Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Yes to U-Pass, no to route cuts in OC Transpo budget

Old news by now, but a couple weeks ago, the City of Ottawa decided to allow a 3.77% tax increase in order to preserve levels of OC Transpo service and to move forward with a universal student bus pass (U-Pass) program, at a cost of $145 per student per semester. The city had previously proposed to cut 47 bus routes in order to save about $3M, according to CTV Ottawa, but voted against the service cuts.

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Sophie said...

The U-Pass as it is currently planned is unfair because it imposes a fee on all students regardless of whether they use public transit or not. This means that walkers and cyclists are subsidizing transit users not only through property taxes but also through imposed participation for a "group discount" price. The twenty-two City Councillors who voted in favour of this project have dismissed any consideration of fairness to the residents of Ottawa. Students who use public transit deserve an affordable price for using it, and all students who don't use public transit should not have to accommodate the lack of ability by the City to deliver an affordable and efficient transit system to Ottawa residents.

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