight for better pay. The least I can do is to help those who are able to take the bus not have to pay for it. Meanwhile, those who have to shuffle their kids to schools will continue to leave super early to find free parking or pay insane prices to park their car to go to work (5 days a week).

We need childcare support more than a upass. I took the bus almost every day before I couldn’t.

Seattle is increasingly expensive which means employees increasingly are dependent on public transit. Fully subsidizing the UPass underscores the value of UW employees and the UW’s commitment to sustainability.

My answer would be no, you should not advocate for fully funded U-Passes if it means that we no longer receive unlimited rides. Loading a set amount of money onto the passes for employees each month or quarter would be completely unacceptable. Staff very often have to move between different campuses and locations, and can use public transportation to do so. Thank you.

A fully subsidized UPASS would greatly improve my ability to commute to work. My budget is very tight, and I have a long way to commute. 50$ a month for the UPASS is doable, but not having that cost would be very helpful for my family.
For many years I purchased the UPASS though I primarily commuted by bike, and mostly used the UPASS for meetings downtown and errands & such. I did not nearly use the amount of $ I paid for the UPASS each month on my transit use, thus basically taxing myself for the benefit of contributing to the pool AND the convenience of using the Husky Card and not having a 2nd ORCA card. At some point I decided that the tax was well more than the benefit, and I stopped purchasing the UPASS & purchased an ORCA card or I use the transit pay app. I do believe that if some segment of staff are receiving he benefit of a fully subsidized UPASS, all staff should receive that same benefit.
“From where we commute a public transport is time consuming and inefficient.

I would prefer that Car Pool, including 2 person pool, would get free parking as even a two person pool reduces traffic congestion and traffic within UW Seattle campus vicinity.”

“I know many staff that drive single occupancy vehicles near to campus then park for free on neighborhood streets (not good for our neighbors) and walk to the UW to save money. This does not meet the spirit of the UW’s goals for commuting. Staff (many who don’t make much money and for whom paying for a UPass is financially prohibitive)will use transit more if they have a fully subsidized UPass.

Also, now that classified staff have fully subsidized UPasses, professional staff have a harder time finding carpool partners, which also increases single occupancy vehicles driving to campus.

Considering the majority of professional staff work 5 days/week – and there aren’t that many pro-staff on campus, I would encourage the UW to prioritize fully subsidized UPasses for professional staff. ”

Parking should be fully subsidized for Pro Staff. All the research supports how this is going to going to greatly impact the environment I wish the PSO could do more to support the Pro Staff. A lot of people would much rather be a classified staff at this point. Why are our merits only increasing by 2% when classified staff across-the-board raises have gone up 4% this year? AND they received a fully subsidized U-Pass. There should be MORE benefits to being a Pro Staff.

As an employee of UW I believe everyone should be entitled to free public transportation and would love to have this as a perk moving forward.

Other major corporations and universities in the area provide this. UW supports so many sustainable programs. This fits right in.

“I would use a UPass 2-3 times a week when I can, but it is not cost effective for low use users. It only makes financial sense if you make it your primary path.

A fully subsidized UPass changes that. Also if there were a way to make the cost of the UPASS be connected to use. If it was free to have and cost $XX per use, you could make that assessment of UPAss vs tolls/parking/gas as needed.

You have the opportunity to hit your goals by getting a bunch of people to limit their single occupancy commute (vs eliminating it). You can hit your goals that way too.
Right now it doesn’t make sense.”

Reducing traffic load is better achieved by having staff telecommute. We need an advocacy commitment for aging staff to reduce taking mass transit. A survey needs to be done to evaluate commute times and housing affordability causing people to locate farther away from UW Seattle; to record stress levels that contribute to cognitive and memory impacts as well as contracting more colds and flu due to compressed conditions; the availability of seating when an elder boards despite signs; actual experiences of long waits for buses with adequate seating (at Evergreen Point Kirkland bound buses don’t stop when full); actual experiences of bus routes cancelled bound for Kirkland due to lack of drivers or buses; lack of parking capacity at park and rides; unsafe riding conditions when elders are standing on rain slick floors.

Issue is not a priority or an interest to me

This would encourage more UW staff to take public transit and hopefully would reduce traffic / lack of parking around campus.

Everyone should be able to get a subsidized or free U PASS, not just union employees. Union employees get regular raises, professional staff do not.
“I believe that all employers, including the UW, should subsidize all modes of transportation, including public transit. However, I believe that the individual should also bear some portion of the cost because the decision to commute or not is an individual one.
Moreover, I believe that the UW PSO should advocate to leverage alternate commuting options, like telecommuting becoming more of a standard for administrative personnel, rather than on one-off. ”

“I only have an active UPASS because it comes with a parking pass. UW cant really incentivize me to take public transport by a free pass. of course, I would take it for the non commuting use I currently use it for.
I need transit that doesn’t take 200% more time than driving in order to take public transport.
if pro staff were to get free passes, I’m sure it would come from higher fringe benefit rates which then further becomes a burden on small departments. so professionally being responsible for budget it is a concern for me to make my budgets balance on the unit side.

I fully support this – a great initiative. Public transport is so important to the future of the city. The more riders and the fewer cars we can get, the better.

I am not able in full conscience as a state employee to advocate for a benefit that the state legislature did not authorize. If we want free UPASS, who is going to pay for it? It would have to come from one of the following three sources and I would approve it ONLY if the sponsors do so as well: 1) the WA State tax payer; 2) the grant and contract sponsors; 3) the UW gift donors. Otherwise, I would not be in favor of any un-funded mandates.

This would be an incredible benefit and much welcome extra $ I could spend on food each month.
While a subsidized UW pass would be great, I feel everyone should pay their fare share. If the UW is subsidized someone else, maybe through tuition and fee increases would have to pay for it anyway. Nothing is truly free.
While professional staff, I barely make enough to live in seattle and may “raises” don’t even come close to closing the gap with the cost of living in this city. I’m already getting subsidized utility and internet from the city. The fact that I’m excluded from a UPass subsidy because I’m pro-staff – and making more money??- is insulting.
advocating for complementary UPASSes for all classified staff. We are the work ants of this institution.
It is also important to have solid, frequent transportation between UW locations and UW partner locations. Recently the SLU/ UWMC route reduced frequency of runs. It is difficult to find information on getting from UWMC to SC Hospital. There is no connection for Seattle Children’s research. Many departments host meetings at Talaris, with no transportation there. These types of services are critical to those commuting without a vehicle.

The UW is behind the curve with its failure to fully subsidize the UPass for all employees. In addition to fully subsidizing, the UW should invest more in parking options that encourage a hybrid approach (e.g., pay-per-use parking). I don’t mind paying a higher rate for parking if I drive more — sometimes I choose to do that for convenience and due to things in my personal life — but having a fully subsidized bus pass would further encourage use rather than making me feel like I’m paying twice for things I don’t use every day.
I’m willing to support, but I hope it eventually does not come out of my/our paychecks. Please find other sources to support the UPASS for all staff, other than out of our pockets.

I take public transit, however, I ride a bike probably half the time. The cost of a upass doesn’t work in my favor in this situation.
“With the current growth that the UW is investing in, the UW can also make subsidized transit part of its investment in this community.

Thank you!”

As a former employee of CHRMC & later SCRI, as well as FHCRC, I’ve had from 100% subsidy for 13 years at Children’s, and $60 worth at FH. Formerly while living in Kingston and taking the ferry and a vanpool. Now that I live in Seattle I am using the bus. I would like to have this as a benefit for taking alternate transportation as I now can drive and was parking for my first 3 years at UW until the rate hike 7/1/19.
With the increase of parking their has been more reason than ever to utilize public transportation and most of the UW employees cannot afford to live in the Seattle area and travel from further distance to arrive to work. Paying for the ORCA pass will not only assist current employees but will help with retention and recruitment.

Please consider fully subsidizing the UPass for those that actually use the UPass for transit.
I am incredibly frustrated with the PSO board constantly advocating for bus passes when many people don’t have the option and must drive. Why aren’t you advocating for more parking options (instead of them getting torn down/not included in new building plans) and cheaper parking rates for Pro Staff? REFOCUS YOUR ATTENTION!
“As one of the largest employers in the city it is unacceptable that transit passes are not fully funded. Most professional staff and part-time faculty are not compensated at levels equal to city and county employees who do have fully subsidized transit passes.

benefits are being picked away at and my salary has not increased. It’s not worth it to have a subsidized upass because the money will come from somewhere else. I need a raise.
I work at the SLU campus, which is not as easy to get to compared to the main campus. I take the bus to the main campus and then switch to the shuttle, which has it good and bad issues. Having fully subsidized UPass will encourage staff to take public transportation because SLU traffic will just be getting worse in the future.

“I have had an active UPASS for all 8 years I have been employed by UW Tacoma. It is essential for my getting to work.

At UW Tacoma, parking is becoming increasingly restricted, so subsidized passes are necessary for staff getting to campus.”

I’d love to see a fully subsidized transit option. I realize it is more costly for the university but a previous institution I worked at provided a fully subsidized public transportation option and I used it daily for also saved me money on buying a parking pass. it was a great benefit.
“UPASS will reduce car commuting. If not for the partially-subsidized UPASS, I would probably commute by car. More subsidy (preferably full subsidy) makes that decision easier for more staff.
Less traffic, more transit will make the UW a better steward of the environment and the community.

UPASS is also a differentiator for the UW when hiring. UW must hire top quality professional staff in a very competitive town. Offering free UPASS makes UW jobs more feasible and more attractive for potential hires who can’t drive, don’t want to drive, live far away, or are financially constrained.

UPASS makes the UW a more inclusive and diverse community. People who can’t drive, can’t afford parking at home or work, and/or can’t afford transit fare will have lower barriers to joining UW staff.”
Really, I do not think that staff or Pro staff should have subsidized UPASS and not parking. It is the typical regressive “tax” so popular here. Why should someone making $16 per hour that needs to drive subsidize a UPASS for someone making $50 per hour? The answer is that UW wishes to indulge in social engineering and presumes, paternalistically, to know what is best for both the group and the individual.

Allowing retired faculty and staff to continue to use their U-Pass would be a bonus.

If classified staff gets them, we should too!

Biking to SLU is honestly faster than public transit, so I do that 95% of the time, then either drive or take lite rail. But I use my orca card constantly for non-commute travel around the city, so would absolutely use a subsidized upass.
I understand that employees at Everett Community College pay $50/year for their transit passes whereas we pay $50/mo. Understanding that salaries there are less, this seems to be quite a discrepancy among two groups of state employees. It is not lost on me though that the rollout of wholly appropriate increased subsidy to classified staff passes has also meant a ~40% jump in the cost of each ICT I order. UW can and should do better than this.

I think Pro staff should receive a fully subsidized UPASS. However, if we are not able to obtain a fully subsidized UPASS, at least keep the cost the same versus raising it. As an employee, it’s hard to keep up with raising costs whether it’s insurance premiums, retirement contributions, ect…when our raises are not keeping up with the trend of rising employee contributions. Thank you!

Think about people other than drivers. A good number of people walk or bike to campus, and all your options about why you don’t UPASS have to do with driving.

“I don’t think this benefit should necessarily be paid entirely by the University. I am grateful for my UW job, and the UPass is already greatly subsidized – I do not mind paying my share at all. The money has to come from somewhere, and as an employee with the benefits of working for UW, I think it’s only fair for me to pay my portion.
I commute 60-90 minutes each way, every day on Community Transit and have done so for more than 10 years. My UPass is a valuable benefit as is. ”
I live in Federal Way and use the light rail to commute to the UW Seattle campus every day. My UPass is an invaluable asset to me in keeping the costs of my commute low, and were I to lose it, my regular costs for riding the light rail would be nearly $150 per month, and I would likely need to seek employment closer to home.

I plan to use my upass much more frequently and feel that I should not have to pay for parking and my upass

“Mixed thoughts on a fully subsidized pass for Pro-Staff. I’m personally in favor of a graduated out-of-pocket, up to the current out-of-pocket as the upper limit, based on compensation level. That would allow the UPASS program to provide greater impact to employees with lower compensation, but may not achieve the goal of driving down the SOV commute rates (depends on what income strata is most represented by the 18% SOV commuter population).

Maybe the real question to the Pro-Staff that currently commutes via SOV is “”what would incent you to give up your car in favor of a Mass Transit commute solution””? You may find that the answer is not as simple as the economics of a subsidy.”
Due to child care I do have to drive to work. However, there are some days that I could take the bus, so having a upass would be handy. I don’t pay for the upass now because the days I can take the bus are random, and paying for a full month does not make sense for me.
I believe that removing barriers to the use of public transit for professional staff such as removing the cost to the UPASS card will increase transit use and improve commute options for UW employees. This is beneficial to all as more public transit use decreases congestion and emissions.

While my current commute is not transit friendly, once the U District light rail station is finished and operational the time it will take to get to the train from home will finally be worth it. I won’t take the train every single day but will be able to when the timing works out and I don’t have errands on the way home. I used to have a gratis UPASS that came with my SOV parking, and I would use it on weekends or for incidental trips during the week, especially coming and going from work during the day. When my parking situation was changed I was angry that my UPASS was automatically revoked. Cost-wise it doesn’t make sense for me at this point to pay full fare for a UPASS I don’t use often, so I now have even less incentive to find a transit route when I could. If I had a UPASS again, I would use it sometimes and then much more once the U District station is available to me.
I absolutely think the UPASS should be fully subsidized. It is ridiculous that UW is one of the only research organizations that does not subsidize- every other company does. This makes UW a less competitive employer and costs their employees more money to pay for their own UPASS, on top of slightly less competitive wages. If sustainability and retention of great personnel is the goal then UW should really subsidize.
It is vital for all staff to be supported in using sustainable transportation options to get to work which includes providing free UPASSes in addition to walkable and bikable terrain around campus and other offices and SECURE bike storage.
A big help in making working at UW feasible given the high cost of living in the area.

I have just cancelled my UPASS because it costs just a bit more for me to park a few days a week on campus. If it was subsidized I would not park on campus but take the bus every day.
I think professional staff should get a break on the pass costs as that cadre of staff usually get paid far less than faculty. I still think it’s ok to pay as Professional staff, but it should not go higher than it is now.

I think that a fully subsidized UPASS is an excellent idea and a welcoming benefit.
A fully subsidized UPASS would increase ridership of public transportation and show the University’s commitment to environmental protection. Further, one would hope that this might also prompt King County Metro not to close bus routes when a new light rail station opens, but rather to have both modes of transit overlapping to mitigate the current traffic problems.

Saving $50 a month on the UPASS would increase my quality of life and would further encourage me to use public transit beyond just commuting, which will be good for the environment and for congestion in the city. It’s a win-win-win as far as I am concerned and should have been offered a long time ago to Pro staff.

“I think the Upass is great, I have used it as a student and then as staff. It doesn’t work for everybody though so not sure that the people that wouldn’t use it would care for the benefit. They might prefer something else like the choice between the pass and parking discount.

Most other state organizations (WSDOT for one) provide fully subsidized ORCA cards to their employees, and as a huge employer in the state UW has a big responsibility to help ease the burden of taking public transportation, and one way to do that is by making the cost $0. I am a huge supporter of this initiative.
The city of Seattle needs to make transportation options easier to get into the city. I would take the light rail, but there are no park and rides along MLK. I live 9 miles away and would have to transfer multiple times for this option. Also, now the city is considering charging for park and rides. They don’t want people to drive, but make it impossible to use transit. I would use public transportation if it was as convenient and cheaper than using my car. As of right now, it is not. I live in an area where there is only 1 bus route and again close to Rainier Beach light rail, but no park and ride option. I will continue to drive until the city improves public transportation. I have a upass because I pay for day parking. Also, hiring new employees and telling them the there is no day parking is not a great recruitment tool.

