(Photo by: Justin Prather / The Daily Utah Chronicle)

When a student begins school at the University of Utah, they receive a university student ID or UCard. This ID stores students’ meal plans, allows them access to many of the key-card dorms and is used to clock into on-campus jobs. The UCard has more than just the student’s photo and uID, or student ID number, it comes with benefits unknown to many students.

A UCard allows the holder to tap on and off of TRAX, a light rail system in Salt Lake City that stops all over the valley from Fort Douglas on campus to Daybreak, the airport and more.

In order to secure this benefit, according to the Commuter Services’ website, “The University of Utah has an agreement with the UTA that provides our students, faculty and staff access to TRAX, UTA buses and Frontrunner trains. In order to be eligible for this benefit, an individual must have a valid University of Utah ID Card; and, be a current employee of the University or a matriculating student who has paid tuition and associated student fees for the current semester.”

This is especially beneficial for commuting students and those who are either without a car or do not want to pay for a parking pass.

Generally, one-way trips range from $1.25 to $2.50, so students can end up saving hundreds of dollars over their college careers when they use their UCard as a UTA pass.

“I use my UCard a lot on the TRAX. I’m thankful that I get to save money when commuting from Sandy to the U,” said Kari Schott, a sophomore in education.

UCards also come with discounts to local businesses and shops across the valley.

“UCard discounts — they’re a service that we’ve been trying to promote. All of the UCard discount partnerships are organized by the ASUU Student Resources Director,” said Associated Students of the University of Utah (ASUU) President Connor Morgan, who is also a biology and political science student.

ASUU hopes to expand the benefits for Utes.

“ASUU has made a priority of reaching out to and partnering with businesses that students use most often,” said Morgan. “This has tended to be restaurants and grocery stores. This year, ASUU will continue seeking out partnerships with restaurants, grocery stores, school supply stores, and other popular businesses near campus and in the general SLC area.”

Through these partnerships with ASUU, a valid UCard gets holders 10 percent off any day but Wednesday at Village Inn and 10 percent off on Thursdays at Dan’s grocery store on Foothill Drive. Also included are a 65 percent discount on printing at Office Max, gameday discounts at The Dodo, daily specials for $7.99 at Costa Vida, The Pie Pizzeria offers 10 percent discounts and the savings don’t stop there.

UCards count as an ArtsPass as well, which gives a student access to free or heavily discounted film department screenings, School of Music performances, ballet and modern dance recitals, musicals and plays at the U’s Babcock Theater and the Pioneer Theater Company.

To learn more about these discounts and benefits, visit ucard.utah.edu/ and asuu.utah.edu/discounts.

j.mumford@dailyutahchronicle.com

@jacqmumford

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