New Gator Pass transit integration sees students use campus cards for bay-area busing, rail
Students at San Francisco State University can now use their OneCards for discounted transit services, following an integration with San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. The integration effectively makes existing student ID cards into valid Clipper Cards, the Bay Areas's transit credential.
Underpinning the initiative is a new card printing process that reads the information on the Clipper Card and assigns it to a student ID number in the university's database. In one pass through the card printer, a student’s information, picture, and university logo and design are all printed onto the new SFSU OneCard, making it ready to use as both a student ID and transit pass.
The result is the SFSU Gator Pass. Acting as a Clipper Card -- the all-in-one transit card for the Bay Area -- the Gator Pass project began with the fall 2017 semester, and includes unlimited rides on SF Muni rail and buses, excluding cable cars. Student transit discounts and pass activation are sent to Clipper when students pay their Gator Pass fee. As part of tuition and fees, all students pay $180 per semester for the transit service.
“It’s the ability to integrate the transit card solution with the current SFSU OneCard system that makes this a superior card printing solution," says John Gates, director of fiscal operations at SFSU. "The integration allows for data sharing with many systems allowing the latest ID card information to be current as a new card is issued."
The transit discounts will be activated on the first day of fall or spring semester in which an individual is enrolled as a student. The service will be active on all weekdays, weekends and holidays throughout the academic year, excluding only the summer term and the January intercession term.
OneCard/Gator Pass discounts will be active on the first day of semester for all students who have paid tuition and fees and have signed the user agreement. Transit discounts will be valid until the last day of the semester and is only valid for enrolled students in any given semester.
When it came to implementing the new card-printing solution, experience and proximity to SFSU's campus were primary factors in the university's decision to select Capture Technologies for the integration. Serving as the systems integrator on the project, the Oakland-based company has previously provided similar solutions to Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, Mission College, Evergreen College and San Jose City College.
“Capture Technologies provided highly competent consultation and timely support which helped us to recard 30,000 students and launch our new transportation discount program in collaboration with MTA, BART and Clipper/Cubic," adds Gates.
In addition to the new transit pass capabilities, SFSU's Gator Pass OneCard functions as the student ID card and is used for photo identification, meal plan access, declining balance usage, physical access, and library and print/copy services.