The DATC offers students a bus pass, good for a full year, at no charge to the student.
Jorgensen explained that the DATC gets the passes for $33 yearly for each participating student, compared to $45 a month for a mass transit rider not in such a program. "That saves students a substantial amount of money," said UTA spokesman Justin Jones. "Plus, if they don't use their vehicle, that saves another $2,500 a semester," in automobile costs, he added.
DATC public relations director Francie Meacham said such savings are significant because many DATC students need all the assistance they can get to complete their education
Jones said, "The DATC has said 'let's embrace it, let's try it,' and shows leadership."
DATC students wanting the bus pass can just request it through student services, Jor-gensen said.
The Ed Pass program has been in effect for 15 years at the University of Utah. Today, 25 percent of the university's population, including students, faculty and staff take mass transit, either in the form of buses or TRAX. That means that portions of the campus once set aside for parking infrastructure, can now be used for education, Jones said.
In his keynote address at the awards ceremony, Michael K. Young, the U of U's new president, said that in that 15 years, the student population has risen from 25,000 to 39,000, yet there's been a 6 percent decline in parking.
A similar program is in place at Weber State University as well. Jones said, "It's great to see that Weber State and the DATC followed the U's example."