I recently found out that some UW staff members had a fully subsidized UPASS, while research scientists (my position) do not. This struck me as entirely unfair since I get paid less than many administrative staff and the money I bring in on grants is what pays for administrative staff.

frustrating to not have transit covered as a job benefit, when so many of my peers receive such a benefit from their employers. great way to demonstrate institutional commitment to employee well-being, reducing environmental impact. excellent use of resources

We need subsidized transit to address social inequity and promote an environmentally sustainable future. Cars are a public health hazard.

This is a substantive issue PSO should fully engage and support. UW professional staff.employees have no representation but you. Costs are rising everywhere in Seattle including rent, housing, transportation and basic living costs. Professional staff status does not necessarily indicate higher pay.

Very challenging to take transit when you work at SLU coming in from Snohomish County. Park N ride lots in Sno County are often full and there are no direct routes. Buses are always overcrowded, so standing is usually required. It usually takes just as long to take transit as it is to drive and I lose all of the flexibility. It is just much more convenient to drive. Price is not the factor in why I don’t take transit.

I have used the PPUP pass system for 13+years here at the UW. When I first signed up for PPUP parking, I could not believe how cheap it is. I think if people know that they have the option of PPUP parking at even a higher rate than is charged now, people will be more than happy to commute by transit every single day with a fully subsidized pass, but also know (in the back of their mind) that for family emergencies and other issues, that the PPUP parking is available for flexibility. I think that a lot of the “mental block” for people using transit is that they don’t feel that they have flexibility.
With a fully funded UPASS I would definitely switch my transportation habits.

A fully-subsidized UPASS for professional staff is a great idea, and, I think, would increase mass transit usage. It definitely would in my case.
I feel that $50 a month for UPass is a wonderful benefit, as it stands. I’ve lived in other cities and had to pay much more for transportation even when heavily subsidized.

Due to the low salaries at UW bus pass should be free. Also parking costs penalize parents with younger children who need to drive more often. That should also be changed.

“It is hard for me to make a judgement call on the question without more information.

Will the employee fee simply be pass along to the benefit load rate? What is the breakdown of the current UPASS rates? In other words, what percentage of the overall Metro fee for the UPASS does the employee fee pay for? How much would the late rate increase?”

Wages at UW have not kept up with the cost of living in Seattle. Subsidizing the UPASS would be helpful for those of us struggling to make ends meet.

How is it that the University of Washington – one of the largest employers in this state not provided an unlimited ORCA transit pass for its employees as a benefit. I started when the pass was $5.00 a month and it’s increased over the years. Does it make sense for half the employees to pay and the other half get a free pass. King County, City of Seattle, Swedish Hospital among many others do provide an ORCA transit pass with your job. Why not UW of all the employers? I’m appalled! It’s not fair. We all know they can afford it. Give your employees something to movitate them. Something they can say … yes, I get this for working at UW! Should I increase the volume!!

“I will be furious if money is taken out of my pocket for all personnel at UW to have a UPASS. I bike to work daily and have no use for the UPASS!!! Why punish someone doing a good thing and already contributing to sustainability of the city.

Also, Quarterly passes should be increased, not hourly. People use hourly for the occasional parking – like when I need to transport larger equipment to work. $4/hour is ridiculous! To deter people from driving to work, increase the parking passes instead!”

Even though I use my UPASS to commute to work and would love to have it paid for, I work in the Office of Planning and Budgeting and know the cost would be prohibitive to the University without taking money from something more critical than a nice to have benefit for Professional Staff. Unless the state of Washington decides to fund this themselves, the costs to the University are too high to justify the small benefit this would have personally. I find it problematic to just ask a yes/no question do you want this benefit? without providing more information on the costs and consequences for each choice.

Although fully subsidized UPASSes are a step in the right direction, Metro really needs to think of creative solutions beyond the Light Rail. The system is slow and inconvenient and there’s a clear hierarchy in my office of who takes the bus or drives. Higher ups would balk at having to take the bus- they’re too busy, too important. Let’s make the Metro system good enough that even the important people want to take it.

While I use the bus occasionally, I don’t very often. I drive now, because it takes sooooo long on the bus to get to the Crown Hill area of Seattle (north Ballard) – especially during the evening rush hour. It is now over an hour. At times and hour and a half. The morning commute isn’t too bad, maybe 45 minutes. If I use the car it takes around 30 minutes – if light traffic then only 20 minutes. My time is precious to me. There are co-workers who live in Lynnwood that get home faster than I do. Having a free pass will not likely change my driving habit.

I understand why Classified staff would want a fully subsidized UPass since they are generally paid far less than Pro Staff and Faculty. However, I feel that most Pro Staff (certainly not all) are paid enough that the current fee is manageable and fair. If anything, faculty should be paying more given their ability to pay.

Taking transit takes me twice as long (at least) to get to work every day. The cost of the pass at $600 per year is high and not competitive with other employers. If UW wants to encourage employees to take transit, it should be the better option for employees.
It might also be helpful to reimburse employees for shared rides on rideshare apps like Lyft and Uber up to a certain amount per month for rides originating or ending at the University. Companies like Amazon do this, and while I’m sure our monthly dollar “limit” would not be as high, it’s an effective way to cut down on single occupancy vehicles.
If the goal is to get to the 12% take-up rate,then the most reliable way to do this is to pay for the U-Pass for all employees. Granted it’s expensive, but if the goal is truly important, then all stakeholders should be willing to bear the cost.

If UW cares enough about this it will invest.

With a UPass, I would be more likely to use transit to travel to other places, in addition to getting to campus. Which would help City traffic – perhaps the City should kick in some funds too.

I fully support this! Increasing transit ridership = decreased traffic and more motivation for Metro Transit to improve transit service!

With a fully subsidized UPASS, our salary increases will be smaller – there’s no other way to cut it. This survey didn’t even point this out to people! So a free UPASS? Sure! But what about a “free” UPASS in exchange for larger raises? I suspect you would have gotten different survey response patterns. Hopefully the PSO board is not already planning to move in this direction, but it seems the wording of these questions reveals a bias in that direction.

In addition to a subsidized UPASS, I would like to see a decrease in the cost for carpools. I understand that we can never return to free parking for carpools, but there should be some incentive to encourage ride sharing over SOV if people cannot access mass transit. Thanks!
Good luck with this very worthy and important effort. I hope you have a fully staffed communications team to help people get on board with using UPASS.

UPass is an essential benefit that should be subsidized by the UW for all students and employees! Nowadays it’s almost impossible for UW Staff to leave close to the University forcing the majority of these people to commute long distances to work everyday. This initiative will account for some of the burden that is been inflicted in UW’s staff and align action with the UW’s call for diversity, environmental and social responsibility.
Many employers in Seattle fully subsidize Orca passes to incentivize the use of transit. I am happy that UW has done so for its classified staff. Now it is time to offer the same benefit to Professional staff and faculty. Otherwise many of them will continue to drive to work.

I think we all need to be willing to pay for transit. It is a real cost to the city and removing funding from the system just seems like a way to degrade it when it needs more support. A better approach might be that people below some salary level or in certain job classes get a fully subsidized UPASS, but not everyone.

I think it would really increase public transportation usage if the UPass was free for all employees!

If UW Medicine Physical Therapists (part of Union SEIU 925 and who make over $100K) can get a FREE uPass, then Professional Staff (who make under $100K a year) should as well.

I have been using the single occupancy for many years and park in C-1 Central Garage under Red Square. I understand the desire to reduce this mode of transportation. However, due to the need for me to get to work early and stay late I have chosen to keep my ability to do so via SOV parking. I live in Edmonds and often the park and ride lot is full so parking there is sometimes not possible. Reducing to 12% is an understandable goal.

Because parking on campus and at branch locations is already extremely expensive, many people have no other choice but to use public transportation. The problem with that is we are required to pay for the UPass, but it’s not like we are paying for a better alternative to driving and parking. Public transportation takes twice as long as if one were to drive and park, so really there is no winning. Not to mention that many of the UW Staff, including me, as I am in an academic research position, are already under-payed. Staff should not have to worry about breaking the bank just to get to their jobs everyday. I have been very disappointed with how much UW charges for parking to those who work here, and how we are left with a slightly cheaper, but more inconvenient option of transportation.

There are very few options available besides mass transit to get to the U. Biking and walking isn’t an option for many because of distance, physical disability, or time constraints. Forcing this expense on those who have no choice isn’t right. UW should pay for all staff to have a UPASS. Thanks.

Sometimes I carpool, sometimes I ride the bus. The current cost of the UPASS is more than if I were to pay per bus ride. If the price isn’t reduced or fully subsidized, I have to consider not renewing the UPASS because it doesn’t fit my needs or my budget.
A fully subsidized UPass is a justice issue. Many of us work in higher education because we understand the value that a college degree has to move families out of poverty. We also understand that pay is not competitive for living in Seattle therefore, many of us use public transportation. I live in Renton and my commute is 45 minutes one way and 1.5 hours the other. This means that my 9 hour day (8 working and 1 lunch hour… side note: how is that legal when for every 5 hours, there should be a lunch AND breaks) turns into a 11.25 hour day. Nearly everyone in my office lives outside of Seattle and a fully subsidized UPass is just one way that the institution can stand by it’s core value to “effect positive change in the world around us…[and] preserving and enhancing Washington: the place, the people, our home” as well as “serving all our citizens” – inclusive of our faculty and staff.

“Full subsidy of a UPASS for Pro Staff may help with decreasing single-commuter vehicles to the UW. However, it may be a good idea to have a look at the current statistics for Pro Staff; are they more or less than the average?

Also, instead of full subsidy, it might be better to implement cost saving measures for all UW UPASS holders, such as a tiered cost-sharing approach. For example, if $X is the maximum expected cost for commuting to/from the UW for 5 days a week, then the UW would fully subsidize that amount for all UPASS holders. Above this amount, the UPASS holder would start having to pay a percentage of the cost. This percentage could increase with usage.
For example, if Y=usage of a UPASS holder
User cost [$] UW cost [$]
0 Y, for Y<=X
(Y-X)/4 X+(Y-X)*(3/4), for X<Y<2X
(Y-2X)/2+X/4 . 7X/8+(Y-2X)*/2
… etc

I just want to strongly advocate for a fully subsidized UPASS. As transit options increase with the light rail, the UW should be making every effort to encourage the use of transit by its employees. It's better for the environment, better for the area, better for the employees. It's a complete win-win.
I know transportation is a large cost, but parking is a large cost as well. I know that a lot of our employees live outside reasonable boundaries to bus, train, or bike, but for those of us who have a choice, we really need incentive to make it a habit. At the moment, if we need to drive in a days, the cost of both parking and the Upass is not attractive. I have to use my U Pass 10 days a month (2 work weeks or more if I remote work at all) JUST to break even. Some times I can't even do that and that means I am losing money even having it. It would be better for me to just pay the fare when I use it which means I am out of the Upass and out of incentive to commute by bus or train.

Transit for state workers should be subsidized regardless to be a part of the contribution to reduce the amount of CO2 emitted gases into the atmosphere by drivers daily.

"As costs of living continue to rise in Seattle, and my salary continues to fall behind, a fully subsidized UPASS is a must.
It would also be truly beneficial to my colleagues for whom they could commute by transit a couple of days a week, but not everyday. At this point, the UPASS isn't worth the investment, so they drive everyday, increasing traffic, emissions, and strain on parking infrastructure. Any use of transit is better than none, and a fully subsidized UPASS would make that a possibility for far more people."

Once West Seattle is set up with light rail I am in!! Until then it's 3 times slower for me to take public transportation each way. 🙁

Although I currently don't use the UPASS, with the development of future transit options – light rail to the north and new routes It would be more convenient for me to use in the future.

I think the fully subsidized UPASSes would encourage part time riders to use the transit systems. For those that can only ride 1-3 times a week, they tend to drive because it isn't worth purchasing a UPASS for minimal use.

It is unfair to charge one group of people to hand out free transportation to others. This is particularly unfair to lower income staff that cannot afford to live in Seattle and have to spend hours to commute to work. They'll be forced to either pay more or loose more of their precious time every day.

"Personally, this will not currently affect me in a beneficial way. I have a vehicle, and a parking pass, so my UPASS is already ""free"", and I cannot yet give up my vehicle so, if anything, this will increase my parking rates, and negatively impact me.

However, I am already motivated to dispose of my car at the earliest opportunity, which will be in roughly 2 years. I am excited for the ability to transition to ride share and public transportation, and think the UPASS should be free for all of us to encourage that option, and lower our reliance on privately owned vehicles."

"I believe that the UPASS should be funded by transportation's increased charges for parking and that the parking charges should not be allowed to increase until UPASSes are free/near-free (at least on an opt-in basis).
Also I could see a nominal charge like $5/mo just to ensure that people actually are using the UPASS."
At UW Tacoma we just added the UPASS as a mandatory fee for students to receive each quarter. As a downtown campus we encourage commuting by transit for our students as we have limited parking. Parking is a major issue for our students and a constant complaint. Currently having UPASS as an optional fee for faculty and staff and a mandatory one for students is hypocritical. We are asking them to pay for supporting transit while not doing it ourselves and continuing to drive and park on campus in spaces our students can't afford or arrive early enough to get. We should all be encouraged to take transit and be financially supporting it if we are to grow. The cost of building more parking is too high and without wider adoption of transit and financial support it will grow too slowly to keep up with the needs of the Puget Sound region.

I am currently eligible for UPASS at the reduced rate. If it were fully subsidized, I would be more likely to use. I currently walk farther to catch a free hospital shuttle to save money.

This is a standard Benefit with larger employers in our area: Boeing, Amazon, Microsoft. These companies provide a buss pass at no charge to the employee. Now that the Classified Staff Union has negotiated this benefit it only makes sense for the UW to provide this to all staff. In addition it solidifies the UWs efforts to get more employees to use public transport, bike, or walk to work.

"Should the PSO Board advocate for a fully subsidized UPASS for all Professional Staff?

Yes or No was not enough of a choice, perhaps this survey was biased

A small fee for a UPASS is a good alternative. "
Even having the partially subsidized UPass is nice. Broader carpool programs would be great too!

I typically ride my bike to work and I very occasionally drive, so a part-time UPASS is not worth it. This is especially true since parking increased from $6.00 to $8.40, even for those who rarely park.
"Promotion of public transit is good for all commuters.
Additionally, it would help if the policy to refund a trip home from work via rideshare, taxi, etc (due to illness, child sickness, etc) was more clear, prevalent and efficient to submit and receive reimbursement for. Knowing this is a viable backup plan could relieve some employee stress knowing that could have a direct route home if needed (vs. having to rely on public transit in an emergency)."

Employer supported transit passes are becoming increasingly the norm and as a department administrator who does hiring for our 50+ unit, it would make for a more competitive package for professional staff. The free U-pass has been very favorably received by potential classified staff job candidates.

UW Medicine strives to provide the best place to work. By having disparate UPASS benefits, this does not exhibit an equitable and fair workplace. The goal is to decrease traffic throughout, not just for those healthcare workers lucky enough to have a union to speak for them.

It seems unfair that just because classified staff have a union and we don't, they get fully subsidized UPASSes and we don't. Tell me again why we don't have a union?

