Friday, March 6, 2009

U-Pass approved, fare hike deferred

A bus ticket fare hike of 15 per cent originally scheduled for April 2009 has been deferred three months until July 2009, according to the Ottawa Citizen:
City councillors voted Wednesday to defer a planned fare increase for public transit users from April to July. Council’s transit committee decided to delay a 15-per-cent increase in ticket prices. Committee chairman Alex Cullen said many of the people affected are the working poor and it’s wrong to hit them with a big increase just two weeks after OC Transpo service is back to normal.

City staff were already recommending that a fare increase for pass holders be delayed until July, which is expected to cost the city $1 million in lost revenues. Delaying the increase in the price of tickets for the same three months will cost an additional $1.1 million.
The same article also outlined a U-Pass pilot project that was approved for University of Ottawa students, something that has been discussed on Public Transit in Ottawa before:
The committee also approved a pilot project for a university pass for 22,374 undergraduate students at the University of Ottawa who live in Ontario. Each student will pay a levy of $125 per semester for the pass, which was approved in a student referendum. The committee approved the pass unanimously on the understanding that it will not result in any increase in costs to property taxpayers in the city.

8 comments:

Dean said...

"The committee approved the pass unanimously on the understanding that it will not result in any increase in costs to property taxpayers in the city."

I'm sure a 15% increase in fares will attract even more people to use the system and subsidize the student's. Why do student's deserve significantly larger discount than ecopass holders who guarantee income for all 12 month's of the year. If you want to argue it is because of a lower income then you better be ready to subsidize a whole lot of low wage worker's who rely on the bus to get them to work. Having a student discount is fine but the pass should be more reflective of what it cost's to provide the service.

At some point we need to be more concerned with have a heathy transit system and not using the system to score political goals.

SLogger said...

Are you absolutely positive about the U-Pass being approved?
Last time I checked SFUO didn't agree with OC Transpo on the price of the pass.

FlynnP said...

SLogger, it was passed by the transit committee, not the council as a whole. I do believe that the pilot project was shot down by the council as a whole..

faisal_ahasan said...

So, is it approved? I mean the U-pass??

CUEnvEngineer said...

Dean,
I think the U pass is great.
Not only do student's have a lower income, we have a negative income. I think that it's excellent for both students and the transport system. The reason why is because $125/semester is added to every students tuition, not just those who take the bus. This guarentees a profit made by OC transpo, and encourages a green alternative to those who drive. Comparing incomes is petty, there will always be groups who feel that they have been treated unfairly. As a driver myself, I plan on taking the bus next year, one car off the road is the start. We should be thinking about society and the city's health as a whole, giving students an opportunity to get to school doesn't hurt anybody else, you will still get to work.

CUEnvEngineer said...

and by Dean I meant Peter..

Anonymous said...

It's not $125 it's actually $145 per semester.

It also has no opt out option for students who live within walking distance or drive to work and pay insurance and for parking passes.

I now have to pay parking, car payments, insurance, and for a buss pass that I just stopped using after 5 years of paying full price and dealing with ridiculous strikes and crappy service.

Having access to cheap transit should not be something we all have to pay and beg for it should be a given to those who need it without penalizing other students who don't have much money either.

Anonymous said...

thanks city of ottawa for deferring taxes to STUDENTS..have fun when the economy crashes because none of us can afford to graduate and we all either go on unemployment, welfare, or move to a city with LESS TAXES better governance and more opportunities!