Some students have expressed concerns about the price of the fall 2013 GRTC student transit passes. Please keep in mind that this does not include the RamRide campus connector or other parking shuttles, which remains free of charge.
We are sympathetic to the points that have been raised, but VCU must continue to identify ways to reduce costs and make our operations more efficient so that those savings may be reallocated to support the core academic quality and student needs as well as the priorities of Quest for Distinction.
Since 2008, VCU was fortunate to be able to fully subsidize the GRTC student transit pass. Over the years, the program has continued to grow and now costs roughly $550,000 annually. This is not funded by tuition. With reduced state support and austere budgets, the difficult decision was made to charge a reasonable amount for the student transit pass to help offset the cost.
The GRTC student transit pass has a value ranging from $700 to $1,000 annually, depending on usage. A cost of $100 per semester is about half of the commuter parking permit rate of $190 per semester, making the GRTC student transit pass a value. Additionally, we are now expanding the program to include part-time students, who also face financial challenges.
With regard to communication, we did communicate the changes to the parking and transportation programs across campus beginning in early 2013, including meetings with the SGA and also with academic and student affairs leadership. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation as we move to improve our overall financial position and ensure that our limited resources are redirected to and support our core academic goals.
Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Virginia Commonwealth University