URBAN STRUCTURE

                                           Date: March 25, 1997
                                           Dept. File No.CD
                                           C.C. File: 5340-1/5555-1

   TO:       Vancouver City Council

   FROM:     Director of City Plans, in consultation with the General
             Manager of Engineering Services

   SUBJECT:  Model TDM Program at University of Washington (U-Pass) and
             presentation by William Roach, Supervisor of Market and
             Service Development, Metro Transit Seattle


        The General Manager of Engineering Services submits this report for


   Existing Council policy on supporting transit initiatives is extensive
   and includes CityPlan policies (1995), Clouds Of Change (1990) and
   regional transportation policies.

   On October 10, 1996, Council recommended that the proposals of the Task
   force on Transportation Access to UBC and UEL be incorporated to the
   greatest extent possible into the UBC OCP. Council also proposed to the
   GVRD that the OCP include preparation of an access plan demonstrating a
   firm commitment by UBC to a strengthened Transportation Demand
   Management program and implementation of a U-Pass system, with the
   measures required to accommodate the OCP housing and job targets with an
   overall 20% reduction of 24-hour vehicle traffic to and from UBC and the
   UEL community.

   On November 1, 1996, the GVRD Board passed the following recommendation
   "UBC will need to continue to develop, communicate and pursue a
   transportation demand management plan that will include increasing
   parking costs and measures to reduce single occupant vehicle travel from
   1996 levels by 20%, continuing to reduce the amount of commuter
   parking... and UBC will need to investigate and pursue a 'U-Pass'
   program as part of transportation demand management."
   On March 25, 1997, Council approved recommendations on regional
   Transportation Demand Management strategies that stipulate that revenues
   raised from tolls and road pricing be spent directly on transit and
   transportation improvements to the transportation system.   


   This report provides a summary of the University of Washington U-Pass
   program. It also documents the possible relevance of this program to the
   UBC OCP process.


   U-Pass is one of the most successful and comprehensive transportation
   demand management programs in the United States. It is an excellent
   example of "carrots and sticks" working together to encourage people to
   travel less by car. 

   Over the last two years the City of Vancouver has taken an active
   interest in minimizing the potential impacts of the proposed new
   development at UBC. Among their actions, Council established a Citizens
   Task Force on Access to UBC. In October 1996, Council passed
   recommendations calling for an overall reduction in car volumes and the
   implementation of a U-Pass system at UBC. The GVRD Board, in its review
   of the OCP supported the reduction in vehicle travel and stated that
   "UBC will need to investigate and pursue a U-Pass program as part of
   Transportation Demand Management."

   The UBC OCP is scheduled for its fourth and final reading by the GVRD
   Board in late May. In order to pass the fourth reading, the University
   was asked to investigate and pursue U-Pass.  A transportation committee
   chaired by UBC and made up of community, City, and GVRD representatives
   has been assisting UBC in examining the feasibility of U-Pass. 
   Technical work and discussions are not yet advanced enough to determine
   if UBC and BC Transit will initiate a U-Pass program.  The committee is
   scheduled to meet once more on April 7. The City and GVRD will need to
   see how much revenue UBC is willing to commit from parking fees and
   parking fines. In the absence of a U-Pass type program, it is unlikely
   that the target of reduced vehicle traffic adopted by the City and GVRD
   can be met.


   1.   The U-Pass Program In Seattle

   Information on the University of Washington U-Pass program is provided
   as background to a presentation by Bill Roach, Supervisor of Market and
   Service Development from Metro Transit in Seattle.

   In 1991, the University of Washington in cooperation with the City of
   Seattle and Metro Transit implemented U-Pass. This program was developed
   in response to a long standing agreement with the City of Seattle that
   the University would prepare a Transportation Master Plan to ensure
   campus expansion would not increase vehicle trips to the University
   beyond 1983 levels.

   In 1989, the University began an expansion program which involved the
   addition of 4,300 new faculty and staff. The estimated traffic impact
   was an increase in daily volumes of 10,000 vehicles and the need for
   four new parking garages.

   Given the commitment to not increase vehicle trips, the University had
   to find a way to accommodate increased travel without adding cars on the
   road. They decided that they would have to offer a range of viable
   alternatives such as better transit as well as disincentives to single
   occupant drivers such as increased parking fees.

