Universal Transit Pass - Frequently Asked Questions


Los Rios students passed the Universal Transit Pass (Measure A) in a special student election in September 2015. 96% of voting students said "yes" to access to fast, convenient, and affordable mass transit. Below are frequently asked questions about the Universal Transit Pass (UTP) program that took effect in spring 2016.


Who is eligible for the UTP?

Eligibility differs depending on semester.

For fall and spring semesters, eligible students are those who are enrolled in more than three (3) units at any one college. For summer semesters, there is no minimum unit requirement, so all enrolled students are eligible.

The following students are not eligible for the UTP, regardless of the semester or how many units they take:

  • Students enrolled in the Sacramento Regional Public Safety Center
  • Students enrolled in apprenticeship programs
  • Students taking classes on the UC Davis main campus
  • Students studying abroad
  • Incarcerated students inside correctional facilities

How is the UTP fee calculated?

For spring and fall semesters, the fee is $2.25 per unit, rounded up to the next whole unit. The maximum fee charged is $33.75 for students enrolled in 15 or more units.

For example:

  • A student enrolled in 3.01 to four (4) units will pay $9 a semester
  • A student enrolled in 12 units will pay $27 a semester
  • A student enrolled in 15 or more units will pay $33.75 a semester

For summer semesters, all eligible students pay $10. There is no minimum unit requirement.

California state law (Education Code 76361.1) requires that transportation fees charged to students be pro-rated according to the number of units a student is carrying.

When and where do I get my UTP sticker?

Your UTP sticker attaches to your student access card. You can pick up your student access card and UTP sticker at any of the locations listed below. Check with each location for their hours.

For the spring semester, pick-up begins the first business day in January. For the summer semester, pick-up begins the first business day in June. For the fall semester, pick-up begins the first business day in August.

  • American River College pick-up locations
    • ARC Main campus, Center for Leadership and Development (inside the Student Center)
    • Natomas Center, Main Office
  • Cosumnes River College pick-up locations
    • CRC Main Campus, Admissions and Records (College Center)
    • Elk Grove Center
  • Folsom Lake College pick-up locations
    • FLC Main Campus, Welcome and Student Success Center (FL 1)
    • El Dorado Center, Computer Lab (C-204)
    • Rancho Cordova Outreach Center
  • Sacramento City College locations
    • August and January only: SCC Main Campus, City Cafe 2, Learning Resource Center (2nd Floor)
    • Davis Center
    • West Sacramento Center

Is the UTP fee refundable?

For the spring or fall semester, the fee is refundable if you drop courses within the fee refund period. If you drop all units, or drop to 3 or fewer units, you are expected to return the UTP sticker. A minimum fee of $9 will be withheld from the refund if you have already been issued a UTP sticker for the fall or spring semester.

For the summer semester, the fee is refundable if you drop all of your units within the refund period and you were never issued a UTP sticker. You are expected to return the UTP sticker if you drop all units.

What dates is the UTP valid?

For the spring semester, the UTP is valid January 1 through May 31.

For the summer semester, the UTP is valid June 1 through July 31.

For the fall semester, the UTP is valid August 1 through December 31.

Why are all eligible students charged the UTP fee and not just the students who use transit services?

We believe increased student ridership on mass transit benefits the entire student population in the form of cleaner air, reduced traffic congestion, and more parking spaces for those who must drive personal vehicles.

RT can only offer such a significant discount to our students if all our eligible students pay the fee. The financial benefits to those who actually use mass transit are substantial. The general public pays $500 for the equivalent of a semester-long RT pass, while Los Rios students pay a maximum of $33.75 per semester.

This agreement includes another benefit, which was specifically requested by students: during the summer semester, all eligible students are assessed a flat fee of $10 for a UTP.

What transit services can the UTP be used for?

The UTP applies to all RT services, including light rail and buses. The UTP is valid 24 hours per day, seven days per week, for any purpose.

Learn more about which transit agencies accept the UTP through Regional Transit here: Fares Accepted (PDF). The last column lists the current transit partners for Los Rios students. UC Davis Unitrans does not accept the UTP. Los Rios students must follow RT's abide to ride rules.

Please note that transfer agreements are subject to change, and RT reserves the right to cancel them and exclude transit partners if its future fee reimbursement and cost needs are not met.

If I am taking three (3) or fewer units during fall or spring, can I also get a discount on public transportation?

Yes! If you are enrolled in three (3) or fewer units, then you can buy a discounted Regional Transit (RT) monthly pass. The RT monthly pass usually costs $20 per month; however, starting September 1, 2018, the RT monthly pass will only cost $5 per month. You can purchase a Regional Transit monthly pass at your college's Business Services Offices.

How important is affordable mass transit to Los Rios students?

Affordable mass transit is very important to our students! About 4 of every 10 Los Rios students - nearly 30,000 students - ride RT buses and light rail to get to and from class. In 2014, those students accounted for 4.4 million rides on RT. Student use of mass transit means thousands of fewer cars driving fewer miles and less air pollution.

What did the students vote on?

Students voted on whether to continue the Universal Transit Pass program, a successful partnership between the Los Rios Community College District and Sacramento Regional Transit (RT) that provides fast, convenient, and affordable mass transit to Los Rios students.

Why were students asked to vote on this matter?

California state law (Education Code 76361) requires that student body elections be held to approve and implement transportation services programs and associated fees.

When was the election and who was eligible to vote on this measure?

The election was held September 22 and 23, 2015.

Since the fee is only charged to certain students, only those students who met the eligibility requirements were able to vote on the measure. Eligible students were those who were enrolled in more than three (3) units at any one college during the spring or fall semester. Please note the following students are not eligible for the UTP (even if they were enrolled in more than 3 units) and were not eligible to vote:

  • Students enrolled in the Sacramento Regional Public Safety Center
  • Students enrolled in Apprenticeship programs
  • Students taking classes on the UC Davis main campus
  • Students studying abroad
  • Incarcerated students inside correctional facilities

What percentage of students needed to vote yes for the measure to pass?

A simple majority of those students who cast ballots needed to vote "yes" for Measure A to pass. A simple majority is defined as 50% plus 1 of eligible voters. 96% of voting students voted "yes."

Why was the election conducted on a districtwide basis?

It was a districtwide election because many Los Rios students attend classes at more than one college or center. However, only students who were enrolled in more than three (3) units at any one college were eligible to vote in the election.

When was the program implemented?

The program was implemented during the spring 2016 semester. The program will continue for five (5) calendar years, after which students will again need to vote to approve its continuance.