New agreement makes CATA free on campus for MSU students, staff and faculty


East Lansing — Getting around the MSU campus will continue to be accessible in years to come.

In a new agreement between Michigan State University and Capital Area Transit Authority (CATA), MSU students faculty and staff will have free access to the on-campus bus system for the next coming years. The agreement is specific to on-campus rides only.

Since the complimentary service began last year in its first test phase, studies found campus ridership increased by approximately 40%.

“Last year’s trial of providing free bus service to routes on campus proved very successful and extremely popular,” sMSU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. said. “Providing safe, convenient and efficient transportation options for students, faculty and staff is a top priority for MSU’s mobility planning. CATA provides a reliable bus system throughout the year, in any weather.”

The newly proposed service agreement will expire on June 30, 2021. The service is funded through the university’s general fund.

During this time period, free rides will continue during weekdays, including routes 30, 31, 32, 33, 38 and 39; and weekend service on routes 34, 35 and 36. Additionally, as of August 2018, CATA has been offering bus service during summer, spring and winter breaks on route 32, which serves Ramp 1, the MSU Auditorium, Snyder-Phillips, the Clinical Center and Lot 89. MSU and CATA may make service adjustments from semester to semester as they see fit.

CATA has been serving the MSU campus for 20 years — since April 1999.

In addition to the new agreement, some bus stops will include new solar-powered lighting, a feature made possible by a $25,000 Ford Motor Company donation. The lights will improve safety and students’ awareness of their surroundings as well as make bus riders more visible to CATA operators.

Those who are looking to take rides off-campus will have to pay an extra fee, as the agreement only includes on-campus rides.

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