Vehicles in operation produce toxic pollutants that are released into the air and can cause health issues, making it difficult to breathe. According to the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, 57 percent of air pollution is caused by vehicles. Weber State University and the Utah Transit Authority offer a method at reducing those emissions.

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The UTA EdPass provides students with transportation on all UTA buses, FrontRunner and TRAX as a free benefit from WSU. Students are able to ride to school, work, the mall or neighboring cities.

With the cost of tuition, housing, groceries, gas and additional fees WSU students may be paying, purchasing a fuel efficient, low-emissions vehicle can be expensive for a college budget.

What can WSU students do to help lower that pollution rate? A student using the UTA EdPass will be contributing to cleaner air while having the opportunity to do homework or take a nap during commute.

“I absolutely love my EdPass,” Dave Mays, WSU student, said. “I live in Salt Lake, so driving to and from school every day became tedious and expensive. The EdPass has saved me a lot of gas money, and I am glad I don’t have to worry about traffic. I just hop on the train and go.”

For students who have never used public transportation, UTA employees are present on trains and buses to help new riders navigate the bus and train routes.

“I used to help and guide students as they rode the train all the time and I think it’s great,” Glen Williams, former UTA Police Officer, said. “I think that if you can ride the bus or train for absolutely free, you would be crazy not to take advantage of that. Plus it truly is good for the environment.”

An avid hiker, camper and self-proclaimed mountain man, Williams described his passion for the outdoors and he values a healthy and clean environment.

As students travel on buses and trains, fewer vehicles are in operation and less pollutants are being produced which helps provide cleaner air.

“Breathing polluted air is not only bad for humans but also for trees and wildlife,” Emily Crow, Utah State University Botanical Center Kaysville Extension intern, said.

She described how pollutants in the air can cause health issues such as respiratory diseases and can kill or damage plants. “I know it’s probably not that important for some people to keep the air clean,” Crow said. “But as an environmentalist, I see first-hand how the bad air quality can hurt the planet and make it difficult for us to function.”

To obtain your UTA EdPass, login to the WSU Student Portal and follow the registration steps on the “Transportation” page under “Categories” or speak to the Information Desk located in the Shepherd Union.

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