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Springfield’s A3 Wins Inaugural Take The Bus Challenge

January 13, 2023

The Academy of Arts & Academics (A3) won Lane Transit District’s (LTD) inaugural Take the Bus Challenge, a competition between ten area high schools to determine which school could take the most LTD bus trips per capita using their free Student Transit Pass during a two-week period in November.

Nearly 17% of A3 students participated in the challenge. Bethel’s Kalapuya High School came in second place at 16.52%, followed by Thurston at 8.95%, ECCO High School at 8.78%, and North Eugene High School at 7.77%.

During the two-week challenge, the combined efforts of all the high school students participating in the challenge resulted in keeping approximately 116 metric tons of carbon dioxide from going into the air from vehicle tailpipe emissions.

“A3 has greatly appreciated the free bus passes for our students,” said Ame Beard, A3’s Principal. “In the past, we paid $2,100 per quarter for bus passes. Freeing up these resources has meant that our students have been able to enjoy increased art programming.”

For the student’s commitment to using their free Student Transit Pass, A3 received a $1,000 prize to invest in a sustainability project that benefits the school. A3 is using its winnings to replace paper cups with reusable stainless steel mugs that will save more than 3,600 paper cups per school year from being deposited into the local landfill.

“The Take the Bus Challenge, is a great incentive to encourage students to try transit and help reduce CO2 in our region, all while winning prizes!” said Cammie Harris, LTD Marketing and Communication Representative.

Area students in Kindergarten through 12th grade are eligible for a free Student Transit Pass.  If a student received a Student Transit Pass last school year (2021-2022) or over the summer in 2022, a new pass that is valid until September 30, 2023, is available on their app or tap card. Students, parents, and guardians are asked to verify that a new pass has been issued. You can verify your student’s pass in the following ways:

Mobile App: Click the wallet button in the lower right-hand corner of the Umo Mobility app. The “Passes” tab of “My Wallet” will display all current passes. If it does not display a Student Transit Pass for 22/23, please visit the school office to have the pass renewed.

Tap Card: Register the card and create an account at UmoPass.com. The “My Wallet” tab will display any passes that are currently on the tap card. The school office can also verify the tap card’s status.

If you have not received your free Student Transit Pass, please visit your school office.

During the 2021-2022 school year, nearly 10,000 free Student Transit Passes were issued. The free Student Transit Pass program is funded through a grant to LTD from the state of Oregon’s Statewide Transportation Improvement Fund (STIF) approved through House Bill 2017.

View the full results of the challenge at LTD.org.

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