Up to 2000 first-year University of the Sunshine Coast students will get $65 worth of free bus travel this semester, thanks to the return of the U-Pass.
The U-Pass is a public transport initiative, funded partly by the Sunshine Coast Public Transport Levy and delivered by the University of the Sunshine Coast and TransLink.
Sustainable Transport Portfolio Councillor Vivien Griffin said the U-Pass was so effective in its 2011 trial that the project is worthy of further support again in 2012.
“This is a fantastic initiative by the Sunshine Coast University, and is actually leading the way in Australia in demonstrating real commitment to sustainability by a university campus,” Cr Griffin said.
“Bus use amongst students more than doubled from 2009 to 2011 and there’s no doubt the U-Pass created a huge boost in affecting this behavioural change.
“The Sunshine Coast Council is very fortunate in being able to partner with such a genuine and committed organisation which is definitely walking the talk of sustainable transport.
“The Public Transport Levy is designed to support projects such as the U-Pass which aim to promote the use of public transport and improve local services and infrastructure.
“I also commend the University of the Sunshine Coast for taking a pro-active approach by setting up a number of new bus trials and services this year to make public transport more convenient for its students to access the University.”
USC is this semester trialling free express bus services for its students from Gympie, Cooroy, Noosa, Coolum, North Lakes and Caboolture.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill said the U-Pass scheme was making an important contribution to the University’s goal of encouraging greater use of sustainable transport options.
“I’d like to thank the Sunshine Coast Council for recommitting to this project, which provides clear benefits to our students, the community and the environment,” Professor Hill said.
The U-Pass was made available to all first-year students last week at the University of the Sunshine Coast’s annual Orientation week.
Students can use the U-Pass on any of the TransLink services across the Sunshine Coast as well as the entire TransLink network (from Gympie to Coolangatta).
The U-Pass is a project aimed at promoting public transport use, reducing vehicle use and congestion, boosting safety, improving transit services and helping the environment.