CTA is Late on Customer Service: No U-Pass for Part-Time Students 

Scott Andrews, writer

CTA is Late on Customer Service: No U-Pass for Part-Time Students 

By Scott Andrews

Are you one of the 2,809 students at NEIU enrolled in less than 12 credit hours and categorized as a part-time student? Do you take public transportation to and from NEIU? If yes, the Chicago Transit Authority bureaucracy has decided not to provide a U-Pass to you.

This unfair and discriminatory policy creates a financial burden that potentially affects roughly half of the students at NEIU. Why should students have to dish out $75 a month for an unlimited 30-day pass to ride the CTA and Pace bus line when full-time students receive an unlimited four-month U-Pass for only $155?

Many students like me commute to campus four to five days a week, are enrolled in multiple classes, participate in campus-wide activities, student organizations, and clubs and receive tutoring services when needed.

According to the unnamed representative at NEIU U-Pass Administration, who responded to my email inquiry, “That [U-Pass eligibility] is a decision made by the CTA, not one made at a University level.”

The cost of everything is going up considerably. Students would benefit from saving an extra $290 by being included in the U-Pass program instead of purchasing several 30-day CTA passes for every semester. However, students have no choice as the costs of transportation are usually non-negotiable in their budgets.

There is hope for the future. According to Deborah Miloslavich, Sr. Coordinator, Fare Systems at the CTA, “The current U-Pass contract only includes Full-time students. We are actually doing a part-time pilot with a few schools to see if it is feasible to include part-time students. The current U-Pass contract ends in [the] summer of 2023, and the new contract may include part-time students.”