"The traffic and population only continue to increase in our region and the University should be leading the way in helping employees reduce their carbon footprint by making it more attractive to take public transportation, especially since most employees are investing in it themselves through the passing of ST3. There will be more opportunities to utilize public transportation with the expansion of the light rail so please help make it the best way for employees to get to work each day by not making them pay for a UPASS. Additionally, as housing costs remain high in the region, more and more employees are going to moving to the suburbs, meaning more employees who will be commuting to work each day.

Thank you for to the PSO for making this a priority! "

As a state agency, having a subsidized UPASS should be available to ALL UW employees. To expect Pro Staff to pay, especially in addition to PPU parking, seems unreasonable, as well as cost prohibitive.

I said "yes" to the free UPASS for faculty/prostaff HOWEVER… I assume that increased parking fees will result and that is fine only IF you start a shuttle to NWH. Right now those of us that use public transit mostly but have to go between the two campuses to work pay for the UPASS, pay to park at UWMC when needed, pay to park at NWH and then if there and need to go to the Tower or HMC, pay there, too. That is NOT okay, period.

Have you considered forming a union? It took the classified staff union 3 years to successfully win a free UPASS in a contract, and THEY have the legal power to negotiate things such as a free UPASS with UW. Without a union, how do you plan to achieve this?
If the UW is committed to sustainability, subsidized transit for employees is a no-brainer.

I am all for more people on mass transit (I am a bike-commuter with ORCA holder for just-in-case occasions), but I think we should still pay $50/month for UPass. I am not sure if fully subsidized UPass will encourage drivers to change their habit. Something else needs to happen in my opinion. And I am afraid we would have to pay more in some other way as soon as free-for-staff perks happen. This is a big chunk of $$$!
I ride the bus to work everyday and would greatly appreciate a free bus pass for all UW employees. Public transportation is better for the environment, a policy that UW claims they support, and could help reduce our carbon footprint.
If UW would like more employees to use a U-Pass, it should be FULLY subsidized. The current U-Pass cost to employees is still expensive!

I have loved the U-Pass program since it was implemented. I have gladly paid the staff fees for it, even if my usage wasn't enough to "get my money's worth", because I believe fostering mass transit is a more efficient way to move people around and reduce environmental impact. However, I've known co-workers who don't participate because it doesn't pencil out for their finances. A fully subsidized program could capture that population and help reach the 12% goal. I've worried about how the UW find funds for the subsidy. Learning some of the cost can be factored into the benefit load rate helps. Although, knowing how much federal grant funding the UW receives, this means some of the funds would come indirectly from our federal tax dollars. The reality is one way or another, we pay for it. Thanks for asking!

People are more likely to use public transit with a subsidized pass. If UW is truly committed to reducing single-occupancy vehicle ridership, they should do something about it and provide UPass to all staff, not just Classified staff.

Given that parking options are becoming increasingly scarce on campus, having a fully subsidized UPass will encourage more staff to use public transportation.

UW salaries already lag behind the median salaries in Seattle. For most of us, we know that we are sacrificing earnings in order to work for an institution we really believe in and love. Small things like a free UPass would go a long way for employee happiness and wellness.

I have an active UPASS because I pay for monthly parking at HMC. Due to daycare schedules, the limited bus routes that serve me, and the amount of time that commuting via bus requires I don't plan to use transit anytime in the near future.

If the UW is going to be a leader in sustainability and fighting climate change, then we must have fully subsidized UPASSes for all faculty, staff, and students. Between a free UPASS and the new Light Rail stations being built, I'm confident that more staff, students, and faculty will use the UPASS to commute to campus rather than single-occupancy vehicles. It's inevitable and it's the right thing to do.

My job requires that I go out on donor visits. I use Light Rail for visits downtown. Otherwise, it's easiest to take my car. Dressing professionally means I can't bike or wait out in the rain to figure out the best bus to catch. Most of our faculty use transit, so for visits that require faculty, advancement staff are looked upon to be the chauffeur. In 2021, with more stops on Link Light Rail, I expect that I will use my car much less.

I would like to advocate for fully subsidized UPASS and hope that the as employees, we do not incur fees elsewhere to support the subsidy.
I only advocate a fully subsidized pass for professional staff if the parking rates don’t increase. I’m guessing that’s why the pay per day party went from $6 to 8.40. Very huge increase and occasionally I do need to drive to work.

Because of the pass, I used public transportation that I otherwise would not have.

I, as well as many of my fellow UW employees, do not drive to work as parking at any UW facility is outrageously expensive. The UPASS, while a more affordable option, is still expensive for the service you actually get (not on time, I have to commute 1.5 hours each way w/o traffic instead of 25 mins by car, sketchy people, overcrowded, buses passing you by at peak hours, etc). I am lucky enough that the current UPASS expense isn't a financial hardship, but there are plenty of staff members that even though it is a more financially reasonable choice than parking, it's still expensive. The UPASS should be fully subsidized, both for the employees that this is already a financial hardship for, and for the fact that the bus systems are a flawed service and most would rather drive if given the option but instead we are forced to pay for a crappy service just to get to work.

It is absolutely ridiculous that the UW takes up so much urban space and has had horrible, congested parking for years, but continues to be one of the only places in Seattle that employees are not provided free transportation subsidies. Stop punishing your underpaid professional employees and cover the damn cost.

I would use public transit only slightly more often if I had a UPASS. However, I don't mind if my parking fees increased to fully subsidize the UPASS for others.

I actually used to have a UPASS when I lived further away from work, but because it wasn't fully subsidized, I started driving again because it actually cost me less money that way. If I had a fully subsidized UPASS, I for sure would have just used public transit to get to work every day since that would've been the more affordable option. I currently walk to work, but some days if it's raining or I need to go somewhere after work, I drive to work. Again, if I had a fully subsidized UPASS, it would make sense for me to take public transit instead of driving to work on those days.

Every time the rates on the UPass are raised, ridership declines. The University needs to reverse that trend. On top of boosting ridership to meet transit goals, a fully subsidized UPass is a substantial benefit to employees, and brings us in line with major companies that compete for the employees in this region.
"I find it interesting that every other public/government institution (and tech industries) in Seattle, Washington get fully subsidized Orca Programs but for some reason, UW seems to be selective about who what employees qualify for a fully subsidized U-Pass. What makes some classification more privileged to have a U-Pass, is it because they have a union behind them?

I appreciate the subsidized U-pass as it stands now, I just think it is a ""bad look"" for UW to be selective about who gets fully subsidized UPasses. Aside from reducing traffic and pollutants from driving, Another point, the job market is competitive. Employers in Seattle have really amazing commuting programs along with other perks and UW HR should reconsider, at the very minimum, fully subsidized passes. "

I would also like to see the WSF passenger tickets covered as well.
I usually take the bus, but sometimes I need to drive and park on campus. I do not want parking costs to increase even more in order to pay for the U-Pass. I do not think people should be penalized financially for parking on campus – it already costs too much. I disagree with the city of Seattle requirement that no more than 12% of the UW community should drive to campus. Pushing people who need to drive to use transit and punishing them financially for driving disproportionately impacts parents, especially single parents, and people who have medical issues, do not have good transit options from where they live, work late hours and do not feel safe on transit, or have other valid reasons for needing to park on or near campus. The university should focus on affordable parking AND the U-Pass should be free to all, or at least free or better subsidized for staff with lower household incomes

This would be a great effort in increasing public transit use by our staff!
UW should align itself with the other state universities:all of them offer free transportation passes. Importantly also, it is very well known that staff salaries are 25-30% lower than the market at the UW. Meaning it is very difficult for staff to live around the campus, therefore needs more commute. So… give a free pass or raise the wages.

I do think that we should also get one. I am a commuter and it just makes sense.

The payscale at UW has not kept up with the cost of living in Seattle and its environs, subsidizing our commute to work is one way that management can show us they are trying to look for ways to offset the cost of living here.

"really, mass transit should not have fares.
oil/gas should not be subsidized.


"I thought it was outrageous that some population of campus got fully subsidized U-Pass at the expense of others who did not qualify. Parking is already too expensive as it is and I am unwilling to add on an additional cost to have the U-Pass. I would use it occasionally, but transit routes in the area of Shoreline where I live are horrible and at times I need to be able to come home on a short notice.

I am all for a fully subsidized U-Pass as long as it does not further increase cost of parking. I would take advantage of the pass if it were available but I would still have to drive the majority of the time."

I said yes to advocating for a fully subsidized Upass but frankly I think employees should always have some "skin in the game" to lessen the chances of abuse. Years ago working at Microsoft employees and contractor staff could get a free Metro pass for using the bus to transit. No questions asked, I got the pass sticker on the back of my cardkey and never used it for around 3 years. In retrospect I wasted Microsoft's money. Maybe employees pay 25%.

Having a fully subsidized UPASS is the right thing to do. Classified staff this benefit and so should Professional staff. Most major employers around the Puget Sound provide their employees with a fully subsidized UPASS as part of their BASIC BENEFITS PACKAGE. If the UW is committed to sustainability and working their ways towards goals of having students, staff, and faculty take advantage of public transportation, they need to make this accessible for everyone at the university. This especially includes staff that may not be able to afford a reduced UPASS rate. Having a UPASS included as a fully subsidized benefit isn't only the logical thing to do, its the ethical thing to do.

Having a fully subsidized UPASS is the number one benefit I have wished for since working here.
It would be a fantastic benefit to have my UPASS subsidized 100%. I have been a full-time bus rider for 13 years.

I'm also okay with just an increase in the subsidy.
The cost of the UPASS is about as much as I pay for parking and the convenience of driving on my schedule is much easier. If I had a fully paid UPASS I would take the buss and or light rail.

I've started to drive to work more and am considering giving up my U Pass. The costs to take the bus, in conjunction with the extra time, inconvenience, and poor conditions on King County Metro buses, makes public transit an unattractive option. The cost difference to drive is minimal, and I get home an hour quicker and without the danger and harassment that comes with a bus ride.

"I would really like to advocate for a fully subsidized UPASS. The partially subsidized UPASS is not helpful for my current transportation situation and others may be in the same boat. I need to drive to work sometimes due to personal obligations and the combined fee of the monthly UPASS + any daily parking fees pretty much negates any savings I get from taking public transportation. Now with the daily parking increase I will need to reassess my current transportation choices once more.

Overall this is financially burdensome. I am losing a lot of monthly income just to get to/from work. It is unusual for a workplace in Seattle not to offer this benefit and does not reflect positively on the University as a top employer."
I would love to have a UPASS, and would utilize it, but it is currently not cost beneficial for me. Thanks, and good luck!

Fully subsidized UPASS is not a priority for me. I expect that the partially subsidized cost of the UPASS is already significantly less than the costs associated with driving a car, and that there are other uses that that funding could be used for that would serve the community better.

UW supporting all employees to have a UPASS would help put the onus of changing transportation modes onto employees — UPASS costs are anecdotally complained about constantly by staff. Removing the cost of a UPASS would also give the university a better leverage point from which to raise SOV monthly and daily parking prices, which would effectively decrease the percentage of employees driving to work.

Please include professional staff that is temporary in this subsidy. I love public transportation and would like the same benefits as all my other colleagues, and most importantly would like to be a small part of benefiting the whole world (caring for the environment).

Another option could be for UW to negotiate a subsidy program with Lyft/Uber to reduce the number of people trying to park on campus. I regularly use public transit, but there are some days when I know I will be late between appointments if I rely on public transit. It can be difficult to decide whether to use a rideshare service or drive/pay for parking, as it costs nearly the same.

Anything the UW can do to increase the use of public transit would be GREAT for the city as a whole – UW is a big employer, and a move like this would be monumental.

Love to have the pass fully subsidized, however it has been my experience that the pass does not directly affect people's transportation habits. Especially at pro-staff levels, where there are increased needs for daily mobility between campus locations not reasonably supported by transit patterns. Plus the cost for the passes will just be taken out someplace else, many people will pay incremental portions for only a few people to truly benefit from the program. As a carpool participant, I already struggle to be in all places I'm needed throughout the workday. The pass while handy on occasion, does not positively impact my situation in any significant way.

I am 100% for providing staff with a free UPASS. I live in Snoqualmie and would not be able to use it, but I am all for public transportation being utilized as much as possible. Thank you for your efforts in helping us green our planet!
"Concerned that a fully subsidized UPASS for faculty and professional staff will have an adverse impact on instructional resources and student support resources, and/or increase parking and transportation fees for students. Most faculty and professional staff have salaries that allow them to pay for the UPASS without causing financial hardship.

With that said, an alternative (and more equitable) approach would be to use a scale where an individual faculty member's or professional staff member's UPASS subsidy decreases as annual salary increases. That way faculty and professional staff who do have lower salaries will feel less of burden for the UPASS.
I believe it is my choice where to live, and I accept responsibility for the commuter costs associated with my choice. I accept and appreciate UW's subsidy because I understand that it helps them reach transportation and infrastructure goals on campus, but I do not expect UW to underwrite my commuting costs entirely.

I actually use my UPASS to get between offices/campuses and not even to get to work primarily as I generally bike to work. If I didn't have a dress code to contend with I'd bike everywhere.
I have physical limitations which makes taking the bus very difficult and so I drive and pay for a monthly parking pass which include a "free" UPASS. I would hope that if professional staff receive a free UPASS that this amount would be deducted from the extremely high cost of a parking pass which for me is over $2,000/year.

I cam glad this option is being considered. A world-class university with sustainability as one of its core values should provide free transit passes to all faculty and staff.

"I'm bothered that the only answer is yes or no. I think if a fully subsidized UPASS is not being used but is being subsidized it is a waste of effort and money.

IF there is a way to fully subsidize only confirmed commuters. That would be a better idea. But I don't know how that's accomplished. Maybe it's fully subsidized if you don't get a parking permit.

I almost think it should be subsized for the lower salaries, but don't want to reinforce a classist issue.

So, It's complicated. But I would like to see fully subsized passes for the employees who would use it. "

Promote bicycles on campus and their pathways. Promote straight north south transit to montlake from 25 or 35.
I think all staff should have UPass, not just classified staff. We drive the same road as they do, and we get less pay raises than classified staff. My lead make $2k less than I do, and I manage multiple shops. An extra $50 on my paycheck would be nice.

There are many hospitals in the area subsidizing bus passes for their employees and I think the UW should also. I choose to bus to/from work and it adds 1 1/2 hours to my commute. I feel that I am doing my part to reduce traffic and I feel that the pass should be free. Thank you.
I don't mind paying the 50$ fee each month. I believe that it is very reasonable and I ONLY use public transportation to and from work, however if you are looking to meet a specific goal the incentive is higher if it is free to all.

This definitely needs to happen.

It's disheartening to see staff trying (and succeeding for classified staff) trying to get a free UPASS when our students pay for it. Here at UW Tacoma, our students are now REQUIRED to pay a fee for their UPASS – whether they want to use it or not. If students have to pay for the pass, why should staff get a free one? It's kind of ridiculous in my opinion. Also – have you considered connecting with the Staff Association at UW Tacoma and the similar organization at Bothell? As a member of the Staff Association Board at UW Tacoma, this feels like something you may want to connect with us about as our UPASS needs are VERY different than Seattle's.
It's disappointing that UW does not support the idea of a fully subsidized UPASS when comparable and even smaller companies around the city provide one for their employees. How is an employee expected to earn low wages from a public institute while spending quite a bit of money to commute to and from said public institute?

Kind of unfair that a large part of the UW employees receive a fully subsidized UPASS while the remaining do not.

