Thursday, July 9, 2009

Age limits now in place for student bus passes

As of July 1, 2009, students purchasing a bus pass for OC Transpo services must be under the age of 27 in order to qualify for a discounted pass. This means that all students over the age of 27, whether full- or part-time, will have to purchase a full-price adult pass.

As reported on 580 CFRA:

"City Council recently approved an age limit on monthly student bus passes."

"Carleton University Student Association President Erik Halliwell tells CFRA News they think a student is a student, and it shouldn't matter what age a student is."

"The association plans to make a presentation to the Pedestrian and Transit Advisory Committee next week to try and get OC Transpo to reverse the policy."

But Transit Committee Chair Alex Cullen says Councillors were swayed by financial incentives, especially when informed other municipalities have an age limit for student passes.


The move does put Ottawa in line with other Canadian cities: Toronto student passes are available to those aged 19 or younger, and in Montréal "students" are defined as under 25. However, cities like Vancouver and Calgary, which have implemented U-Passes for all post-secondary students, do not have an age limit by design: All students, regardless of age or transit usage, pay into the program. The U-Pass has been a hot topic in Ottawa transit, and has been discussed many times on this very website in the past.

The whole discussion brings about a few questions:
  1. Should there be an age limit on student bus passes?
  2. Should the City avoid the age limit problem by implementing a U-Pass?

Feel free to discuss in the comments, and contact your councillor with your thoughts.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is a disaster waiting to happen, but it already has happened. I have never understood why students have to pay an arm and a leg to use public transit, and this new idea will just make things worse.

Louis said...

In Calgary it's simply an issue of parking. There simply is not enough on campus therefore to keep cars off campus they force all students to buy a Upass. I think it's great and according to referendums it appears to be the strong majority's opinion. Unfortunatelt the park and ride fees might put a wrench in the works as they are dangerously close to the cost of parking on campus.

Darrell said...

As a 30 year old law student who lives in Orleans and pays over $10,000 in tuition every year, this is like a kick in the teeth.

I'm glad that the city has decided to save $220,000 a year by passing the cost directly onto people like me who can't afford it. What a great way to recover from the bus strike that caused me to miss one of my exams!

Johan said...

I too fell victim to the bus strike. I was unable to make it to classes and with a heavy course load I could not keep up with my work. One professor told me that I could not hand in an assignment the following class when I was unable to make it to class. I am forced to repeat this class at a cost of almost 600$ plus my time. As a father of a one year old these events are presenting great challenges to me. As students we are part of a disadvantaged group but a group that works hard and puts much on the line to better ourselves in order to provide for our families present or future, and further contribute to society. The number one contributor of poverty in the world is lack of education, why are the elite trying to keep the disadvantaged down. why are my rights not being looked after. If we live in a so called "fair and just" country then why is the government discriminating against me purely based on my age?

Stand up, be counted, have your voices heard.
Pedestrian and Transit Advisory Committee
Meeting Date: Thursday 16 July 2009
Meeting Location: Richmond Room of Ottawa City Hall, Laurier Avenue
Meeting Time: 19:00