As a Western Washington University student, I am well aware of how spoiled I am to be living in a city with such cheap public transportation costs. I remember moving from Seattle to Bellingham and taking the bus for the first time in my new neighborhood and being shocked that the bus rates were less than half of what was being charged in Seattle! Even better, as a WWU student I was eligible for a bus pass on my student ID for only $25 a quarter, while at SPU (where I transferred from) they only had 40 bus passes that you could check out for only 6hrs at a time. On top of that, if you weren’t back within that 6 hours, you faced ridiculously high late fees. Obviously, not the best plan to encourage students to opt for public transit over driving around Seattle.
According to an article written by Sarah Laskow, Utah, on the other hand, has taken a new and creative approach to motivate their college students to ride the train or bus: tempt them with the possibility of winning the most coveted electronic… that’s right, you can win an iPad just by taking the bus over driving! This new program is giving away iPads every month until April to any college students from LDS Business College, Salt Lake Community College, BYU, Utah Valley University, Weber State University, Westminster College, and the University of Utah who use their student bus passes. After 10 round trips are made by a student in a month, that student is entered into the iPad giveaway drawing. Students have reacted positively to the new program and have voiced their appreciation of the cheap fares, its convenience, and the ability to use the free wifi provided to do their homework during their commute. What a great and effective way to encourage students to change their habits and opt for a much more environmentally friendly way to get to school!