"I am based at Boeing field and live in Bothell

It wouldn't work"

In the materials I’ve reviewed, it is not clear to me how much this would cost and where the money would come from? Are we expecting an increase in the institutional subsidy or the Transportation Demand Management fees, which I assume come from UW parking customers?

I work on the Tacoma campus, and last year the UPASS was made a mandatory fee for students. I don't know the case for Seattle or Bothell. While I love the idea of staff being offered a free UPASS as a perk, I don't feel good about students being forced to pay this fee even if they aren't using it. Our campus already had the highest student fees of the 3 campuses and this was tacked on top of it. It doesn't seem right for us as staff to get this for free when our students have to pay for it.

I take the bus everyday to and from work, I drive perhaps once a year and I think as we see the light rail expand even more people will hopefully also choose to use public transport!

UW salary is below market value. Give the employees some benefits would be helpful to keep them here.

Honestly it's such a good deal even as a debit from my salary, that I'm not sure it really makes sense to advocate for it to be fully subsidized…

I think if one group is able to have subsidized UPasses, everyone should. I know it was a union decision, but it seems like a reasonable thing to provide for employees.

With minimal raises, even in light of a strong economy, I think that a subsidized pass would help somewhat to bridge the pay increase gap.

Thanks for working on this! Having a fully subsidized UPASS would not only be a tremendous asset to me personally but is also inline with UW's goals and mission.

While I feel the price I am paying for my U Pass is very fair (it also includes motorcycle parking) I hope to advocacy will bring additional conversation about commuting to the UW.

I would continue to buy the upass if it weren’t fully subsidized. I use the ppu park

More flexible bike, bus and park pass would be helpful

It is terrible you lobbied for parents who can't afford to live near campus and are forced to drive subsidize the UPASS. We already are being extorted just to be able to park near where we work. Our parking is higher than in southern California. Buses are overcrowded already and cannot accommodate more riders. It would take me an additional 2 hours to take the bus every day, which would translate into hundreds of dollars in child care because I am not paid enough to live in Seattle. Forcing me to subsidize UW employees who either don't have children or who obviously make way more than I do who can afford to live in a convenient location close to campus does not make any sense. Why don't you try to make parking for employees free. Or try to provide affordable child care on campus without a year long waiting list.

Fully subsidizing the UPASS would help UW Medicine better compete with other employers in Seattle.

I would appreciate having a subsidized UPASS. I wouldn't drive to campus again.

I do have and occasionally use my UPASS. However, due to where I live, I often drive myself in to UW because there is NO convenient bus service to where I live. Eventually there will be light rail near my house, but I will probably not live there any more.

UPASS should be subsidized and perhaps more than it currently is however, professional staff should bear some burden for the cost of their transportation. Perhaps $20 per month would be a more enticing figure to get people out of their cars.

When I started at UW, I always thought that, as professional staff, we likely make more in wages than classified, so didn't mind paying for the UPASS. Over a decade-plus of 2% or less raises, I no longer feel that way.

Public transportation is not good enough to warrant the subsidized UPASS. Until it reaches all areas, this only benefits a small number of staff members. This means that the burden of paying for this program falls on staff members who have no option other than to drive. The money should be spent providing transportation to UW staff members through other means (like Microsoft and Amazon do), especially from locations that do not have access (mainly the East side).

I'll be much more likely to take transit once the new light rail station opens
I believe that since classified staff already receive this as a perk it would only be fair to provide it for the professional staff. I also believe this could be a tool against the creation of of the new SEIU 925 Union that is also proposing this as a normal function of their creation.

Please also make biking more of a draw- bike cages and lockers should be free and incentives given for biking.

Even as a professional staff member, I can only afford to live in areas that are further away from campus, which means the easiest way to get to work is to take public transportation. Not having to worry about the cost of my UPASS would make commuting easier.

This would be a great incentive and benefit to UW employees for all the right reasons. Good luck!

supporting and rewarding staff with a fully subsidized UPASS demonstrates UW's commitment to its employees, the environment, and improved transportation, especially when salaries do not tend to increase enough to cover inflation and other rising costs.

Due to the state's dedication to fighting climate change and to the increasing population and traffic in Seattle, UW should do everything it can to increase use of public transit by employees.

it would be great to have a subsidized upass like all state employees.
I believe this would be an affordable, enticing and appreciated benefit that UW could provide to staff in this resource constrained environment.

Given the UW goal, I will add that while I have a UPASS I also drive to work; having a UPASS does not necessarily mean you commute using transit.

The current subsidized UPASS is still a great deal for professional staff. By asking staff to pay $50/month for a UPASS, they have some skin in the game to actual use it. Additionally, if the opportunity presents itself for another survey it would be helpful to ask if a free UPASS would change someone's commuting choices. I know that it won't change mine.

One large challenge with transit is reliability. Buses are often full so even if you arrive on time and wait for a bus (lost time) you may not be able to get on the shceduled bus but instead have to wait for an additional bus or 2. This means one cannot plan on an arrival time, even if one can plan on a departure time. Also, the rider experience has declined over the years. Buses feel dirtier, and it feels like there are more riders who are rude, aggressive, or even violent.

Part of the reason I park is because of being a single parent with children in Bothell. If ever there is an emergency, I need to get to them asap. During the day this becomes difficult with the transit system because of multiple buses and no express as well. I am also a single parent on a budget as I support them solely on my own.

My previous institution had a fully subsidized transit pass for all students, staff, and faculty members.

I had the UPASS for a few months but with its cost I almost break-even when driving which is slightly more convenient than transit. If the UPASS was free I would definitely take transit.
The price of the UPASS is pretty reasonable, all things considered. However, I feel like if it is subsidized for some, it should be subsidized for all. Also, providing a UPASS to all employees and raising prices on parking will encourage transit use.

It's disheartening to see that non-childcare commitments have to be expanded on, while childcare commitments get an automatic pass. Staff without kids are just as valuable as those with kids.

I appreciate the subsidized transportation but do not expect my employer to pay for everything.

I think it fair and reasonable for professional staff to pay towards their mobility and that there are more pressing issues, from a labor and fairness perspective, for the administration to direct funding towards.

"if you want to make the case for all classified and pro staff receiving a fully subsidized upass…
Consider reaching out to hear from people currently involved in implementing the full subsidy for partial populations (specific union contracts). I'm hearing, informally, that it is complicated and that there could be cost benefits from giving ""everyone"" a subsidized upass. Folks to talk to: Paula Ross in the ISC, Rachel Gatlin in HRIS, and Rick Anglin in UW-IT. I don't have a contact in parking, but i'm sure they do.

Given the TERRIBLE state of raises and the non-existent cost of living increases for Professional Staff, i chose my words carefully when i say… this is the least the administration can do."

A fully subsidized UPASS would convince me to take public transit to work and reduce car use! I know many agree with me that the partial subsidy is not enough.

The only reason why I am not using a UPASS currently is because I ride my bike to work many days, and the current UPASS rate is not worth it for the number of days I would take the bus.

I already pay for parking at SLU because I need my car for my job. With a subsidized UPASS I would be motivated to take the bus or public transportation on the days I do not need to drive.

I am in a vanpool with 6 other riders, so I'm doing the right thing by not driving alone in my car to work everyday. 3 of the people in the van now have free UPasses from their union. But the other 3 are still paying $50 a month. This is not fair. If any employee at UW gets a free UPass, we all should. I think parking rates should be raised- maybe those SOV drivers would change their ways.

Thank you for this effort. It is important for accessibility, equity, and the environment.
Simply having a UPASS is not enough. Better bus shelters that allow riders to step out of the rain is important in our region. More frequent buses on high-volume routes are also needed.

I travel frequently and need my car – I don't want parking rates to go up again. Would definitely advocate for some professionals having this, but maybe not all.

Our office is currently off campus.In 2020 we will move to campus. Then I will switch back to using the U-Pass.

I would appreciate a pass for those days that I cannot bicycle commute. I would not use it every day, perhaps once per week. A lesser pass (say limited to 8 rides per month) would be sufficient for all my commute transit needs.
The "no" vote is a reflection of lack of information on what departments, staffing, etc. would face budget cuts should the U-pass be fully funded. Funding for U-pass for prostaff would have to come from somewhere and it's doubtful that there will be new funding so where will the cuts come from?

"Thank you for taking the time to consider advocating for a fully subsidized UPASS. I commute daily by bus to the UW and have been doing so for the last 10 years. I would greatly appreciate a fully subsidized UPASS.
Thank you

Most other large employers in Seattle offer either a free or steeply discounted transportation pass. For example, Virginia Mason gives their employees an unlimited ORCA card for 50$ a year, whereas UW employees are paying 50$ a month. I have a personal car that I choose not to drive to work, doing my part for the environment and in helping UW achieve lower rates of single occupancy commuters. But now, I am paying for all the costs of my car as well as the cost of the UPass.
If you want to increase use of public transit, it would help if traffic was controlled better around UW. There are times when the bus has to wait through multiple light cycles to turn left on to 45th from 15th. When it takes 45 minutes just to get to I-5, taking the bus is not very desirable.

Thank you.

Honestly I care less about getting a free UPASS and more about getting a seat on the bus. If you could manage that it would be great. I would happily pay more.
Thank you for all your hard work!

Classified staff have subsidized UPASS.

I support fully subsidizing the UPASS, I am an employee who works on the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance campus and use my bus pass to get to work. Recently, SCCA campus moved all employee parking off campus to make patient parking more accessible. To encourage more employees to use public transportation, the UW would benefit from providing bus passes to employees. Additionally, Eastlake and other Seattle neighborhoods are removing street parking options to put in bus & bike lanes. This has highly impacted Eastlake parking availability, should a bus pass be provided to employees, it would lessen the competitive demand for street parking.

I don't use the bus frequently because there isn't a bus that takes me from my home to south lake union where my office is located. Therefore I don't use the bus often enough to warrant the cost of the UPASS.

Pro Staff should not only get a free pass too but the UW should provide an additional pass for one other adult member of the household. We can be a nationwide leader but we have to find a way to fund initiatives like this. I have been car free 20 years and we must do better on funding public transit.

"I'm for a partially subsidized UPASS. What I want to know is where the money would come from to pay for fully subsidizing UPASS for professional staff. That you don't tell us.

This is not a good survey."

we need better transit so we can use transit
The UW is an advocate of sustainability and each UW employee driving to work is not sustainable.
UW should catch up with other large employers in Seattle by offering fully subsidized transit. Ideally UW would go a step further to be a leader in climate and social justice by providing additional incentives to those who bike/bus commute, similar to Seattle Children's $4.50/day for non-car commuters. But a fully subsidized UPASS is a good place to start! Thank you for advocating for professional staff.

I think Professional Staff should be able to cover part of the cost of a pass personally. But I think many other positions should receive a fully covered pass. I realize the attempt to cut use of private vehicles is part of University's responsibility, so I can see why fully funded pass might help. It seems that the sad reality is that some of the pro staff are never going to use transit even if pass was covered.

I've been working for UW over 20 years. As a research scientist, my salary is always lower than average earning income people with the same education. A fully subsidized UPASS would be one of the good benefit for us. Thanks.

Now I know why the parking rates went up this past year. Every employee SHOULD have the same UPASS benefit. Please negotiate a full UPASS benefit for professional staff!

"The UPASS is currently very practical. I've saved over $250 a month by using it and public transportation over driving into work everyday.

Do we really need to give everything to everybody? Is every whim a right?"

The $50 monthly deduction for unlimited services if perfectly reasonable for an employee like me who lives and works in the city and who uses this benefit on the weekends as well. But for others who are not as consistent, the cost might not average out in their favor. So if the union employees were able to bargain for this, then it is only fair that everyone have the same benefit.

Whatever it takes to get people out of cars is a good thing, in general.

excited to take light rail in the future once it opens in Northgate and further north!

This is a great idea!
I am a 1st generation college graduate now working at the U. It has been difficult getting to and from work just because of bills and living costs. I wanted to get a UPASS, but living in West Seattle it is faster and cheaper to just drive to work since I currently commute with my family. I am not sure what I will do once my family doesn't have to come to campus anymore, but a subsidized UPASS would solve this problem and I would most definitely utilize it.

Personally, busses are a very convenient commute option and the current cost of the upass outweighs the cost and inconvenience of parking on campus. I can afford to pay the current subsidized rate without any hardship. That said, I believe that a fully subsidized pass would be a good incentive for those with a less convenient commute option and especially for those for whom any additional expense is a hardship for their living costs.

I have a U-Pass bc I buy motorcycle parking. If I did not buy parking I would not have a UPass.

It would be great to have a fully subsidized UPass, but the survey doesn't really explain how that will happen. The number of faculty and staff would make that a very expensive endeavor, especially when budgets are tight. It's a great idea, and nice to have, but not at the expense of layoffs or cuts to benefits elsewhere.

While I am in favor of this, it would be important to know where the funds are coming from to pay for this.

The cost is low enough that it is not much of an issue, but most companies fully cover these costs for their employees int he area that this puts UW at a disadvantage as an employer. That said, there are many other benefits that outweigh these costs.
With ongoing construction in the Seattle area, it is extremely difficult for employees to get to and from work. with a fully subsidized U Pass it would encourage employees to take alternative transportation options. This would improve traffic, and lower our carbon footprint.

I have been riding the bus to work at the UW now for over 20 years, but see the need that we need to increase that mode of mass transportation and others. The cost of the UPASS has not been prohibitive for me. If anything, the cost of monthly parking has discouraged me from considering driving in every day.

As professional staff, I have been bypassed by classified staff in terms of pay due to Union agreements resulting in 4% merit increase/year, whereas prostaff have received 2% merit for several years now. Classified staff receiving a fully subsidized UPASS has essentially increased their benefits substantially. With Park-n-Rides potentially instituting parking fees, it makes it more and more difficult to make the case for encouraging public transportation. Subsidizing the UPASS for prostaff would be a great way to offset inequities.
"In case you missed it on the prior page:
I advocated unsuccessfully as an evening student not to have to pay for other people's use of UPASS when it had zero impact on parking or congestion in or around UW several years ago. UW can advocate for evening students and staff to be waived. Unless you allow this, I will always be opposed to your actions against students and staff and their limited finances (such as, in my case, single parents who can't afford to pay for others' UPASS while still having to pay for my own parking). You're smarter than this. Figure it out.
I would still like a refund, as UW could offer no explanation as to why I couldn't get a waiver. Failing to offer waivers on a case by case basis is a failure of the school and an inexcusable burden on those who can't afford it and have no need for it and whose use has not impact on the requirements by Seattle or UW."

Major companies are already doing this, UW should be leading not following.
As Seattle and UW both grow bigger and bigger, increasing transit ridership is the only feasible option. A fully subsidized UPASS would demonstrate UW's institutional commitment to promoting transit use.

Any organizational subsidization for parking should be eliminated – the savings could be put towards subsidizing mass transit.

I've observed the traffic around Seattle area getting worse every year and I strongly believe that fully subsidized UPASS for all UW employees (classified AND professional) will help resolve some of the issues.

I have an active UPASS because I also purchase carpool parking. I utilize the UPASS quite a bit across town, though not always to the University.

The last time a "subsidized" U-pass was implemented it came at the cost of higher parking fees. I don't think this is fair to the people who have to drive in to work. If this is done again, I'm sure that parking costs will go up even higher. I took the light rail in to work for about 6 months and due to my location it didn't save me time, and I still had a significant commute to and from the light rail station. I would like to see a subsidized parking pass instead or give people an option to have a cheaper parking option or a subsidized U-pass.

