Wednesday, January 27, 2010

U-Pass back on the table

Capital Ward Councillor Clive Doucet has re-introduced the possibility of a universal post-secondary student 'U-Pass' to be entered into budget discussions for the year. As reported in Metro, a previous attempt at a $125-per-semester U-Pass split council's vote, but the current motion (which would need to pass a referendum at the schools) is for a $145 charge per student per semester.

Opinions differ on what the 'bottom line' of implementing the U-Pass will be: OC Transpo management estimated it would add $1.5M in costs, while Pedestrian and Transit Advisory Committee Vice-Chair Shawn Ménard said it would actually increase revenue for the transit agency.

University of Ottawa President Allan Rock has been lobbying council to implement the U-Pass, which several other Canadian cities already have. As quoted on

“Today’s student is likely to have a co-op term or a job or a community placement which forms part of their studies," he said. "Very few of these activities take place on the campus. They quite often involve working in businesses and community organizations that are not available just a walk away.”


“This is not about conferring a special advantage on students at the University of Ottawa," he said. "This is about knitting the community together from one end to the other of the city so that students can serve their community as part of their studies and as volunteers."
Council is still in budget deliberations.

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