   The idea that emerged was to treat transportation like a health benefit,
   where everyone would share the costs and benefits. A "universal pass"
   would provide access to a range of transportation benefits, and most
   importantly provide a monthly low-cost bus pass. The motto of the U-Pass
   campaign was "For You and the U".

   The complete transportation benefit package includes a night shuttle
   around campus, guaranteed ride home for faculty and staff, free parking
   for carpools, vanpools operated by Metro Transit, bike lockers, and a
   disabled persons shuttle.  U-Pass holders also get a discount at a range
   of businesses around Seattle.

   2.   U-Pass Funding

   The U-Pass budget is approximately $7,200,000 ($US) a year. The revenue
   sources are as follows:

   Sale of U-Pass:     $3.5 million (49%)
   Parking fees:       $2.7 million (37.5%) 
   Parking Fines:      $0.4 million (5.5%)
   State Subsidy:      $0.6 million (8.3%)
   The cost of the pass is $9.00 per month for students and $12.50 a month
   for faculty. This entitles the pass holder to unlimited use of the
   Seattle transit system. The fees are collected from students through the
   tuition bill.

   Prior to U-Pass, monthly parking permits costed $24.00 ($US).  Post
   U-Pass, monthly parking fees rose to $36.00 per month in 1991 and are
   now $42.00 a month [or $56.00 ($CAN) compared to $44.00 presently
   charged at UBC]. All monthly parking permit holders also get a free
   U-Pass. The number of monthly parking permits sold to faculty has
   decreased by 24% since U-Pass was initiated. Student daily parking rates
   have doubled from 0.75 to $1.50 per day (compared to $3.00 per day at

   The bulk of the revenues ($6.0 million) is spent on contracting bus
   services from Metro Transit at the marginal hourly cost. Transit service
   was increased by 20% over the first three years, an increase in 57,000
   service hours. In addition to adding new services on existing routes,
   Metro Transit created three new routes for the U-Pass program. A
   contract between Metro Transit and the University sets out all details
   on routes and costs. This contract was recently renewed for a second
   three year term. 

   No new capital funding was required by Metro Transit to institute U-Pass
   because they were able to free up buses from other routes, ie by
   substituting a cheaper vanpool system for conventional bus routes. It is
   BC Transit s view that new buses would have to be purchased to implement

   3.   U-Pass Results

   (a)  Mode Choice

   The following table shows which transportation mode faculty and students
   took to get to the university before and five years after U-Pass was
   established. Transit use for students increased from 21% to 34% for
   students and from 11% to 19% for faculty. The number of students driving
   alone decreased by 40% and the number of faculty driving alone decreased
   by 5%.

   Between 1990 and 1995, total campus transit ridership grew from 4.7
   million trips per year to 7.4 million trips per year, a 60% increase. 
    Mode          Students                 Faculty

                  Pre     Post    Percent  Pre    Post      Percent
                  U-Pass  U-Pass  Change   U-pass U-pass    Change
                  (1989)  (1996)           (1989) (1996)

    Drive Alone   25%     15%     -40%     60%    57%       -5%
    Transit       21%     34%     +54%     11%    19%       +82%

    Carpool/      9%      11%     22%      11%    12%       +1%

    Bicycle       10%     9%      -10%     9%     8%        -9%

    Walk          31%     30%     -3%      7%     3%        -57%
    Other         4%      1%      -75%     2%     1%        -50%

   Note:     Source of 1996 data from U-Pass Annual Report, September 1995
             to September 1996. Data is based on surveys; mode question
             based on a typical commute week.

   (b)  Vehicle Trips

   The number of vehicle trips during the morning peak (7:00 a.m. to 9:00
   a.m.) decreased from 7,800 in 1990 to 6,770 trips in 1996, about a 13%
   decrease. Twenty-four hour vehicle trips decreased by 1%.

   4.   Applicability of U-Pass to UBC

   The enrollment at UBC is 23,359 full time students and 7,200 part-time
   students, and there are about 7,500 faculty and staff.  The University
   of Washington student enrollment is 34,000 and there are about 17,000
   staff and faculty. Both campuses have hospitals and a number of sports
   and entertainment facilities. The main difference is geographic
   location. University of Washington is situated just a couple of
   kilometres north of downtown Seattle and many bus routes from the north
   conveniently pass through the campus en route to downtown.