I think it is very unfair that some employees (classified) receive an free UPASS and other employees (professional) do not. Treat everyone equally.
The more benefit costs charged to grants, the less is available for research and employment!
Full subsidized transit passes would be a win for pro staff, our wallets and the environment. The UW should come in line with every other major employer in the city and provide this benefit!

I will consider using public transit once the light rail goes across Lake Washington and only if there are gates preventing those without a light rail pass from boarding. Currently the buses and light rail have numerous homeless people on them and I fear for my safety. I have witnessed several fights and arguments on public transit and have even been pushed into the side wall of a bus. I have also had the need to leave a bus prior to my regular stop for fear of my safety.

UPass is an extremely valuable program for me, and a fully subsidized UPass would strongly incentivize not using a SOV to get to work around campus.

Who's going to pay for it?

A fully-funded UPASS for professional staff is a benefit, yes. But not just a benefit to the staff who will use it, but fellow commuters and the environment as well. We know from student UPASS evaluations that these passes encourage transit use, which reduces the number of private vehicles on the road, reducing both traffic and carbon emissions. Plus, having a large group of commuters using the pass can drive advocacy for better transit to serve them.

I currently use an orca card, as it is cheaper for me to use than a upass.

Reducing barriers to using public transportation is great! Please also implement more secure, indoor bicycle storage in buildings around campus.

Please fully subsidize transportation. It is the right thing to do to eliminate more cars and congestion on our roads; this fosters a healthier environment for all. Thank you.
As cost of living increases in the Seattle area, it is regressive to continue to force all levels of professional staff to purchase their own bus passes.

This would be a drain on institutional dollars that could better be applied to our campuses' handicap-inaccessible parking infrastructure. Already, the classified UPass change has increased parking costs, and backlogged any hopes of transit improvement projects for the campus. I believe this initiative is an irresponsible 'want' for matters of convenience.

I previously worked at Swedish where my Orca card was only $5/month vs the $50 here at UW. It was one of the factors I weighed as a negative for accepting a UW offer. It sounds small, but it really adds up. Especially to an MA, it matters a lot. Fully funded husky cards would be a perk that was worth it

Many transportation options are key to successful organizations and cities. Cars should not be the only option for staff. Public transit provides a safe and an efficient alternative, which should be fully supported by progressive organizations.

Transit options from Issaquah direct to campus are limited. And within those limits, it takes significantly longer to take transit (by 30-60 minutes) rather than to drive.

"I'm fine paying the $50 a month for it, but will not go against it if it is free.
The pass pays for itself within 1 week of me commuting in and is a major reason I will continue to work here at UW Medicine. "
It would be an equitable decision to provide UPass to non-classified staff. Not relevant but I am still a bit surprised at how many people in my unit drive (single-occupant) and/or commute from so far away. Thank you for the survey opportunity.

The cost of the U-PASS was a big barrier for me for quite some time when my husband was not working. It made more financial sense for him to drive me to work rather than purchase a U-PASS, even though I wanted to take transit and remove my car from the road. With rising cost of living in Seattle, and the fact that not all professional staff make sufficient income or annual merit raises to cope with that cost increase, an opt-in system for a fully subsidized U-PASS would make a huge difference for those of us who wish to commute via transit.
To be honest, I rarely ever drive to campus (due to cost of parking). But I'd be much more likely to choose transit with a UPass than the Orca debit that I use on rare occasions.

While a free U-Pass sounds like a wonderful thing, I question where the funds will come from to pay for this. From my understanding this all comes from Transportation parking fees. If we are reducing the number of people that park, and increasing the number of people that ride the bus, won't that create an increase in UPASS costs and a decrease in revenue? Transportation will have to significantly raise rates to cover this. And as an occasional parker ( a few times a month), I'd prefer to continue to pay for my pass and have lower parking rates. I think our cost for the UPASS is $50/mo. If I were to pay full fare on the bus every day out of pocket it would be $153/month. I feel like the $50 I pay right now is more then fair at this point.

Some companies are not only paying for the full ORCA pass they are giving their employees a daily stipend when they use mass transit.

Parking in many areas is a problem. If more people were given a free bus pass you would get a lot more staff on transit in my opinion.
Maybe we should form a union, too.

Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to. –Sir Richard Branson

Seattle is a highly populated area, and since we are working to become a campus that is more sustainable, we should encourage bus riding. In this, we shouldn't charge for a bus pass because that seems redundant. With a subsidized UPass, then more people would likely take public transit and then we could truly say that we are campus moving toward being more sustainable.

I'm all for a free UPass – as long as it doesn't increase my parking permit fee more.

Thank you for your work on this!


"I currently drive to campus because it is more time efficient and comfortable than transit (I live in North Seattle). Given that the UPASS is $25 per paycheck, it is also more cost effective.
If the university will subsidize the UPASS for prostate, I would definitely leave my car at home and deal with busses."

"The funds to cover the UPass for Prostaff have to come from somewhere.
Paying for Parking and a UPass is part of working for a public university. "

"See above. It would be great if UPASS subsidized ferry costs.
Compensation at the UW is well below industry standards, there are no bonuses, and no promotions. This small gesture shouldn't be controversial. Just do it.
I think the University needs to be careful about giving classified staff (bending to the union) continuously more benefits than what they provide pro staff. Classified staff already receive twice the merit raises (twice a year), additional one time bonuses and now they are going to fully fund a UPass? This is not equality

It will help with area traffic congestion and pollution. Also, our benefits seem to get less and less over time, this would be a great way to attract and keep employees and continue to be an employer of choice.

In most major metropolitan areas, the burden of travel, both time and money, becomes onerous. The increased burden of traffic and parking shift from a personal choice to a work necessity. Anything the employer can to do lesson this impacts positively on the work experience.

As a UW employee on a quite modest salary, the 50$ per month cost of the UPASS is a significant financial burden. I do pay for one and because of it, I am more likely to use public transport even outside of my work commute, which is obviously more environmentally friendly. Co-workers in a similar financial situation have decided not to pay the fees and end up using private vehicles which results in a higher, but more difficult to measure costs to the environment and our community.
With the traffic and parking issue we see daily, anything that can be done to promote taking public transportation, vanpools etc is a win for all.

Fully paid UPASS are necessary to be a competitive employer in Seattle.

I strongly support a fully subsidized UPass for all UW employees. I spoke about this at the public meeting that was held in regard to raising rates for the UPass a while back, and for reasons including social justice, environmental justice, and many more, I strongly believe that it is an issue of crucial importance. If there is any kind of committee or group that forms around this issue, I would be interested in participating.
It is upsetting and unfair to see that only a specific class of UW employees has access to a subsidized public transport pass. Would you be ok with only certain UW employees have access to campus bike lockers, or to campus food service? Subsidized UPASS should be considered as a one for all benefit within the UW community, not a privilege for only the lucky ones.

In the new agreement the Classified Staff at UW received a free UPass and a 2% raise, while staff around the state received a 3% raise. I would rather haven an additional 1% salary than a free UPass.

It would be beneficial if the Washington State Ferry system was included. You might get greater use for those further out.

"The UPASS is currently fully subsidized for all classified workers . Professional staff do not receive the similar benefit, however professional staff come with benefits not afforded to classified staff. ( paid time off accruals , higher compensation and flexibility )
This I believe this is the equalizer. When applying candidates make decisions based on the job type and benefits.
In addition where would the funding come from? Higher tuition, increased parking costs, etc. This would defeat the purpose of "" free” as the cost would be shifted somewhere else. We are responsible to getting ourselves to work regardless of classified, professional, temp or fixed duration
I'm all for fully subsidized upass. However, as I do pay for a parking spot, I don't want the parking rate to increase as a result since I rarely use the parking spot (but have to pay $150 a month for the combined spot and upass).

Currently the cost of using public transport is more than driving. I carpool when possible. If UPass was fully subsidized it would enable me to use public transport and I would take on the added time and inconvenience if the cost were reduced.

My partner and I use a carpool permit because UPASSes are included. The carpool permit is just a bit more expensive than the two UPASSes would be, which is why we drive. If UPASSes were free, we wouldn't bother paying for the carpool permit and would only bus to work. Thanks for your advocacy!
If a fully subsidized UPass can not be done keep the charge to the professional staff the same as it is right now. Increasing the staff cost would not incent more people to use the bus system. The number of options for getting home in the afternoon are too limited. I use the Community Transit system. There is one bus at 5:10 which can sometimes be hard to catch. The next one (and last one) is at 5:45 which in the winter can be anywhere from then to 6:00. There needs to be one more bus between.

I favor having a fully subsidized pass. I ride transit all the time to work, but am a senior now so get to ride for $1. That may be a model to consider, so that the cost is significantly decreased for users. It makes a huge difference for me to ride for $2/day instead of $5.50/day.
This was difficult to answer without knowing where the funding would come from. I wouldn't want to take away from student services or staff raises for example.
I use transit frequently (several times per month) but commute primarily by bike. Most months, I don’t use transit quite often enough for the UPASS to make financial sense. I would likely use transit more frequently with a subsidized UPASS.
Even a further increase in subsidization would help staff and increase ridership
I am a new employee and driving from Tacoma one day a week. I will get a U-Pass soon when our office moves closer to the lightrail. I won't use my U-Pass often enough to make the $25/pay period save me much if anything on the cost of transit. If it were fully paid for it would be much more appealing and of course, appreciated.

Fully subsidizing the UPass for all staff is an important way for UW both to reduce trips AND to fully express its commitment to transit alternatives and to parity across staff categories.
I commute from Snohomish and make every effort to commute by bus. I travel to SCCA, HMC, UWMC and the University District Building throughout the week and utilize the shuttles, South Lake Union trolley, light rail, and busses. Occasionally, I have to drive in due to my schedule, so to pay for parking at mutliple sites, in addition to my UPASS cost, is an added expense.

UW Transportation should revert the lease cost of bike lockers to the rate prior to the current hike. The UW implores the UW community to avoid getting to work by autos, but when one chooses to commute often by bike, they have to pay more an more. This is ridiculous.
Thank you for existing and trying to make like better for professional staff. I know it's a thankless job most times.

While having a discounted pass is great, I am still paying $50 a month. I am essential staff and I am required to be here when my classifieds are not, we also don't enjoy the same union benefits being professional staff that our classifieds do.

A fully subsidized U-PASS would be awesome and would certainly increase the number of people using it and the financial hit on people who already are. I also think that lowering it to something more nominal like $20/month would lower the adoption barrier considerably.

This is a very important issue to me, and it should be to UW too. Our roads are too crowded and our commutes are ridiculous. If UW doesn't provide this for ALL employees, it's complicit in our quick throttle toward increased changes in our climate, and for an institution that touts sustainability that is unacceptable. Also, the UW thinks it pays it's prof staff members enough to afford a UPASS it's wrong. I barely make more $ than the classified staff I supervise. It costs me less to drive than to buy the UPASS, but I'm committed to driving less. The UW should be as committed.

This seems like the advocacy is primarily driven by needs of UW Seattle. I understand that is where most professional staff are located,but it would be nice to have mentioned the needs of professional staff at Bothell and Tacoma as well. No need to respond to me, it is just something I noticed.
Covering the Upass for employees would be the start of a return to managerialism. Putting employees first, as opposed to the state legislature or some board of directors is essential. There is a lot of disparity at UW. This place is not an institute of higher learning. It is an institute of profit. It is about time to start giving back to the people who work here.

The taxpayers of this state already pay UW Professional staff a good wage. Surely we can make our own transportation choices based on our personal situation. Paying for passes that will never be, or infrequently, used is a waste of taxpayer money and betrays their trust in the UW that the UW will spend the money, provided by the taxpayers, efficiently.

UPASS is how I've been coming to work for years and it's how I plan to come to work moving forward. The current benefit is definitely helpful, but any way to encourage more staff to take transit would be highly beneficial!

If the subsidy were bigger and I only had to pay 20$ a month, that would be enough to make it worth getting.

Having professional staff members pay for them while classified don't means inequality.

Would love to have a further subsidized UPASS, however, if the UW is just gonna take that money from elsewhere like they did for classified staff (seeming to increase retirement plan costs), I'm not sure…
Thank you for fighting for a fully subsidized Upass for all staff. We don’t get paid enough, we hardly get a raise and certainly not a cost-of-living raise, and the rate of parking and Upass is steadily increasing making it not affordable. I drive occasionally now, but wouldn’t do that if I had a fully subsidized Upass. Local companies help their employees with these costs, meanwhile UW is receiving all sorts of awards for being green, but won’t provide a bus pass for their employees. Thank you for your work.
Thank you for your efforts in this area. It would be very beneficial to me to have a fully subsidized pass as I only commute via bus to work.

The UW should be leader and an example to other regional large employers and other educational institutions in this nation by minimizing our carbon footprint and making campus accessible to all. Making a fully subsidized UPASS a part of staff and faculty benefit packages is not an unreasonable request from the UW's employees, and is in fact beneficial to not only the individuals receiving the UPASS, but to the UW as an institution, as well as to the transit agencies.
"My job is off-campus in South Lake Union. If I were to return to working on campus I would strongly consider driving a SOV (as I have for all 7 years working on campus) as the bus costs significantly more time a comparatively negligible amount of money in gas.

For my personal case a UPASS is actually a small waste of money if used just for commuting. This is because the UPASS rate is slightly higher than the rate I would pay for commuting to/from work 4 days a week and working from home the fifth day.

Please encourage further usage of the bus by making the UPASS more economically attractive to those of us who work from home."
Only seems right. With increasing cost of living; wages that aren't keeping up with the cost of living, increases in parking fees, permits, etc. the university needs more incentives in order to attract and retain quality employees. Offering a fully subsidized UPASS is a great start when you consider how many employees utilize public transportation to commute to/from work. DO THE RIGHT THING!

I pay $25 a paycheck for a UPASS, or $50 a month. I use the UPASS as a convenience for about once or twice a week round trips to downtown. I have never used $50 in a months time. This is unfair and I am basically subsidizing the University for their expenses. It would be reasonable to provide the UPASS to PSO staff.

This issue becomes more critical now that both Sound Transit and Metro are going to charge $60-90-120 for a reserved parking space at Park and Ride lots.

It is very disappointing that the UW has not agreed to fully subsidize the UPASS program already. This should have been done years ago.

The fact that UW Medicine does not support all their staff if commuting options is beyond comprehension. Many major employers across the region have fully subsidized transit passes. By being inclusive to all members of the UW "family" this would increase employee satisfaction and make UW a more desirable place to accept employment for new recruits and help maintain the Employer of Choice status that is so desired.

I would like to see the UW invest in public transit in this very meaningful way. If we can build temples of athleticism, we can fund transit for the very folks who maintain and operate this campus.

I think the UPASS for PS members should be fully subsidized as this would greatly encourage users to take public transportation and forgo driving in. This will help the UW meet the requirements to reduce incoming traffic to the University and propel our 'be green' mission.

"Our move to SLU has increased the commute to work by hours vs the 20 min it used to take. So now a full hour to 90 min each way even when using public transportation. Many of my co workers are professional staff but are not paid the physician/professional salary, ie lab techs, Research Coordinators etc. I'm sure the free bus pass would add to their benefits.
It has been difficult to recruit new staff for SLU by the way due to cost of transportation. "

Every major employer in Seattle subsidizes public transit costs except UW. It is time for UW to do the right thing and encourage public transportation buy providing UPASS's to their employees too.

