RIDEpass (Employees)

The RIDEpass mass transit program provides access to all CATABUS routes to eligible University Park faculty and staff for only $21 per month. Transportation Services covers the remaining cost of each employee mass transit pass to encourage the use of mass transit, reduce vehicle congestion on campus, and promote sustainable transportation.

COVID19 Update: Individuals will need to determine if use of CATA services during the COVID-19 pandemic is right for them, but it is strongly encouraged that use be limited to essential trips. Students, faculty and staff living closer to campus are encouraged to walk or bike where possible.CATA will not be specifically restricting the number of riders on each vehicle but will require all passengers to wear a face covering while waiting for or riding on CATA services, and to practice social distancing when and where possible, as part of its fall 2020 passenger protocols. CATA has also implemented a daily schedule of disinfecting all vehicles through rigorous industrial electrostatic cleaning and sanitation.


  • Must be employed in a standing, fixed-term I, fixed-term multi-year, or post-doctoral position at University Park
  • Must live off campus at a residence that does not already participate in a CATABUS program
  • Must live more than 0.75 miles (walking distance) from a CATA campus service Blue Loop or Red Link stop to be eligible for the RIDEpass program. (Not sure if your address qualifies? Try using our distance webtool here).
  • Must live within the CATA community service area
  • May not have a daytime-access Penn State parking permit (or must return this permit when purchasing the RIDEpass mass transit pass), but may register for an evening/weekend parking permit
  • Employee mass transit passes are valid at any time on all regular CATABUS routes
  • Passes are not transferable and may be used only for the transportation of the individual to whom the pass is issued
  • Passes are the property of Penn State Transportation Services and must be returned upon termination of enrollment or eligibility or upon request by Penn State Transportation Services or CATA
  • Employee mass transit passes are not valid on any other CATA service, including CENTRE RIDE, the Football Shuttle, Charters, or any special shuttle services, whether open to the public or not
  • Participants must pay a $25 non-refundable processing fee for all lost or stolen passes, regardless of whether a replacement is issued
  • All participants MUST bring their Penn State ID card and a document verifying the address used to apply for the program. You will not be issued a pass without these documents. Acceptable documents for address verification include a valid driver’s license or learner’s permit, valid state identification card, current lease/rental agreement, property tax receipt, recent utility bill, recent paycheck, recent change of address mailer from the Postal Service, and recent credit card or bank account statement. All “recent” documents must be dated within 4 weeks of pick-up.
  • 2020-2021 RIDEpass permits will expire on May 31, 2021.


Online registration for the 2020-2021 RIDEpass program is now available.

Upon successful completion of the application, participants will receive a confirmation email with details regarding when passes will be available for pickup at the Transportation Services Office.

With no cap on the number of program participants, interested faculty and staff may apply at any time throughout the 2020-2021 program year.


Faculty and staff participating in the RIDEpass program may elect to have the cost of the pass deducted from their paycheck on a post-tax basis. Employees not eligible for payroll deduction are required to pay the full fiscal year fee, in advance, by check or money order (made payable to “The Pennsylvania State University”), major credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express), or LionCash+. Cash is not currently being accepted due to COVID19 precautions.

For employees paid monthly participating in payroll deduction:

- The cost of the bus pass will be deducted from the employee's paycheck issued on the last working day of each month. The evening/weekend parking permit will also be deducted if the employee has selected this permit as an option.

For employees paid biweekly participating in payroll deduction:

The cost of the bus pass will be deducted from the employee’s paycheck at a biweekly equivalent.  The biweekly equivalent is equal to the monthly rate multiplied by 12 months and divided by 24, or $10.50 per paycheck for a monthly pass cost of $21.00.

Payroll deduction will continue without interruption until the employee surrenders his/her bus pass to the Transportation Services Office.  Unless and until the pass (and evening/weekend permit where applicable) is surrendered, payroll deduction will continue each pay period until the pass is turned in. For prepaid passes, a prorated refund will be issued for any passes returned prior to the expiration date. Users found in violation of program rules are not entitled to this prorated refund. Participants who choose to exit the program before the pass expiration date will not be eligible to re-enter the program until the start of the next program year.


Faculty and staff enrolled in the RIDEpass program are eligible to purchase an evening/weekend parking permit at a cost of $6 per month. This permit provides access to all faculty/staff parking lots beginning at 4 p.m. on weekdays and throughout the day on Saturdays and Sundays, with the following exceptions:

  • Lot Green H at Hort Woods is reserved for child care center parking only until 6 p.m. on weekdays
  • No parking is permitted at the Commuter lots (Jordan East, Stadium West, Porter North) between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m., seven days a week

Participants with the occasional need for parking on weekdays prior to 4 p.m. may use one of the multi-space pay stations at Jordan East or Stadium West to purchase hourly or daily parking at those lots. Visit the Multi-space Pay Stations page for more information on pay station parking.

For more information, call the Transportation Services Office at 865-1436 or email [email protected].