The Creighton Students Union launched a new initiative this month aimed at providing free Metro Bus passes to Creighton students in order to support and improve student transportation options in Omaha.
CSU is providing students with a metro bus pass that provides 10 free trips on a first-come, first-served basis. CSU announced the initiative during the presentation of election results on Nov. 6.
This is the first time that CSU is providing students with metro passes. The budget for the initiative was allocated from the CSU’s annual budget.
The program’s goal is to provide another transportation option for students around Omaha to assist them in everyday activities such as grocery shopping and commuting to work.
Donna Shahbazi, President of CSU, discussed how the new bus passes will expand on services already provided by the campus.
“The shuttle and JayRide provide services on campus and nearby neighborhoods,” Shahbazi said. “We hope to expand this service net and provide to students who may need resources beyond the confines of the Creighton community.”
Kelsey Philippe, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences, already claimed her free pass and discussed both the benefits and downsides of using Omaha public transportation.
“CSU taking the initiative to encourage the use of public transportation is honorable,” Philippe said. “But due to city planning, the use of it is rather inefficient compared to, say, an Uber, but it has allowed me to save substantially financially.”
Public transportation is not widely used in Omaha. The Omaha World-Herald reported that mass transportation is only used by approximately 1% of commuters in Douglas County.
Brooke Pickette, a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences, also expressed reservations about the public transportation in Omaha.
“I think that Omaha is doing the best that they can,” Pickette said. “But there is obviously room for improvement. Because everything is so spread out, it is hard to have a great public transportation system.”
However, the city of Omaha itself is working on improving public transportation. The city is constructing a Rapid Bus system that is supposed to launch in the upcoming spring.