This week, MTAC President Joe Sculley submitted testimony regarding a proposal to expand the U-Pass proposal to private colleges and universities. The current U-Pass system provides free public transportation to eligible public college students, in exchange for a $20 per semester student fee.
In his testimony, Sculley questioned the revenue impact on Connecticut’s Special Transportation Fund (STF) if this proposal were to pass. His testimony said, in part:
“Administration officials have claimed that the U-Pass program is a revenue gain for the state. This is an interesting claim, which I struggle to believe. To know whether or not this is true, we would have to know a couple of things. 1.) How much U-Pass fee revenue was collected by the state? 2.) How much fare revenue WOULD the state have collected IF the students paid for every ride they took?
If U-Pass truly is a revenue gain for the state, that would mean U-Pass fee revenue exceeds fares that would have been paid by the students. If that is true, then not enough students are using the program. However, if proponents of this want to claim that U-Pass is a success and has tons of riders, that would mean that fare revenue that WOULD have been paid far exceeds the U-Pass fee revenue collected by the state. Thus, U-Pass would be a net revenue loss. We need verifiable numbers to know which scenario is happening right now.”
See a copy of the complete testimony as a PDF.