Michigan State University and CATA have amended their contract for the 2018-19 academic year to make on-campus bus service free to all students, staff and faculty. Free service will go into effect Aug. 27, when fall semester classes commence, and will run on a trial basis for one year.
“This agreement will reduce the out-of-pocket costs to students and parents and be an incentive for more students to use CATA while on campus to get to class and back safely,” MSU Interim President John Engler said. “This fall, Spartans will just need to board and take a seat."
The agreement amends the current contract between Michigan State and CATA, which factors in expenses, federal and state support, and rider usage. The change will be funded through the university’s general fund. Last year, there were 3 million rides taken on campus routes.
At the end of the one-year trial the university will evaluate success based on usage and student satisfaction.
“ASMSU is excited to hear that CATA services on campus will be free” Associated Students of Michigan State University President Katherine Rifiotis said. “This will increase accessibility for students on campus, regardless of weather conditions. With college costs on the rise, it is nice to know that cost will not be a barrier for safe transportation.”
The new fare-free trial will apply to weekday service, including Routes 30, 31, 32, 33 and 39; and weekend service on Routes 34, 35 and 36. CATA will also offer free service on Route 38, a newly created route, which provides dedicated service to Spartan Village from Ramp 1, the Shaw parking ramp. Additionally, CATA will provide bus service during summer, spring and winter breaks on Route 32, which serves Ramp 1, the MSU Auditorium, the Clinical Center and Lot 89.
“CATA’s leadership is absolutely thrilled by this unprecedented service that gives all students, especially those with limited resources, access to a longstanding campus amenity,” said CATA CEO Bradley T. Funkhouser.
CATA has provided on-campus service to MSU since April 1999.