Campus ID News
Card, mobile credential, payment and security
Minnesota Ucard

U. of Minnesota adds public transit via student ID

Andrew Hudson   ||   Oct 05, 2022  ||   ,

The University of Minnesota has successfully integrated a transit pass into its campus card, bringing to fruition years of preparation and planning. Minnesota students who pay the Transportation and Safety Fee can now use their student ID, the U Card, as a Universal Transit Pass (UTP), which allows students unlimited rides on regional public transit providers.

The technology behind the transit pass tie-in is a dual-chip card containing both HID iClass and MIFARE chips, with the Metro Transit system leveraging the latter of the two chips. The dual-chip U Card has been distributed on the Minnesota campus since 2016 in preparation for the arrival of the UTP program.

The U Card Office at the University of Minnesota distributes an average of 27,000 cards annually to students, staff, and faculty. U Cards provide building access on campus, access to meal plans, and a host of other campus services.

The decision was taken to begin issuing dual chip cards in 2016 in order to have a large portion of the campus using the necessary credential before launching the transit program.

The initial plan was to delay program implementation by at least 4 years to have the entirety of the undergraduate population using the cards. Once completed, the university ran into some technical glitches synchronizing the campus system with Metro Transit. After working through those details, and finalizing the contract approved by the university's Board of Regents in July 2022, the full transit integration was launched this fall.

The University of Minnesota is now the largest institution to offer students unlimited ride transit passes in the Twin Cities region, which is served by Metro Transit and its parent agency, the Metropolitan Council. Integrating UTP to the Minnesota U Card represents a 74% cost savings for students that use public transit.

“The Universal Transit Pass will provide students enhanced and more equal access to nutritious food, affordable shopping, and recreation, from Target Field to the Mall of America and beyond," says Daniel Tobias, infrastructure director for the Twin Cities campus Undergraduate Student Government. "With this initiative, students will be healthier, happier, and better able to take full advantage of what the Twin Cities have to offer."

Another goal of the project is furthering campus sustainability.

“Students expressed their strong support for expanding access to destinations in a sustainable way, which is what transit offers,” says Ross Allanson, Director of Parking and Transportation Services at the University of Minnesota.

The UTP project was approved by the University’s Board of Regents in July and exists as a partnership between the Metropolitan Council and the University of Minnesota’s Parking & Transportation Services and U Card offices.

“There's a lot of excitement across campus that students now have access to buses and light-rail trains in the Twin Cities metro,” says Stephen Courchane, U Card Office Director. “It's a great convenience that we were able to add this service directly to the U Card so that students do not need to carry an additional credential to access the Universal Transit Pass service.”

|| TAGS:
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter


Sign saying show your ID card
Sep 29, 23 /

DePaul requires students to carry campus ID at all times on campus

Following a string of robberies on or near campus the Lincoln Park campus, DePaul University initiated a plan to tighten security. Part of the plan requires students, faculty, and staff to carry their DePaul ID at all times on campus. “Public safety officers will have the authority to remove anyone from a DePaul building who […]
Dawn Thomas, NACCU CEO, video on NACCU Near You event series
Sep 27, 23 /

CampusIDChat: NACCU launches regional NACCU Near You event series

In this edition of CampusIDChats, publisher Chris Corum catches up with Dawn Thomas, NACCU CEO, to learn about the upcoming NACCU Near You events series. Sometimes traveling to a conference is challenging due to schedules, budgets, and workloads. That is where the NACCU Near You events series fills a void. These one-day regional events offer […]
Penn State mobile credential banner
Sep 26, 23 / ,

Penn State’s mobile credential program serves students on 24 unique campuses with 81% adoption rate

  At the beginning of 2023, Penn State rolled out Transact Mobile Credential to students, faculty, and staff. Among mobile credential programs, this one stands out because it was rolled out simultaneously across all 24 campuses of Penn State. In partnership with Transact, the campus team faced a unique set of challenges presented by this […]
CIDN logo reversed
The only publication dedicated to the use of campus cards, mobile credentials, identity and security technology in the education market. CampusIDNews – formerly CR80News – has served more than 6,500 subscribers for more than two decades.

Join us, @NACCUorg, and @TouchNet to explore how campus card programs can successfully navigate the sales and procurement process. Join the webinar on June 6, 2 pm EDT.

Webinar: Learn how the University of Arizona uses campus cards, mobile ordering, kiosks, lockers, and robots to revolutionize campus dining. April 7, 2-2:30 EDT. Register Now at

Load More...
CampusIDNews is published by AVISIAN Publishing
315 E. Georgia St.
Tallahassee, FL 32301[email protected]
Use our contact form to submit tips, corrections, or questions to our team.
©2023 CampusIDNews. All rights reserved.