University of Connecticut students now need a U-Pass CT to ride Windham Region Transit District (WRTD) bus lines, which service nine towns in the Windham region.
The Student Daily Digest recently sent out a reminder that old WRTD passes no longer work on WRTD buses. The announcement said students must use a U-Pass and valid UConn student ID to ride the bus; student IDs alone will not be accepted.
UConn transportation planner Tanya Husick said in an email that students can obtain a U-Pass online for free at upass.uconn.edu and can pick up the pass at Parking Services’ office at UConn’s Storrs campus or have it mailed to them.
Husick said the change to the passes required to ride WRTD buses was implemented this semester due to the development of the U-Pass CT program in partnership with the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT).
University spokesperson Stephanie Reitz said in an email that the U-Pass enables students to access additional public transit services.
“In the past, we were able to provide passes for students to ride the WRTD buses, but there were no other routes that served the area,” Reitz said. “Now that CT Transit has started the Route 913 line (which comes to Storrs), the U-Pass has been adopted to allow riders to use that bus line along with WRTD buses and the other public transit services.”
According to Husick, the U-Pass allowing student access to both WRTD and intrastate services had been contingent upon the CTDOT implementing the Route 913 line transit service extension between Storrs and Hartford.
Sriraman Srinivasan, a master’s student in business analytics and project management who also works part-time in dining services, said the Route 913 line makes his life easier.
“I use this mode of transportation everyday, I can pick up shifts whenever I need to,” Srinivasan said.
Surya Ramaraj, a master’s student in the same program as Srinivasan, said she wishes the route expansion had happened earlier in her college career.
“We’re graduating this December and we wish we had this sooner, it would have been so convenient,” Ramaraj said.
According to Husick, the U-Pass program gives students the opportunity to connect with the new downtown Hartford campus and other participating regional campuses. Husick also said the program was implemented in part to supplement the transit services already offered to regional campuses, calling it “a very significant improvement to transit access.”
Husick said that the connection between Storrs and downtown Hartford gives students access to professional, residential and entertainment opportunities.
Fifth-semester communications major Lukas Gorski said he finds the connection to be beneficial for students.
“I like it a lot, it’s more convenient. Especially if you're a student at the downtown Hartford campus or if you don't have a car,” Gorski said. “It makes it more convenient for students with split schedules.”
Maya Moore is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at email@example.com.