October 14, 2014


SUBJECT:   Changes to Bus Zone Program

Changes to the Bus Zone program are happening this fall and will affect how faculty and staff access transit services. These changes – the result of several years of gathering feedback from the campus community and analyzing revenue – are part of Transportation Services’ ongoing efforts to address budget shortfalls while still continuing to provide essential services.

Earlier this year, UC San Diego undergraduate and graduate students initiated a fee referendum in response to Transportation Services’ need to make changes. Rather than risk losing what they deemed critical services, students voted to implement a quarterly transportation fee to fund a new regional transit pass program. The program, called Triton U-Pass, began with the fall 2014 quarter and offers students unlimited ridership on most regional mass transit bus and trolley/light rail routes provided by the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) and the North County Transit District (NCTD).

With implementation of the student U-Pass, changes to the Bus Zone program can no longer be delayed. After Oct. 31, 2014 the current Bus Zone program provided by MTS will cease. Instead, eligible faculty and staff will be able to take advantage of a new MTS program called ECO Pass.

The ECO Pass is a regional transit pass that provides access to all regular MTS buses and the San Diego Trolley at a discounted rate. To receive the maximum 25 percent discount, UC San Diego has pre-purchased a bulk quantity of passes. This discount will be passed along directly to any faculty and staff who enroll in the program. Individuals who use the ECO Pass will also receive a pretax benefit by enrolling in payroll deduction, which is required to participate in the program.

To ease the cost of enrolling in the ECO Pass program, Transportation Services will cover the cost of the first month ($54) for any faculty or staff member wishing to enroll in the program. This would be a one-time option to help reduce the initial out-of-pocket expense. After the first month, the $54 monthly fee will be deducted directly from participants’ paychecks.

With ECO Pass, faculty and staff will have a commuting alternative that provides more options for getting around San Diego. ECO Pass can be used in the evenings, and on holidays and weekends, to get wherever you need to go.

To enroll in the ECO Pass program, and get the first month’s cost covered by Transportation Services, interested faculty and staff must enroll now through Oct. 31, 2014. Faculty and staff with Single Sign On credentials can sign up for payroll deduction online at All other faculty and staff must enroll in person at one of these two parking office locations:

Campus Parking Office
Gilman Parking Structure, 2nd Floor
(858) 534-4223
7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mon/Tue/Thurs/Fri
9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wed


Medical Center Parking Office
Bachman Parking Structure, 2nd Floor
(619) 543-6524
6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., weekdays

For questions or more information on the ECO Pass program at UC San Diego, please contact Commute Solutions at (858) 534-7433 or, or visit

For more information on pretax deductions for parking and transportation, visit For information on changes underway at Transportation Services, visit

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time of transition, as well as your ongoing feedback. With your help, Transportation Services will continue to explore every avenue to find the best possible path to financial sustainability.

Robert Holden