Right now, the MBTA is in trouble. It’s underfunded. It’s unaffordable - 27% of Boston school-children say that they’ve missed school days because they couldn’t afford the T fare. And it’s unjust - black Bostonians must waste 66 more hours each year on the bus commuting to work than white Bostonians.
The UPASS can help solve these problems. Under the UPASS Program, the MBTA would be able to provide T passes to all students at a certain school, paid for at a discounted rate by the university or college. The UPASS provides students with access to the whole city of Boston while providing millions of dollars in extra revenue to the MBTA system.
Fundamentally, the UPASS is an opportunity to define the future that our generation wants. The UPASS supports the public transit infrastructure that is necessary for our low-carbon visions of the future. It decreases the number of parking lots, roads, and other sprawling carbon-intensive infrastructure that our universities and colleges build, helping slow the gentrification of our campus neighborhoods. It helps create long-lasting cultural change, moving our generation to embrace and expand public transit use.
The UPASS is already a success in western Massachusetts, Chicago, Milwaukee, and San Francisco. Campus administrations in Boston have been reluctant to participate but, by building student power, we can overcome the bureaucratic obstacles and win the UPASS for all our campuses.
We’re looking to launch pilot campaigns at several Boston campuses this fall, including Harvard and Bunker Hill Community College. Want to be involved? Fill out this form to join our email list and get connected to the campaign on your campus, or contact us directly by selecting “UPASS” from the drop-down menu on our contact form.
Learn more about the UPASS at our UPASS Resources page.