University of Utah sports tickets will now also serve as free fare on game days for Utah Transit Authority buses and TRAX and FrontRunner trains.
"This program was designed to decrease the demand for parking during U. athletic events and to enhance the university's commitment to sustainability," said Alma Allred, director of commuter services at the university.
Allred said that with the help of extra TRAX trains at football games last year, 4,500 fans were moved off campus within a half hour after the games. With the new free-fare program, he expects that number to approach 10,000 people this year.
The program will also be good for sports events besides football, including gymnastics, men's and women's basketball, soccer and volleyball. It will also be good for high school football and basketball tournaments held at the university during the 2013-14 academic year.
Tickets are good for free fare all day on game days. A list of all eligible events is available at rideuta.com.
The university said it is paying UTA $300,000 for the service this year, and it will be re-evaluated next year.
The University of Utah already has been one of the larger purchasers of UTA passes and fares. An analysis by The Tribune last year showed that the university spent $3.3 million then for UTA passes for students and staff, providing by itself 8.3 percent of all UTA fare revenue.
Naturally, when UTA recently decided to give color-coded names to its TRAX lines, it chose to name the one that travels to the U. as the red line.