The Duluth Transit Authority expects its U-PASS program to see its millionth Lake Superior College passenger today.
The rider will be identified and congratulated by DTA and LSC officials with a commemorative plaque and prize donations.
The U-PASS program began at the University of Minnesota Duluth in September 2000, with LSC, the University of Wisconsin-Superior and the College of St. Scholastica joining later. Under the program, students, faculty and staff at the colleges qualify for free bus rides anytime and anywhere in the Twin Ports.
The program began in part to reduce traffic and parking problems in the UMD area. Before the program, UMD bus ridership averaged 4,000 rides a month. UMD is expected to reach its 5 millionth U-PASS rider by the end of the year.
LSC joined the program in 2001, and U-PASS ridership at the school has grown every year. It reached its 500,000th rider in December 2009. October’s U-PASS ridership at LSC was the highest monthly total with nearly 20,000 rides.