Folt revitalizes public transit incentive program for USC faculty and staff

She expects 2,000 employees to enroll this year

The Public Transit Subsidy Program is coming back to USC.

President Carol Folt announced a plan to provide employees with incentives to use public transit Tuesday.

“We will restore and improve the program to provide greater incentives for our employees to take the bus or rail to work,” Folt said.

She also explained that the incentive program will subsidize 50% of public transit costs of faculty and staff who enroll.

Ted Low, the department business manager of the Ming Shay Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, said he is excited about the new subsidy system.

“I have been anxiously waiting for it for years. I have been hoping that they would bring it back,” Low said. “It affects me directly because I take public transportation to work from Pasadena.”

USC Director of Transportation Tony Mazza said he expects high demand for the program because there was a large number of employees enrolled in 2015, when the incentive system was discontinued.

“Considering the fall out rate we received back in 2015 when the subsidy was taken away, we assumed that those employees were still taking public transportation,” Mazza said. “Now, with them receiving 50% off their current passes, we feel employees with take full advantage of the subsidy benefit, helping us to reduce the number of single occupancy vehicles that come to campus.”

While the Public Transit Subsidy Program is for faculty and staff, USC graduate and undergraduate students can receive public transit benefits through Metro UPASS and L.A. Metro, respectively. According to Mazza, graduate students can purchase a Metro pass for $121 per semester, and undergraduates can get a 50% discount directly from LA Metro.

Faculty and staff are encouraged to sign up for the transit program as soon as possible to receive the subsidy faster. If they register by September 24, they will be eligible for the subsidy on October 1. Otherwise, the program will go into effect on November 1.