I love riding the bus and the Sound Transit Train from Everett – without this I do not think I would be able to commute from Granite Falls, WA to Seattle on a daily basis. I would love to have the U Pass covered it would be a wonderful benefit. Thank you for taking the time to consider this as an option

I go to the Bellevue campus and there is not convenient transit service from my home to that location

We need to limit SOVs immediately; ten years is too long to get the percentage down. I'm for banning all cars from campus except those with disabled permits. Campus would be safer and greener, and people with need of a car could park at Montlake and walk/bus in. Further, a bus commute builds in some exercise for everybody: if we can have standing desks, why not subsidized UPASSes?
If there was an express bus from white center as there had been in the past, I would consider this, but that was stopped.
With fully-subsidized UPASS, it will be more cost-enticing for me personally to drive less. My previous employer (University of Utah) offered a fully subsidized public transportation pass and myself and many of my co-workers utilized public transport.

Large corporations and organizations provide such benefits. I was surprised when joining the UW community 3 years ago that this was not part of the package. As a primarily bus & bike commuter from the northeast end of Lake Washington I value removing more and more single driver cars from the roads. Its the responsible thing to do.

We work in an area where parking is exorbitantly expensive. As one of the largest employers in the area, UW should fully subsidize the UPASS for its employees to get them to use transit and not use their vehicles.
I typically bike commute to work. It would be great to have a UPASS option in case something happens with my bike or it is pouring rain. I also often have to attend meetings downtown and have to get reimbursement for using the Light Rail or driving. It would be great if the UPASS included the ability to light-rail to downtown.
I have been debating purchasing a UPASS. The user fee is a legitimate roadblock for me. I often drive to campus rather than taking light rail, due to the cost.

It would be nice to have my Upass fully subsidized. That being said, if there is a way to do it without raising parking prices to offset the cost, I would support that. It does not help my situation if the few days I have to park on campus ends up costing more than it currently does to pay for my part of the UPass.

I used to have a UPASS (2017, 2018), and my circumstances changed in 2019 so I've been driving. I can't wait to get back. to the bus and the UPASS. Fully subsidized would be nice, but I also don't mind paying a reasonable fee – maybe income-adjusted?
"I like the idea of encouraging UW employees to ride the bus.

Thanks, Beth"
Thank you for taking up this issue. Many entry level staff in my dept would benefit as Seattle is so expensive
I would advocate for a fully subsidized upass in tandem to incentivize further people taking the bus over cars (eg, with raising parking rates), but I am happy to still pay my upass fee to help continue this program at all.

With the increased PNW population and resulting traffic issues in the past five years, I believe it is in the overall best interest of all parties to encourage transit use. A fully subsidized u-pass can help support this endeavor both in alleviating the horrible traffic congestion and promoting environmental friendliness.

I really think the PS needs to think seriously about joining a union, so we can get the same protections and perks as the classified staff. Our department converted as many positions as possible from classified to professional, so they would not have to pay overtime. We all have to work overtime now, because vacant positions are not being filled!

I have such conflicted feelings about this. Part of me really does not want UW to pay for a UPASS for everybody who has generous salaries. Yet, I have multiple Pro Staff in my organization who make $17/hour or less, and it seems this may be the easiest way to get UPASSes for them. It's demotivating to see those who have union support get perks that others would have to work very, very hard to advocate for with uncertain results.

It is hard to use public transit with Seattle school schedules and daycare options. I cannot commute in a timely fashion because of this and need a SOV, unfortunately. However, that may change once they open the light rail up in Northgate.
To me it's not fair staff are not treated equally. With the fees for city parking we should be giving some credit for using public transportation and limiting traffic congestion and saving the atmosphere.

I feel having a free U-Pass is an important benefit and a way to encourage more people to utilize public transportation and options such as a vanpool. Providing the free pass gives the message that the University sees this as an important issue. It also creates more equity between professional and classified staff.
I think what the city is doing is wrong.

I travel to different meeting locations around the city. My office is at Sandpoint and there is no shuttle, so I am required to drive to meetings. A transit pass would give me the option to use transit, in some cases. But it would also help having a shuttle from Sandpoint to the other locations where shuttles go at UW Medicine. In that scenario, I wouldn't have to take my car at all.
City of Seattle has been given fully subsidized ORCA pass to their employees for years. UW needs to step up for their employees.

I would like that the UPass issue is one of many issues that the PSO board is working on. But I don't want it to be the top issue. The UPass cost vs. value is good compared to other local employers and I am more concerned about other issues – cost of living increases, affordable housing for lower paid professional staff, etc.

I was required to answer Yes or No to the first question on this survey, but my answer really is "Maybe." It depends on how the fully subsidized pass would be subsidized. I certainly don't want the money taken from other programs that are more important and I don't know where the money would come from. That information is critical for anyone to make an informed decision. Without that information, the question simply doesn't make any sense.

I also appreciate and use the campus shuttle services and would like to see them expanded.

These may not be related but I was super concerned about the parking price increase this year. I use my U Pass when I can but because of our location my husband and I carpool to the UW. Bussing takes 3 times as long so time wise it just doesn't make sense. So essentially we get a U Pass as part of our carpool so this free pass is essentially not useful to us. However I support it for those who are able to bus on a regular basis.

I don't mind paying for a portion of my UPASS especially since it is only $50 a month. I would rather PSO advocate for more important things. I don't have an example at the moment but fully subsidizing the UPASS is not a thing I would want to spend negotiating points on.

If the UW has any hope of staying competitive in the employment marketplace for professional staff, it will need to be creative with benefits since it isn't able to stay competitive with salaries.

Since pro-staff are most likely also not getting what is considered "market rate" for their salary, employees usually need to commute in to work at UW from locations where they can afford to live.

It would be interesting to see where the 18.9% are commuting from and address those issues. Also, with the pay-to-park at the Park-n-Rides coming this fall, it would be interesting to see how that value changes. Though, that fact in itself make using transit difficult from a user perspective.

I am considering canceling my UPASS because driving costs me the same and is easier. But if the UPASS is fully subsidized like it used to be years ago, then I would take mass transit more often.
"I wanted to bring another issue that Metro plans to sell.
According to the Seattle Times, Metro will sell monthly parking permits at the below park-and-ride which is ridiculous. So they pushing out the poor people out of these areas to commute farther from the work, so only people who can afford can stay these area.

""Under a plan likely to be approved by the Metropolitan King County Council Wednesday, drivers could pay between $60 and $120 a month for permits at 10 of the busiest park-and-ride lots""

Northgate Transit Center, Aurora Village Transit Center and park-and-rides at Bear Creek, Bothell, Kenmore, Redmond, South Kirkland, Tukwila, Issaquah Highlands and Shoreline.

I suspect that spending money on subsidized passes, many of which will likely go unused, will result in fewer funds for more important initiatives and, at worst, may lead to some layoffs and inability to properly fund raises.

"This is a strange survey.

The survey question is:

""Should the PSO Board advocate for a fully subsidized UPASS for all Professional Staff?""

Why would the answer be no? The survey doesn't provide any info on what the cons would be to pursuing this.

Also, does the fact that this question is being asked suggest that PSO has NOT already been advocating for a fully subsidized UPASS??? I would've expected this to be an annual (or, even quarterly) agenda item for PSO to bring up with the university."

UPASS encourages staff to take transit methods to work as well as to get around generally – it demonstrates the UW commitment as a major employer/impact to the city to reduce congestion and pollution.

I understand that money is not a simple matter but encouraging mass transportation seems to me an extremely worthwhile goal. Thanks!

"Pro Staff pay for U Pass, do not get merit until Sept while classified staff do not pay for U Pass and get increase 2% pay in July (last year twice).

It is now becoming an advantage to be a classified staff member."

I think it would help get more people out of their cars and on the buses!

I would appreciate your advocacy for a fully subsidized UPASS for Professional Staff. It would promote the use of public transportation.
I currently carpool with my coworker, in part due to the amount charged for UPASS. Carpool parking rate is cheaper than the monthly UPASS. If we can have fully subsidized UPASS, I would definitely utilize public transportation over driving.

Lowering the rates of the UPASS would be nice but I don't believe a fully subsidized UPASS is needed. I take transit to work everyday so I appreciate having a UPASS and that rates didn't go up this year.

I think the subsided U-Pass should be based on income. A sliding scale to pay seems fair to me. Professional staff that make in excess of $125,000 do not need a subsided pass.

I do not work on campus regularly. in the past i used UPASS to ride bus when i needed to go to UW but it was more costly than use street parking. If UPASS is free, I will definitely utilize bus.

I truly appreciate my ORCA pass and would be grateful if the fee were waived. Without it, I would never have accepted my position with UWP. (Our department was moved from UWP to UW this year, so we started paying after the transition)

This whole issue continues to make the UW look cheap and work against retention and recruitment.

While I think subsidizing the U-Pass would result in the need for increased parking lot/parking pass rates, that may be positive side effect due to it causing more people to abandon driving and pick up riding the bus.

While it would be great to have a free UPASS, I think the more important issue here is that the UW take advantage of their ability to positively affect transit and traffic in the region. Making it easier for people to use public transit takes cars off the road, which improves commute times, congestion, air quality, and ultimately quality of life.

I've only been with the organization for 6 months. I'm looking for another job. I can't afford the cost of transportation. It hurts. I love my job. I love UW. 🙁
I have UPASS for emergencies.In case my car breaks down. I pay for it, but I don't use it. My main concern is not having the price raised.
I fully support this for others. Until Seattle finishes transit improvement projects, I will not be able to use this benefit for a few years.
Other collaborating institutions such as Fred Hutch and Seattle Children's employees are only paying 12 dollars or less per month for their ORCA pass while UW employees are paying 50 dollars and being threatened constantly on raising it higher. I believe it is very unfair also considering the fact that most employees at UW do not get parking spots due to lack of parking lots or it's very expensive as well.
Please advocate on behalf of all UW Medicine staff for a free UPASS. Other major Seattle healthcare companies provide a free transit pass for their employees.
With the costs and limited availability of parking and the rising cost of living in Seattle, UW will need to address commuting concerns proactively. The cost of commuting is significant and has become a deterrent to retaining staff.
I usually walk or bike to work so am not the best person to be weighing in on this situation. But if I had to take the bus/link to work, it would be really great to have a fully subsidized UPass.

"Our pay (some or most professional staff) is equal or less than those in a union which seems quite unfair that we still need to pay for our UPASS. I realize they pay union dues which protects them but we should have equal benefits for ""getting to work"".

Thank you!"
Our transport costs are relatively minimal compared to workers downtown, and we are paid at a rate that allows us to pay for our transportation costs.

I feel that by subsidizing UPASS for all Pro Staff is a huge overhead and wasted resource on the UW as a whole because not everyone uses the UPASS. When it is free many staff will get the UPASS just to have and not to use. Not knowing that they are wasting UW resources. The one who needs it, pay for it is still the best option. There is no reason to put such an overhead on our institution, as we can do much more with the resources than subsidizing for unused UPASS staff.
I would welcome a free UPASS.
"More staff members taking public transportation to campus benefits the UW by freeing up parking, making campus more accessible to guests and those who are elderly or disabled or have other specific need for parking. It also benefits UW by lowering the campus environmental impact.

Salaries at UW for professional staff are somewhat low compared to City of Seattle and private industry. A perk of free transportation would match many other company benefits and help us stretch our salaries farther to meet our needs in this high cost-of-living area. "

This would be a wonderful benefit, and make us more competitive as an employer.

If my bike ride wasn't so easy, I would ride the bus and have a U-Pass.

Appreciate the intent. A global subsidy is not fiscally responsible. Perhaps those identified as using it should be subsidized fully
It’s clear the University has a myopic view of SOV commuters. No one should be effectively penalized because they simply – for perfectly valid logistical reasons – cannot bike, take a bus, or carpool to work. The reduction in parking spaces on campus and increased cost of daily parking are part of the tyranny of good intentions. The PSO should do what it can to counteract it.

I would be happy if the subsidy was increased, lowering the cost of the UPASS. I know people that work for other large employers such as Children's Hospital who pay much less than I do. I also used to work for a small local company that fully funded a bus pass or alternately paid for bicycle maintenance as part of a commute trip reduction program that was linked to a government (state?, federal?) program so I don't see why the University couldn't do the same thing.

We have budget issues. Professional staff can afford the paltry amount we are required to pay for bus services.

I work in Arizona, so probable doesn't work for me or benefit me.
If UW wants to stay competitive with the current market in Seattle and draw talent to further its mission it needs to offer basic amenities like a fully subsidized transit pass

If it is not possible to get freer U-Passes for all ProStaff, PSO also should advocate for all personnel at Harborview Campus — and any other locations where staff no longer are being given the opportunity to purchase parking at all — to receive free U-Passes … and/or those who do pay the exorbitant nearby non-campus parking to receive a U-Pass for free upon proof of other monthly parking options. If we could park in a UW lot the U-Pass would be free.

UW needs to take a stand in providing paid public transportation for all faculty/staff. The fact the classified staff gets their Upass paid makes me feel like I'm being punished for being professional staff. If UW makes the Upass free for part of their staff's population it needs to be free for all.

Taking public transit benefits all members of the university community by reducing traffic congestion and this should be a subsidized benefit. Many other organizations in Seattle provide this benefit to their staff free of charge.
It would be ideal if we had been able to negotiate for this alongside classified staff– union strength comes with numbers and it makes sense for UW employees to negotiate as one group.

The PSO advocacy is very much appreciated.

Pay out of pocket for ORCA card.

I believe fully subsidizing the UPASS for professional staff would make UW a more competitive employer. Other large Seattle organizations such as Swedish and Seattle Children’s have lower cost to employee orca cards. While it may be a small incentive to some, as someone who commutes to Seattle from Tacoma 5 days a week, it definitely is an important factor when making an employment decision for me.

Many corporations in the city give fully-subsidized transit passes (Amazon, Microsoft, etc.). The UW already has below-market-rate salaries, so there's no reason for us to being paying more for less pay than employees at those companies.

Classified/union covered staff deserve a greater benefit on the UPASS. Professional staff receive other benefits that classified staff do not enjoy (like discretionary leave days, higher overall vacation accruals, generally higher salaries). If we advocate for a subsidized UPASS that will just push the cost to our departments (in overhead or benefit rates) which ultimately hurts everyone and essentially pushes this cost down to students and researchers. It is not a significant cost for us as individuals to keep paying for the UPASS.

"While a fully subsidized UPASS sounds nice, the cost is just going to be taken out of some other form of compensation. I'm fine with paying part of the cost on my own as it's still cheaper than buying the pass for myself. Additionally, the it's easily deducted from my account, so there is a convenience factor.

Leave the UPASS as it is; I don't mind paying for it.


I will have an active UPASS only because I purchase an SOV parking pass. I commute from Ellensburg and park on campus. I do not see a time where I use my UPASS to get to campus.
If the University really wants to eliminate parking, they need to provide U-Pass to everyone. Additionally, they should advocate for better services. Finally, for bicycles, they should clean pathways and repair potholes on the paths and roadways in more timely manners.

"I normally walk to work. I use the bus too rarely to justify the high cost of a UPASS. Instead I have my own ORCA card.

I wish UW made the UPASS more affordable."
I mean seriously, its 2019 bus passes should be free. Also pretty sure UW can eat the cost of these passes for their employees and students. Its not like that don't shell out millions for football…

"As a professional staff with a U-pass for over 20 years I would love to have it free from the UW. As a budget manager in charge of grant funds I can't justify increasing the benefit load rate on my pro staff to pay for a buss pass.

The fringe increases on classified staff to pay for this benefit has already hurt my research budgets."

public transit is such a positive in our society and the UW should be at the forefront of the effort to use it as a cornerstone strategy for its employees in getting to work.

