Universal Transit Pass - Frequently Asked Questions

Students of the Los Rios Community College District overwhelmingly passed the Universal Transit Pass (Measure A) in a special student election on Sept. 22-23, 2015, with 96 percent of voting students saying "Yes" to access to fast, convenient and affordable mass transit. Here is an FAQ on the new Universal Transit Pass, or UTP, program that takes effect with the spring 2016 semester.

What did the students vote on?

Answer: 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.

How important is convenient, affordable mass transit to Los Rios students?

A: VERY! Today, 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 blowing less exhaust and pollution into the air we all breathe.

Why were students asked to vote on this matter?

A: 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?

A: The election was held on Sept. 22-23, 2015. Any Los Rios student who would be impacted by the proposed measure - meaning they would be charged a fee for the Universal Transit Pass - was eligible to vote on the ballot measure. Only eligible students who are enrolled in more than three (3) units at any single college would be impacted by the measure, and so only they were eligible to vote. Please note the following students are not eligible for the UTP and also 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 percent of students supporting the measure was needed for the measure to pass?

A: A simple majority of those students who cast ballots had to vote "yes" for Measure A to pass. A simple majority is defined as 50 percent plus 1 of the eligible students who vote in the districtwide election. In fact, 96 percent of voting students cast "yes" ballots.

Why was the election conducted on a districtwide basis?

A: It was a districtwide election because many Los Rios students attend classes at more than one college or center. However, only students who are enrolled in more than three (3) units at any single college were eligible to vote in the election at that college and will be charged a fee for the Universal Transit Pass.

Now that the ballot measure has passed, why will all students eligible for the pass be required to pay the universal transit fee and not just the ones who actually use transit services?

A: There are several reasons, but one of the most important is that the Los Rios District believes increased student ridership on mass transit benefits the entire student population in the form of cleaner air, reduced traffic congestion on the roads and campuses and - for those who must drive personal vehicles - more open parking spaces.

The financial benefits to those who actually use mass transit are substantial. RT's economics dictate that the transit agency can offer such a significant discount to all our students only if all our eligible students pay the fee. RT currently charges the general public $500 for the equivalent of a semester-long transit pass, compared with the maximum student fee of only $33.75 per semester (15 or more units).

And this new agreement includes one new and very significant benefit - all summer session students will be assessed $11 and be entitled to a Universal Transit Pass for each summer session - a benefit that students specifically requested. In addition, the agreement includes a half-price discount on RT's regular monthly pass ($55 instead of $110) for those Los Rios students who are carrying three (3) or fewer units or are not eligible otherwise for the pass.

What will the fees be and why?

A: 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. The fees by term are as follows:

Fall and spring semesters: The fee is $2.25 per unit, rounded up to the next whole unit. The maximum fee charged is $33.75 if a student is enrolled in 15 or more units across the Los Rios Colleges. For example, a student enrolled in 3.01 to four (4) units will pay $9.00 a semester, a student enrolled in 12 units will pay $27.00 a semester, and a student enrolled in 15 or more units will pay the maximum fee of $33.75 per semester. Students enrolled in three (3) or fewer units at any one college may purchase a monthly Regional Transit pass for half the regular rate ($55 instead of the current $110) at any of our college Business Services Offices.

Summer: All students pay $11, regardless of unit load.

When will the program be implemented?

A: The new Universal Transit Pass program will be implemented beginning with 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.

For which transit services will students be able to use their Universal Transit Pass?

A: The Universal Transit Pass will be applicable to all RT services, including all RT light rail lines and buses. The pass could be used seven days a week, 24 hours a day, for any purpose.

You may go to the RT website for a list of other transit bus and light rail systems that will accept the Los Rios RT UTP sticker by clicking here. The last column lists the current transit partners for Los Rios students. UC Davis Unitrans does not accept the UTP.

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

How do I get my UTP sticker?

Your Student Access Card is your transit pass. For your Student Access Card to be valid as a Regional Transit pass, it must have the current UTP semester sticker attached. You can pick up your Student Access Card and UTP sticker after all your fees are paid at any of the campus locations listed below (Please note that service hours/days will vary by campus):

  • ARC: Main campus, Center for Leadership and Development (Student Center); Natomas Center, Main Office

  • CRC: Main campus, Admissions and Records (College Center); Elk Grove Center

  • FLC: Main campus, Welcome and Student Success Center (FL 1); EDC, Computer Lab (C-204); Rancho Cordova Outreach Center

  • SCC: Main campus, City Cafe 2 (August, January only), Learning Resource Center (LRC-144); Davis Center; West Sacramento Center