By Kathryn Kelman/editor-in-chief
Number of students using Trinity Metro continues to rise throughout fall term
Seven months after TCC started covering the cost of Trinity Metro bus and rail rides for students, thousands more are utilizing the service.
For some students, free use of the county’s public transportation has made a difference in their ability to get to campuses and their classes.
The college’s chancellor, Eugene Giovannini said he is pleased with how the program has progressed in the initial months.
“It is gratifying to see what a major impact our partnership with Trinity Metro already is having on our students as they work to pursue their higher education goals,” Giovannini said in a press release. “Providing our students with free transportation to every TCC location through our Ride On Program furthers our goal of being a student-ready institution and removes a significant barrier to completion for many of our students.”
As part of the partnership, Trinity Metro added routes to the NE and SE campuses that started in August.
The college’s Fort Worth locations already had bus services, but Hurst, North Richland Hills and Arlington didn’t have citywide public transportation.
Transportation to the two campuses had long been an issue, according to communications and external affairs vice chancellor Reginald Gates.
“The partnership with Trinity Metro set the stage for identifying a solution,” he said.
Travel to the NE and SE Campuses was primarily done by car, which was likely an obstacle for students, Gates said.
With this thought in mind, the college and the Fort Worth Transit Authority partnered over a year ago to help students gain access to the other campuses and reach their education goals at TCC.
Trinity Metro President and CEO Paul Ballard said the partnership with the college is working as planned.
“When Chancellor Giovannini and I talked about this agreement last year, we hoped that the opportunity for students to access all campuses would enhance their college experience and provide the flexibility they need to enroll in classes they choose, regardless of location,” he said in a press release. “Because TCC students enjoy unlimited rides, they also benefit by having convenient options for getting to the grocery store, medical appointments or weekend entertainment. The success we’re seeing so far shows that the program is working.”
To qualify for the free rides, TCC students must take three credit hours or 48 contact hours. Any student IDs issued before May 15 can be activated for the program at campus copy centers. All IDs issued after May 15 are already activated for use.