Providing UPasses to all staff for free will reduce parking congestion on campus, reduce the need for building as many parking garages on campus, and reduce the impact of emissions in the environment.

When light rail gets to Northgate I hope to start using transit; the way things are now with the bus schedules if I have to work late there is no way to get home.
Would love to have a UPASS paid for by the University of Washington. I don't think it's fair for hourly, employees to have theirs waved and not Professional staff. That is a division between staff members and moral changes. Please consider a waived UPASS for Professional Staff!
Take into consideration that Sound Transit is going to start permitting park and rides this fall at the cost of $80-100 per month. If I have to pay that plus the $50 for the UPASS I might as well save on my commute time and increase comfort by driving and just pay to park. If UW wants to decrease single occupancy trips they need to cover the cost of the UPASS for pro staff, too.

If I had a paid UPASS, I would ride the bus/train to work.

I believe that all staff should be treated with equitability, across the board, regarding subsidized transportation.

Everyone should pay their fair share and not pass on this cost to others.
If not fully subsidized then the cost should be lowered. Other employers such as Seattle Children's provides an ORCA for $25 a month and also a "cash back" for having the pass rather than driving/parking.

I don't use the upass now, because the transit from 2 miles away is undependable, and slow. So, paying the out of pocket is not a benefit for me. If it was 10 dollars a month or so, I would consider getting a upass.

If UW wants to be a sustainable campus, they must incentivize mass transit usage, and one way to do that is through a fully subsidized Upass. Many other large companies already do this, and UW should also be a leader in this way. UW is one of the largest employers in the Seattle area, and should offer these sorts of benefits.

Fully subsidized passes would be great, but not at the expense of compensation or other priority needs placed on our VERY lean budget.

If there is a way to offer it but the employee has to somehow active it if they want to use it as there will be people that still won’t use it and would to good to save that money

"The UW needs to continue its commitment to reducing the number of single vehicle commuters via transit.

I am not supportive of PSO or professional staff through any venue organizing as a bargaiing unit.

Regardless of the cost, it has poor optics. When staff ask, what is the answer? the unions negotiated it. Does union organization become more appealing?

Union pay is increasing and bumping up against entry level professional positions with no relief in sight. How do we incent staff to promote? While the UWRP is a great benefit, statistics show this is not an important benefit to them starting out.

I have always worked in non-union, professional jobs, two in higher ed and two in local government and the UW is the first employer that does appear to be proactive with regard to professional staff pay and benefits. It appears that the program itself is now an afterthought.

I think this is a great idea, though I don't know how the funding model would work. Presumably the UW wouldn't pay for passes that people weren't using, so we would still need to apply for it. But you still have the case of someone applying for it and then rarely using it, while it is still costing the UW the same amount which would be a bummer. I assume there is no way to work out a discounted fare that is applied to all rides on a UW pass (staff and students) and then receive a monthly/weekly invoice from the Transit District folks. That would account for variation in usage to, potentially, allow the UW not to be paying for lots of passes that are rarely used. If it were free to me, though, I expect I would use it fairly frequently.

Would this be for only UW Seattle employees? Please help make this clearer. I work a UW Bothell and would use a U-Pass if was made available at no cost. Our parking office is run differently than the Seattle office.

Now that the parking fees are increasing, it seems just to reduce the cost of the alternative method of commuting for the employees who are taking public transportation.
For the next two years, large populations of the UW campus will receive fully subsidized upasses, except pro-staffers and a few other groups right now. While I would LOVE a free upass, I would be happy to pay a lower rate, such as the former rate vacated by students ($84/qtr). Thank you.
Who wouldn't like a free UPASS? But if the cost of that is higher benefit load rates, our programs pay for this in many ways that don't ultimately benefit our mission. Not all professional staff wages are competitive in the Seattle market, but most of us should be able to afford a UPASS. The basic cost of transportation to and from work is an expected cost, and a UPASS is much cheaper than driving

If UPASS's are being provided at no cost to other employees they should be provided to all staff, regardless of their job classification statuses, except Hourly employees, everyone should be treated the same.

I *love* the idea of a fully subsidized UPASS. Without a doubt it is the right thing for the environment and to combat climate change. At the current rate, the UPASS does not pencil out for me (as I do not work 5 days a week at the site I can bus to). I pay top dollar for bus commuting (because it is the right thing) and also top dollar for the occasional times I have to drive. It is an unfortunate situation based on the job requirements. Thanks for this survey.
I commute with my children because our daycare is near campus – would be happy to park near daycare and bus to work if I had a bus pass
Yes, please advocate for this. Already many managers actually have a salary that is lower than some of the employees they manage, and this gets worse each year. When those classified staff got the free UPASS benefit, that made that gap even greater. So the free UPASS wouldn't level that gap but would make it a bit more palatable. Thanks!!

If a subsudized pass were to be implemented, I would hope there would be income caps. Someone who is making over $100,000 does not need a subsidy. Professional staff earning less than $60,000 do. It will also be more likely that those who earn less already have a U pass.

It's disappointing to hear that this survey is being sent out not because the UW is interested in hearing employee feedback but because it's a requirement by the City of Seattle. A fully subsidized Upass is vital for all UW employees. It's nearly impossible to find affordable living within Seattle city limits so most employees live further away and must commute in to the city each day. The least UW can offer its employees is a fully subsidized Upass.

If the U Pass was made available for me I would definitely make more of an effort to ride transit more often.
"My biggest objection to using public transit is the one way commuter busses. For instance, the 556 (sound transit) only goes to the U-District in the mornings until a certain time. Then, if I say, needed to leave at noon, welp, no luck, the bus *BACK* to Issaquah is still 2 hours away from running.

Im stuck.

Once lightrail opens up, maybe ill have more options, but until then…i dunno."
I find the UPASS to be limiting and less flexible than commute options offered by other organizations. Specifically, UPASS does not compensate for ferry rides even for walk-on passengers where other companies do. I also recall when looking into joining a van pool that the UW would not compensate my costs of the van pool if the van pool did not end on the UW campus. There are MANY UW employees who are not located on campus so having a rule that the van pools must be ending at UW greatly diminishes our ability to use that form of commuting. Making the UPASS more flexible to allow for commuting by methods such as ferry and van pool would improve usage.
Other public employees in Seattle get free transit, among other benefits (such as higher salaries) that UW does not match. Seattle is expensive, and UW is losing ground in the labor marketplace in terms of what it offers professional staff. Unless UW stays competitive, UW employees will vote with their feet as other local opportunities arise.
I'm a long time former Swedish Med Ctr employee. I was surprised when I transition over to UW late last year by the cost of the Upass. Swedish only recently started charging a monthly fee for there Orca card and it was half the cost. With that said, I can see why employees would pass on this due to cost.
I think a fully subsidized UPASS would be great, but I don’t know if it will be effective in reducing the SOV rate. I live in South Everett and work at HMC. For me, I already take the bus or carpool as often as I can, and I do not have access to a staff parking pass from HMC. When I do drive in, it is because I need to, either for work or personal reasons. Commuting from outside Seattle by bus usually fine for normal days, but if my work needs leave me going fro or from work either earlier or later than regular commuting hours, the time it takes drastically increases.

While the UPASS is not hugely expensive now, I do know that some of my colleagues feel it is too expensive when also considering the longer commuting time and many other inconveniences. If it were fully subsidized I think they would be more likely to take the bus.

It's *crucial* that any advocacy recognizes that the UW has and will just pass the UPASS cost onto the parking permit holders like they did earlier this summer with a massive parking price hike. Some of us can't take the bus and have to buy parking. *Please* fight for the people who have to drive as well and get the UW to come up with funds from other sources.

Our insurance copays and supplemental retirement plans, all taken away. We need to enhance benefits here some.
I had a UPASS and occasionally used it before my assigned parking lot switched to PPUP. It's no longer economical to pay for parking and also a UPASS for occasional use.
Please consider giving Professional Staff the same benefits of Classified Staff. There are many Professional Staff who use the bus for commuting both to work as well as to meetings. This helps with congestion on the roads and in our parking lots/garages. We need to be fair across the board. Other entities subsidize UPasses as their commitment to their Staff and Community to do their part toward the increasing demands of parking spaces as well as reducing carbon footprints. Thank you.

no comments. Thank you all your hard work regarding the UPASS

Supporting staff in reducing their single occupancy vehicle use to get to/from work is essential not only to improving traffic and individual health but also the environment. We need to make individual changes to lessen the impacts of climate change but doing so is difficult when single occupancy vehicle use is so easy. Incentivizing alternative modes of transportation through a free U Pass will be enough to motivate at least some employees to ride transit.

I utilize my UPASS daily. With fewer access hurdles, such as fees and renewals, ridership would certainly escalate. People do not want to get stuck in traffic, hunt for parking, and then pay to park in Seattle. That is the 20th century way.

"I think the questions posed by the survey are unfair to the survey taker. Posing a binary question without conceding or acknowledging trade-offs of a universal U-PASS is not a fair question.

I believe the question should be posed around some form of ""What should the enterprise be willing to forgo to support a Universal U-Pass?"" You could also offer the potential cost to the enterprise of such a venture."
While I appreciate the work to keep the price of the UPASS from going up, I do believe that you will get the best encouragement for people to ride public transportation by a subsidized UPASS. Also, I know the University does not make decisions regarding transit systems, but making sure to have advocates to help improve the current public transit system in Seattle would be great. It is moving in the right direction, but there are some areas that need improvement that aren't going to be address by the light rail, like the number and frequency of buses that go to satellite campuses, like SLU, where I work. Thanks for all the work!

I strongly urge you to move forward on this! It is critical for us to reduce our carbon footprint at this time and, as a University, we should be setting the standard for others in the community to follow.

I'm currently a SOV permit holder and receive a free UPASS with my permit. I'm concerned that UW will raise parking fees even further (we recently received a 12% increase) if UW has to subsidize a UPASS for everyone. If it didn't increase SOV parking fees, I would totally be for the UW providing a free UPASS to prostaff.

"Funding of UPASS for professional staff would require a reduction of fund to the teaching & learnning and resarch mission of UW.
It would also open the door to Faculty and other non-classified and non-professional staff to look for free UPASS."
It's only fair. If one employee group receives a free UPASS, all UW employee groups should.
Why is the UW discriminating professional staff on this UPASS benefit? I thought UW was a fair employee.

It’s ridiculous that pro staff & faculty be excluded from the UPASS subsidy.

Yes, the UPASS should be fully subsidized for all UW employees, but I fear this will happen at the expense of parking rates, and that will penalize those of us who have to drive X days a week because of family obligations, or health reasons, or whatever. High earners will be able to metabolize increased parking rates, but the rest of us will suffer disproportionately.

a subsidized pass will be too expensive for the UW. What would the UW cut to provide staff with a subsidized pass?
It's very frustrating to see union members – many who are overtime eligible, and paid more than me – have a free UPass, while I still have to pay. Also knowing that my Upass fee could have gone up to PAY for that free pass.
UW keeps talking about climate change – so do something about it! UW needs to take the lead in reducing traffic and emissions – this is one step towards that end

Thank you for trying!

Get it done. Reduce carbon footprint. At least become equal with competitive marketplace benefits like Virginia Mason or Children's.
"I believe that we value something less when we don't pay for it directly. In this case, having a fully subsidized UPASS would make individuals feel less 'invested' in their transportation choices, and as a result may actually work against increased utilization.

Rather than removing the cost, I'd like to see the cost applied to increased travel options like reduced rates on car pool permits and other ride-sharing services, and especially direct bus service from Everett Station."
Working here at UW for over 31 years, I've been commuting for that long. It's been a while that UW Medicine has expanded to HMC, NWH, and many clinics throughout the state, it makes sense that everyone has had the need to commute from campus to campus. It is quite unjust to give Classified staff free UPASS, who do not cross cover other sites, and not also include a free UPASS to professional staff, who most likely travel to multiple sites. Parking (especially when you go to multiple sites in the same day) is so costly, that bus/shuttle/tram/lightrail has been the best option for most folks. Thank you for reading my comments.

UW should be taking the lead in encouraging alternate modes of transportation for employees, not just classified staff. The current situation affects not only the environment but also morale among professional staff.

Since the challenge is to reach 12%, and the site master plan seems to be removing parking spaces, one method is to increase parking rates until employees have little choice other than use and pay for public transportation. Increasing the subsidy or providing free Orca Cards makes the move to public transportation much more positive. If they cannot provided parking, subsidized or free transportation passes seem to be very common with larger businesses in the Seattle area.

I feel that often times people are torn between riding transit or driving (people think that if they still have to pay to ride transit then why not just drive and try and find parking cheap or free-for those that don't pay for parking) and if transit was free, then it might tip the balance towards it and more people would ride transit. I think any additional benefit that can be given to the employees, helps to make the, the employer of choice and increases job satisfaction.

Every single employee should have a upass with no out of pocket costs. For University that claims to be green, sustainable, etc. I find it infuriating that this is still not the case.
All employees should be treated as equal for the UPASS. All employees commute to the University regardless of their job title or classification. We should all receive the same benefits! So yes to advocating for the UPASS! Thank you.

I currently take Metro bus, on my UPASS, to and from work almost 100% of the time.
It's nice if University of Washington/HMC could get a free UPASS fro Professional employees. Some days, I'm carpooling with my husband and other days, taking the bus to work. But I didn't purchase a UPASS because I'm not using it all the time.

I am intrigued with this idea. However I commute by bicycle year round, and thus am less likely to use a UPASS frequently

I came from the University of Utah a few month ago and was shocked that I would have to pay for a transit pass. I have been riding public transportation to 13 years and enjoy it. I almost thought about driving everyday when I found out that as an employee we have to pay for a transit pass.

I ride the bus and the South Lake Union Street Car every day, and would appreciate a fully subsidized UPass.

Many Seattle area businesses (e.g. Microsoft) provide a fully subsidized ORCA Pass. While this is the PSO, I would also fully advocate that all faculty/staff, esp. classified staff, have subsidized UPASS.

Thank you for advocating!
I bicycle 35 minutes to and 50 minutes from campus daily. It is faster than the bus by 30% on a good day, much more on frequent bad days. I get some decent physical activity as well. I am not happy bicycling on Seattle’s rough streets in the dark however and resort to busing in December and January. I appreciate the subsidized bus pass but cancel it in good weather because I don’t use it—it has gotten easier over the years to activate and deactivate it quickly. A free bus pass would pay for my bike locker!

Are we becoming a socialist nation that we expect everything to be paid for us. Nothing is free. The taxpayer will eventually pay. The university has to pay tax on these types of benefits. So we will ultimately pay, and then we would be subsidizing those who don't want to pay for their own transportation to their work.

I would find a way to commute to UW using a UPass if offered for free.

Our lab is currently housed off campus but there are plans in the work for our lab to move onto campus. If this happens, public transportation will be more convenient and appealing to me.

"Encouraging mass transit ridership makes sense for many reasons, not just compliance: congestion, air quality, reduction in burned fossil fuels (and production/depletion of electric car batteries), less valuable real estate devoted to parking cars, increased health for riders who also have to walk a little. The question is, why WOULDN'T the university subsidize transit passes?

Equal subsidies for bike riders and walkers would also help."
The pass will not reduce single drivers, people are lazy and public transportation is not alawys reliable and can be exteremly slow. But for those who we do use the pUpass it will be beneficial. Thank you for your work.
I personally feel that I can share in the cost of my commute to campus. The pro staff employees typically have a higher compensation and enjoy other benefits such as discretionary leave,etc. A caveat to my choice is that UW doesn’t raise the UPASS fee for prostaff and faculty to compensate for the free UPASS for contract classified and ASE but rather increases parking costs for SOV parking and daily permits.

