To help underscore the benefits of public transit and encourage consistent use among the St. Louis area’s college students, faculty and staff, Citizens for Modern Transit, Metro Transit and St. Clair County Transit District are teaming up with St. Louis Community College, Saint Louis University, Southwestern Illinois College, University of Missouri–St. Louis and Washington University in St. Louis to host the “College Transit Challenge.” From Friday, March 3, to Friday, March 10, those affiliated with the respective schools are encouraged to use their Metro U-Pass to take transit as often as they can. Ridership will be tracked via mobile texting, social media and event participation. The school with the most ridership will be awarded bragging rights, and all challenge participants will be entered to win a selection of prizes. Registration is required and can be completed at www.CollegeTransitChallenge.com.
“Public transit access – via MetroLink and MetroBus – is readily available at these five colleges and universities, offering a safe and convenient means to get to and from campus, work, doctor appointments, grocery stores, area attractions, nightlife or wherever else they need or want to go,” commented Kimberly Cella, executive director of Citizens for Modern Transit. “There are many benefits associated with taking transit, and the system is easy to use. Plus, the Metro U-Pass makes it super affordable because it provides unlimited rides on MetroBus and MetroLink during the school year for nearly 38,000 eligible students, faculty and staff.”
To register, students, faculty and staff can visit www.CollegeTransitChallenge.com and enter their name, school affiliation and cell phone number. CMT will not share or use this information for anything other than the challenge. They will then receive a text message to confirm campaign registration. During the weeklong challenge period, participants will receive a daily text message asking them how many times they rode transit, which mode was utilized and to where. All participants will be included in a daily drawing for prizes, $50 gift cards, transit passes, College Transit Challenge schwag and much more (see below for all the ways to win).
The “College Transit Challenge” will kick off on Friday, March 3, at 9 a.m. with a “Mascot Meetup” at the Cortex MetroLink Station, located at 270 Duncan Ave., St. Louis, MO 63110. Representatives for the transit organizations, along with college and university representatives and students, will share remarks on the benefits of transit access before they and mascots Archie, the Billiken, Kashmir the Snow Leopard, Louie the Triton and the Bear take MetroLink to Union Station to mark the official start of the weeklong campaign.
As part of the challenge, members of school-affiliated student organizations are encouraged to attend a mid-week event on Thursday, March 9, from 2 to 5 p.m. at Sugarfire Smoke House, which is adjacent to the Convention Center MetroLink Station in downtown St. Louis. The group with the most attendance will receive $250 to support its efforts.
Students who have not obtained their Metro U-Pass should check with their respective university or college to find out where they are distributed on campus.
Additional information about the campaign, instructions on how to register and specifics regarding the Metro U-Pass Programs for the respective schools can be found at www.CollegeTransitChallenge.com.
Ways to Win
There will be several ways to win during the week of March 3- March 10, 2023 for the CMT College Transit Challenge. The more you ride, the more you can reap the rewards. Guidelines below:
- Ridership will be tracked via mobile texting. The school with the most ridership will be awarded bragging rights, and all challenge participants will be entered to win a selection of prizes. Registration is required and can be completed at www.CollegeTransitChallenge.com. Once participants are registered, they will receive a confirmation text. They will reply to that number each time they use transit (including form of transit and destination) to earn points for their school.
- Ridership will also be tracked via social media. Participants simply check-in at a Metro Transit Center – via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter – and post a status update or photo with #iTakeTransit, along with mentioning their school. (ex. #iTakeTransit @UMSL).
- Stop by the Metro Meet Up on March 9 at Sugarfire’s downtown location from 2 – 5 p.m. to win even more prizes. The event will include discounted food and a chance to win $250 for the student group (i.e. Sustainability Group) with the most participants in attendance.
The school with the most ridership will be awarded bragging rights at the end of the week-long event. All College Transit Challenge participants will be entered in prize drawings throughout the week.