Cynthia Terry, Contributor
In years past, if Augsburg students wanted to use the Twin Cities’ transit system, they would either have to purchase a student pass or pay for every trip. This year, however, all Augsburg day students received the Auggie Pass, a card that allows free, unlimited rides on any Metro Transit light rail or bus as well as the NorthStar commuter rail. This allows students to experience a sense of freedom on campus while also being environmentally responsible by using public transportation and not individual cars.
This type of pass, created in partnership with Augsburg and Metro Transit, is the first of its kind in the state of Minnesota. No other universities in the area have this free access to public transportation at this extent.
The Auggie Pass, proposed by the Environmental Action Committee, was approved by Student Government last year. The hope was that the pass would alleviate out-of-pocket expenses for transportation and make it more feasible for students to sustainably explore the Twin Cities. The Auggie Pass also works to fulfill Augsburg’s Transportation Plan. In their plan, Augsburg states that they advocate for “environmental stewardship” and that as part of that they strive to maximize the use of transportation options such as light rail and bus. They also write that they want to “ensure students access classes, campus services, and educational opportunities” and “support employees at the Minneapolis campus in getting to work.”
With the Auggie Pass, Augsburg hopes to achieve a goal made in 2015. The Transportation section of the Augsburg website states that “students, staff, and faculty were surveyed in October 2015 to determine their commuting habits and alternative transportation options… respondents primarily commuted to campus by car with 78 percent identifying driving alone as their primary mode of travel.” The university’s goal was that by 2020 there would be “a 28 percent reduction in single occupancy trips to campus.” The Auggie Pass appears to be a step in that direction.
The Auggie Pass is valid through May 31st and is paid for by the student Green Fee and university operating funds. All undergraduate day students who pay the semester Green Fee are eligible. Undergraduates who have not yet gotten their Auggie Pass can pick it up in the Lindell Library at the circulation desk by presenting their Augsburg ID.
This article was originally published in the September 27, 2019 issue.