Campus Life

Ride for Five program changing to RidePass, other changes for 2016-17

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The “Ride for Five” mass transit program is getting a new name for the 2016-17 academic year — one that best describes this evolving transportation program that boosts Penn State’s sustainability efforts.

Effective July 1, both the employee and graduate student “Ride for Five” program names will change to “RidePass.” The program with some alterations will continue to offer a discounted CATA ONEPASS (valid for all CATA routes) to eligible Penn State employees and graduate students, with the mission of encouraging mass transit use, supporting Penn State’s sustainability goals and reducing campus parking demands. Participants may also register for an evening/weekend parking permit, but may not possess a daytime-access parking permit while enrolled in the “RidePass” program.

As in previous years, eligibility for the “RidePass” program will be available to University Park faculty and staff with standing, fixed term I, fixed term multi-year and postdoctoral appointments, as well as University Park graduate students living off campus.

The RidePass program will not be available to employees or graduate students residing at apartment complexes that provide access to a CATA pass as part of their rental agreement.

In an effort to eliminate the need for a cap on program participation and to help ensure the financial viability of the program in the future, the following program changes will go into effect July 1:

  • Monthly pass fee will increase to $15 per month (78 percent discount off the full CATA price)
  • Program participants must live more than 1.5 miles (walking distance) from a CATA campus service Blue Loop or Red Link stop to be eligible for the “RidePass” program

In addition, all participants will have the option to choose a nine-month or 12-month transit pass when registering for the “RidePass” program.

Graduate students will be required to prepay the full nine-month or 12-month fee when they register, while faculty and staff may prepay or schedule the monthly fee to be deducted from payroll on a monthly or bi-weekly basis, depending on their payroll schedule.

While participants may exit the program early and receive a prorated refund for time remaining on the pass or stop the recurring payroll deduction (depending on method of payment), participants who choose to exit the program before the pass expiration date will not be eligible to re-enter the program until the start of the next program cycle.

While the current graduate student “Ride for Five” program is no longer accepting applications for the 2015-16 academic year, faculty and staff may still register for the current employee “Ride for Five” program through the end of May. Registration is available at the Parking Office at 1 Eisenhower Parking Deck during normal business hours, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

All employees and graduate students enrolled in the current program who wish to continue receiving a reduced-fare transit pass through the University will be required to enroll in the 2016-17 “RidePass” program when registration is available.

Additional information, including details regarding registration, will be announced over the next few months. Questions regarding the “RidePass” program should be directed to Transportation Services at 814-865-1436 or

Last Updated February 22, 2016