Need a ride to the University of Nebraska at Omaha or elsewhere? If you have a MavCard, you’re in luck.
UNO officials announced over holiday break that the university’s ride program will now give free bus rides to all students, faculty and staff starting Jan. 2.
Riders can swipe their ID cards on any Metro bus route. There’s no need to register; it’s ready for use. Passengers will only need to swipe their card to ride.
The intent of the free rides is to allow less strain on campus parking. Metro has provided more than 266,000 rides to UNO students, staff and faculty participating in the program so far.
Parking can be a struggle during peak hours, and there is only so much space for new stalls.
A new parking garage is planned for the Pacific Campus.
The university hopes its ridership program will alleviate parking stress and make it convenient for people to take buses beyond attending and leaving campus. Greater bus access will get more students using transit for trips to the grocery store or for exploring Omaha, not just commuting to class.
UNO’s parking services office and student government will split the cost, which has a flat annual fee of $60,000 no matter how many rides are taken.
UNO’s contract with Metro runs through 2018.