In order to help mitigate rising costs for the GoPass program, Duke will begin charging a nominal fee for employees this fall.
Provided for free to thousands of faculty and staff since 2010, the GoPass provides unlimited rides on local and regional bus routes run by Triangle Transit and the Durham Area Transit Authority. With the GoPass, students and eligible employees can hop on a variety of bus routes near campus and their home or office, swipe a GoPass on any eligible bus and save time and money. There are currently 7,000 active participants in the program, but the cost for Duke has nearly doubled in the past four years.
As a result, GoPass will be offered to eligible faculty and staff for an annual fee of $25 for unlimited rides. This change will take place for current GoPass holders when their pass expires in October, as well as for employees who are new GoPass holders as of July 1. GoPass will remain free for Duke students. The $25 cost is equivalent to five to 15 round-trip bus fares, depending on the bus line.
"While no longer free, the GoPass continues to offer an extremely economical and sustainable means of commuting with unlimited rides for occasional and regular bus commuters," said Alison Carpenter, manager of Duke's transportation demand management program.
Current GoPass users will receive an email in September to prompt online renewal. New GoPasses will be mailed to a faculty or staff members' home address.
In addition to benefits for bus commuters, Parking and Transportation Services also offers perks for employees who carpool and ride a bike to campus. Incentives range from 24 free daily parking passes, to reduced-cost parking permits and even discounts at local businesses for registered bike commuters.