"This is an environmental issue in my mind. Fully supporting employees’ ability to use mass transit is critical. And, as more people use mass transit through employer-subsidized passes, area mass transit will be able to expand its services, which are still spotty in the Puget Sound region.

Thanks for considering this extremely important issue."

As much as I would appreciate a fully subsidized pass, I believe the increase in public transit utilization will be negligible.

If UW wants to promote itself as a truly sustainable university, there is no reason that a large portion of their staff should still have to have a financial obligation to use transit. It's difficult enough to work around fixed transit schedules and get spots at the park and rides (many of which now require a pass that is no insignificant cost) without also having to pay for the UPASS ourselves.
A lot of Pro staff use the UPASS, this would help encourage the use of the UPASS by the PRO staff.

I would advocate for a fully subsidized pass if the true cost through benefit load rate and other means doesn't exceed what is currently being paid by the user. Since I don't have these formulas or figures it's hard to determine whether the fully subsidized pass is a better value. I advocate for something that is a better value for the user.
I am happy to see that someone may be advocating for ProStaff.

"I'm a UW staff member and I've commuted on the bus as a UW student and all of the years that I've worked here. I never drive into UW campus and I use the bus to go to appointments.

There should be no fee for all UW bus users.
Thank you. "

I use my UPass all the time for donor visits, especially downtown or to take rail/walk to the ferries to visit donors on the islands.

I changed campuses and driving a car is easier because there is no single bus to get to UW Bothell from my location. I do, however, maintain my UPass for occasional travel to UW Seattle Campus.

"Some transit centers are going to begin selling parking spots and charging up to $120 per month to park. Then we also pay for the u-pass to ride the bus. It will be cheaper for me to drive to campus, thus adding to the parking numbers, not helping reduce them.
A fully subsidized bus pass would incentivize me to continue to ride mass transit."

I appreciate this survey and the consideration to offer this benefit to us. Supplementing Pro Staff I hope will reduce vehicles around campus.

This survey is inherently flawed. Who isn’t going to vote for something “free” to them? Outlining where the money will come from and the trade offs is needed.

Generally speaking, classified staff make less money than Professional staff. We should be able to pay $50 or a reasonable cost for our trips to work. That said, I don't want to bear the burden for the cost of the pass so if anyone is thinking to pass the subsidized costs, all or any, on to pro staff and faculty, then we can all be subsidized. Solutions need to fair and equitable.

I ride my bike but when the weather's crappy I'll hop on a bus or the light rail to get to work. Would love to have a subsidized UPass to mitigate that cost. Thank you for your time.

It would only be fair since the UW is already paying for the UPASS for the Classified Staff.

Yes, absolutely the University needs to support this for all employees. Having a fully subsidized U Pass would be a significant step toward doing the right thing. Many other large organizations and companies in the Seattle area provide a free pass. This would also solidify the University’s commitment to be green by reducing commuter traffic from its employees.

Especially with the light rail opening in FY21, the UW would benefit from making sure that transit options were as easy for staff to use as possible.

I love Upass. First time commuter. I commute from Marysville, so taking the bus is an excellent form of transportation. Thank you for making it affordable.

It would be great to have a fully funded UPASS. I am a daily bus rider and with the light rail coming soon to my neighborhood, I hope to be driving even less.

I had a UPass until July 2019 when rates went up – does not make financial sense for me to have one. I work from home & come into the office 1 day per week. It is cheaper to use Pay for Use Parking or my self purchased ORCA card.

Obviously free is better than not, but transit is extremely expensive for the UW.

There are a lot of professional staff who have salaries that are less than those of a lot of contract classified staff, and I do not believe it is not fair to them to have to pay for their UPASS.

I find $25/pay period a reasonable cost for the UPass. Anything more becomes disincentivizing to use, however.

We are not a union, quite acting like one.

Employer-subsidized public transit passes are a no-brainer for so many reasons – the biggest of course is promoting survival of the species by reducing environmental impact of single-occupancy cars.

I currently drive to campus and don’t utilize the upass because it’s too expensive. If the upass was totally subsided I would use it more as an alternative.

I don’t mind paying the current amount for my UPASS. I use it very frequently and will continue to do so.

Additionally, I am a hospital employee, so some of my hours are non-traditional and complicate the commute.

Sound Transit does not provide enough free parking in my area so that I can drive to the station and then take the bus or train to UW-Seattle. There are too many barriers to using public transit and the system needs to be more convenient and cheaper to work.
The benefit extended to classified staff should be the same for all staff. Not to mention, the exponential increase in parking should cover it.

This is the first organization I've worked for in Seattle that DIDN'T offer a fully subsidized ORCA card. It's just the responsible thing to do. It would be a great benefit that I wouldn't take for granted.

I currently use public transit 90% of the time to get tonUW campuses.

This would be very important for me to have. With the upcoming expansion of light rail to the north of campus, I believe that a subsided UPASS for professional staff would help encourage employees to use public transit.

I would like to see you add Washington Ferries to the pass.

I would be much more likely to take public transit if it were more affordable.

Conceptually this makes great sense. Without knows the cost, I’d be hard-pressed to make a decision. There is an obvious cost/benefit analysis needed to make an educated decision regarding this matter.

I have varying start and end times. I'm not sure what hours I can use the pass to NE Tacoma.

By design, parking at any UW Medicine facility has outpaced inflation and any cost of living increases I have received over the past years. Mass transit is a great solution and would be more highly utilized if more or all of the cost were paid for by our employer.

Driving is more convenient. The free bus ride would be more valuable than the convenience.

I currently have a UPASS and think it is a great idea for all staff to have one. However, that alone is not an indication of whether I drive to the office. Personally, I work off campus, so I am required to pay to park at my office location. My park and ride is soon going to go a paid system for parking at the park and ride. The amount I will be charged to pay for parking at the park and ride will be more than the amount to park at the office, so I will begin driving to work again no matter how much the UPASS cost is to me.
Definitely think a employer-provided U Pass would help on all levels: environment, employee satisfaction, making UW a trailblazer on public transportation

While the concept of a free UPASS is attractive, the University currently does not have a mechanism to pay for it. There is no "free" UPASS, someone has to pay for it. The University will have to add additional financial burden to its already insufficient financial model to pay for this benefit.

"It would be nice to get a free pass but I understand budget constraints. I’m
Going to use the pass either way… it’s a great deal for commuting . Thanks for offering the subsidized pass. I’m happy to have it. "

The UPass is invaluable.

"If the university is subsidizing one group of employees (classified staff) it must explore subsidizing the other groups. It’s an inequity that can be addressed. I am not saying i support the demands that the university subsidize uPass. I am saying the university opened up a can or worms when they agreed to fully subsidjze for classified staff

I have worked for various employers in Seattle over the years including non-profits, private corporations, and both state and federal agencies. A commuter pass was not routinely offered as a benefit. It seems like an appropriate benefit for private corporations to offer, but I have never expected one when I worked for non-profit or government, where funding is so often coming from grants or taxpayers in some way.

The current cost of a UPass works out to only slightly cheaper than my average parking fees if I find neighborhood parking for one or two days a week. A fully subsidized UPass would incentivize me to use the park & ride + public transportation.
I think this is helpful but the campus is big. How can you help people get around campus even? Even adjusting people’s start times would be helpful. If I drive I can leave at 7:40. If I take the bus I have to be at the stop st 7:15. If the start time was later it may help people.

Pro staff is just as necessary as the other. I live 30 miles from my office and use my pass every day and never drive to campus.

I am not I understand this survey. Of course I would love a free pass. I do have to buy parking on occasion for travel to different places for work.
"Would 100% use a UPASS if it were no cost. I'd pay for one now if they were not so expensive. I have used public transit for work before – and the time to work is not worth it if I also pay for the upass. However, if the upass were no cost to me I would use public transit more because there would be more value added to the longer commute time.

PLEASE make this available to professional staff!"

We are state employees, and should get no fee UPASS.

Having a fully subsidized transit pass available to all employees regardless of classification will increase use of public transportation thereby decreasing the number of cars on the roads – it’s a matter of equity for employees. In this day and age and in a growing city like Seattle having a transit pass as part of the benefit package seems should be a given. I’m surprised we even have to ask/advocate for it and that the University is not simply offering it as the right thing to do.
I have waited for and always wanted a fully subsidized upass

Bike facilities are lacking as well and it is shameful that employees must pay for bike cage access.
If I were in King County or a surrounding county I would take part in the UPass system as I did before I was relocated off campus into Southwest Washington.
"It is not fair that Classified staff get their UPASS subsidized, and professional staff do not. I’m fact, unprofessional staff have lower wages (working in research since PIs are not required to give raises (I’m
Not a grad student) and HR does nothing about it), and we are in the same situation with this horrible traffic and public transit system in Seattle; we should have the same benefits!"

"Child care is the #1 reason I cannot bus. Child care alone is astronomically high and my campus has ZERO child care available to staff (Bothell). Thus, increasing the amount to park in order to subsidize UPASS users, is like a double tax on parents with small children.

It's immensely frustrating that more than half of my take-home goes into care and now PSO is suggesting that I pay even more to come to work just because I have a child under the age of 5.

Frankly, in order for UPASS to ever be feasible for me and many other parents, a number of significantly more important services need to be in place first: better child care options for employees, better transit routes, more Park & Ride stalls, bus seats that are safe to children under 40lbs, etc.

Solve for flexible hours/schedules/telecommute and you'll have a win for both parents & for reducing SOV traffic + cheaper than a UPASS."

I pay roughly $1,250 annually to cross the 520 bridge to get to work. That combined with $2,000 parking, and gas means $4,500 to get to my job. I work near Roosevelt off campus and use my car to get to meetings on campus and all over – Athletics, med center, gerberding – often paying for parking that is uncompensated. The cost of working at the UW mm akes the position less competative with private sector employers. A bathroom, clean water, a temperature controlled workplace and parking should be an empkoyee's right.

Yes! Please do everything in your power to grant professional staff a completely subsidized bus pass! It is inherently unfair that some staff get this subsidized but others do not just based on job classification.
I wish I could use transit but the even the most direct route takes hours and leaves me far from my office. However I can't afford another parking fee increase–the parking available to me (nearest car pool lot is a mile away) is ridiculously expensive and the rate goes up faster than the merit raises every year. I'm in a damned if I do, damned if I don't situation with driving and parking and don't see any solutions.
My understanding is that UW pays per trip, so covering employees who only take transit occasionally should not considerably increase expenses while making transit a more attractive option.

I live in rural Graham, and public transportation has never been conducive for me. It takes me 30 mins to get to closest Sounder(or 45 mins to "Express" bus) and the whole transfer to Link is a time waster when I can drive (albeit, I have to get up at 0300) it in less than an hour. Please be sure to remember staff like me who do not live close to UW when making transportation changes. I've been essentially doing this commute for 20 years. Thank you. Laura

Low wages and high cost of living make it difficult to pay for public transit.

thank you for considering this!

Professional staff should be able to afford their own transit passes and therefore should not be subsidized nor be covered by departments paying increased benefit load rates.

Monorail Pass should also be included in a fully subsidized UPASS

Subsidized upasses benefit the entire Seattle community & set an important example for employers.
"Any employer charging employees to park on employer-owned property is remiss.
Thanks for asking."

All staff should have access to this benefit
The real issue, in my opinion, is the severe lack of reliable, fast transportation to and from work. I live in the crown Hill area and drive to work (SLU campus) everyday–I would much rather take public transportation. I do this because my bus ride is an hour on the best day and 1.5 hours routinely due to late/full buses. The drive for me is 25 minutes. I'm not willing to give up 2-3 hours of my day to commute when I live so close, regardless of the ridiculously high cost of parking. I'm not sure what the University can do to impact the city bus routes, but maybe some sort of shuttle service for employees could be implemented (this is becoming increasingly common in Seattle). The service could be voluntary and require a fee/month. Truly, until Seattle takes care of its transportation problem people will choose to drive their own vehicle-a persons time is just to valuable.

Transportation should never be a barrier, especially for an academic community.

If I get free UPASS, I will at least drive to a park and ride.
This should not be done at the expense of escalating campus parking fees. The recent increases seemed exorbitant.

"We are one of the few locations that do not provide this our user base. Many smaller companies and campuses provide a free fully paid for UPASS for their employees.

Even at UW the workers who are part of a union now have a free UPASS provided to them.

UW is also one of the VERY few educational institutions that do not offer their employees some kind of break in cost for our children should they wish to attend the UW."

"It's unconscionable that the UW doesn't fully subsidize UPasses for all employees – if other employers can, UW can. Doing so would help get more people out of their cars and into public transit, which helps with air pollution and traffic. UW also needs to raise parking fees to motivate people to get out of their cars.
(With the advent of the state law regarding family leave, UW employees are now being charged for a share of their sick time they didn't pay for before the family leave law allowed the UW to do this (as of 2019). UW already met the requirements of the law so there was no additional cost to the UW when the family leave law took action. Employers were not required to make employees share the cost, but UW is doing that – even though we didn't do it in 2018. Effectively, UW is making money off of this law. I'd like to see the PSO advocate to change this as well.)"

I strongly support having a fully or more heavily subsidized UPASS for professional staff. Current rates are only justifiable if commuting by transit every day, and a higher subsidy would encourage transit use (vs driving or Lyft/Uber) for commuters who work from home some days, work at multiple locations, or walk or bike some days depending on what they need to carry, since the current alternative for transit is paying the regular per-trip rate via a reloadable ORCA card or cash. It would also treat professional staff more equitably with students and staff who pay lower rates for their passes.

It is imperative that we offer UPasses to professional staff employees. Transportation especially during business hours Is challenging to and from Seattle. It is important that we offer free UPass to current employees to retain them.

I dropped upass because I was only using it 1-2 days per week. Current subsidy makes sense financially if I use it 4-5 times a week. I’d use public transit more if upass was fully subsidized.

There are too many people making nearly, or more than, $100K/year. It's wrong to subsidize their passes. The rest of our mission would suffer. This is not a good use of resources.

"As someone (a scientist) who must bring in funding to pay myself and anyone else working on my projects in a very tight funding environment, every time another benefits charge is added to salaries it makes my life more difficult. Higher benefit rates require us to reduce paid work hours or other expenses like equipment or travel to conferences, etc.

That said, I like the idea of the subsidized UPASS. My thinking is that we should find a way to reduce the cost of the pass, such as making them valid for a certain number of rides rather than for an unlimited number of rides over a set time period. It's probably more complicated, but we could also go to something more like ORCA cards that keep track of dollars instead of rides.

So, in spite of my ""no"" to the original question, I just want you to keep in mind that funding for the UPASS has to come from somewhere. "

Basically if i need to pay for the pass i will start driving to Seattle. I don’t have to pay for parking and i will increase the carbon print
The state of King County Metro is untenable for our campus to reduce single-occupancy commutes. I'd be willing to pay for my own UPass if Metro buses required fewer transfers, arrived predictably, and had more trips.

I do advocate for a fully subsidized UPASS but I also drive to campus and have an SOV pass (even though I often carpool). Staff have to live so far from campus because of housing costs and if you have kids, then public transport takes too long if you work full time and have to manage time sensitive drop off / pick up. There needs to be better transportation available before using public transit will be a full time option for me as a working parent. Thanks.

I use my upass daily- I'm a vanpool member and use the bus when that's not available.

All UW employees regardless of their classification should be granted free UPASS.