   The U-Pass appears to provide an excellent solution to managing traffic
   impacts and providing a much improved transit service for the university
   community. The present cost of a monthly parking pass at UBC is $44.00
   and daily parking is $0.35 an hour to a maximum of $3.00 a day in the
   B-lots. If, for example, a levy of $1.00 day was implemented on every
   parking space, approximately $2.5 million could be raised per annum from
   the 10,700 parking places.

   Considerable revenues could also be obtained from the sale of U-Passes.
   BC Transit believes that the U of W U-Pass is underpriced.  A UBC
   student now pays the one zone pass price $54.00 a month for a BC Transit
   pass for unlimited travel across all zones. This provides a subsidy only
   for students travelling long distances, ie 2 or 3 zones. Approximately
   10% of the UBC student population now buys a pass.

   If the U-Pass sold for $25.00 a month (rather than the U-Pass price of
   $9.00 US), revenues could approach $4 million, assuming 80% of UBC
   students subscribed to the pass for 8 months of the year (81% of
   students subscribe at U of W).  At the University of Washington, 64% of
   faculty and staff purchase the pass. If this rate of subscribership was
   reached at UBC, an additional $2.4 million could be raised from pass
   sales. This would result in approximately $6.4 million over the course
   of the academic year.  

   The revenues from parking and pass sales could then be put into
   increasing service hours and/or bus purchases. The injection of new
   services would mean that the new residential community at UBC could also
   be well served by these buses and therefore further reduce the
   transportation impacts on nearby neighbourhoods.

   5.   Issues Raised Concerning the U-Pass Program

   Preliminary discussions on the feasibility of U-Pass have been initiated
   between BC Transit staff and UBC staff.  UBC officials have expressed
   concern that they need to increase parking fees to pay for the debt load
   on their newly constructed parking structures. Consequently parking fees
   may not provide as much revenue as obtained by the University of
   Washington. (By initiating  U-Pass, the University of Washington saved
   themselves the costs of building new parking structures.) They have also
   raised the equity issue of asking car drivers to subsidize transit

   BC Transit officials have concerns around the capital required to
   institute U-Pass. Unlike Metro Transit in Seattle, BC Transit does not
   have buses that can be freed up to use for improved UBC services. BC
   Transit has made a preliminary estimation that approximately 30 buses
   would be needed to provide bus service levels to achieve GVRD targets.
   They estimate a one to two year delivery time for new bus orders. They
   also believe an extra SkyTrain (four-car), extra bus barn space,
   expanded bus loop at UBC, and priority measures along bus routes are

   BC Transit officials have said that significant savings in capital costs
   are possible by shifting student timetables outside the am peak. There
   are extra buses available now outside peak hours that could be used to
   enhance UBC services. The possibilities of student timetable shifts are
   currently being investigated.

   In terms of operating costs, BC Transit has noted that the costs per
   hour of service will be higher for UBC than University of Washington due
   to the geographic location of UBC at the western extremity of the city.
   This cost factor could be reflected in the price of the U-Pass.

   Increased parking fees may result in students looking for free parking
   in adjacent neighbourhoods.  If this occurs, "resident parking only"
   zones may have to be implemented.

   7.   Other Applications of U-Pass

   Camosun College in Victoria and University of Victoria offer subsidized
   bus passes, with the funds coming from parking fees. These programs,
   however, do not have service contracts guaranteeing enhanced bus
   services. Private firms in Seattle as well as many other institutions
   are entering into custom-made contracts with Metro Transit.  The U-Pass
   model could be applied to the City of Vancouver and other large employer


   U-Pass is an example of a TDM program of carrots and sticks working
   together in a way that makes sense for consumers. In Seattle, this 
   program has resulted in significant shifts from car driving to transit
   riding as well as significant improvements to the transit system. It
   provides a model for universities, colleges, and other large employers.
   It also provides an example of innovative ways to provide transit

   The GVRD's current TDM policies focus on road pricing and tolls and are
   not expected to provide funds for transit for at least six years. 
   U-Pass type programs provide an immediate funding mechanism for transit
   while giving people a viable alternative to car travel for many of their

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