In the past few months, Pacific’s College of Health Professions has made efforts to alleviate student transportation woes with the addition of the Intermodal Transit Facility. ITF, which is owned by the city of Hillsboro, features parking, charging stations for electric cars and a bike station complete with lockers and showers.
This is not the only way CHP has sought to make commuting to the campus easier. The Hillsboro campus offers discounted Tri-Met passes to its students for about $350 per year.
According to Pacific’s Business Office Controller Allie Losli, the university began offering passes to the health professions students because of the limited parking at the Hillsboro campus.
Losli said the university purchases the passes from Tri-Met, then sells them to students for the same price.
“[Pacific] can’t require students to purchase a pass and so there is a risk that the university will not be able to sell all the passes,” said Losli.
Although the university cannot count on selling every pass they purchase, Losli said the limited parking on campus has made the reduced pass program successful for CHP.
Despite the success of the program, the discounted passes are not available to the undergraduates at the Forest Grove campus. Losli said this is primarily because the Forest Grove campus is mostly residential. Students either live on campus or have a car and use student parking to commute to and from school. “Many undergraduate students probably would not want to purchase a pass,” said Losli.
If the university were to use the same program for CHP at the Forest Grove campus, it would require them to buy passes for approximately all of the 1,500 undergraduates and run the risk of having to cover the cost if they were not able to sell them all.
While the program the university has established with Tri-Met for the College of Health Professions may not fit well with the undergraduate population at Pacific, other options are a possibility.
“There may be other options with TriMet that we could look at for students at the Forest Grove campus, but for those passes TriMet’s cost per pass will be much higher,” said Losli.
Although Pacific University does not offer discounted Tri-Met passes to its undergraduates, there are several universities and colleges in the area that do. Government funded schools such as Portland State University and Portland Community College and private schools such as Reed College and University of Portland and offer some form of discounted or subsidized Tri-Met passes to their undergraduate students.