In a report released on Tuesday, the Toronto Transit Commission recommended a U-Pass program that would see students at participating colleges and universities receieve a discounted metro pass for as little as $70. The catch? Payment for the pass would be mandatory and added to existing student fees, whether or not students intend to use the pass.
“A U-Pass will make transportation more affordable for post-secondary students and could potentially unlock additional economic, educational and cultural opportunities,” the report reads.
UTSG full-time undergraduates would pay $280 per semester — or, $70 per month — for a new U-Pass if the cost is approved by the TTC board on March 20, and if UTSG students vote in support of the U-Pass in its upcoming referendum. https://t.co/Y01wIQ78YD
— The Varsity (@TheVarsity) March 14, 2018
The TTC’s board will discuss the proposal on March 20. Many students already take advantage of a discounted pass at $116.75. A mandatory fee would no doubt rub a lot of students the wrong way. The published report included a section on an opt-out clause, which would be on a case-by-case basis.
“Mandatory participation in a U-Pass program may potentially impose a burden on students whose personal circumstances or needs related to a protected ground under the Ontario Human Rights Code restrict their ability to utilize transit (conventional transit system or specialized transit services). In order to eliminate this potential burden, an opt-out provision will be offered to accommodate these students. These opt-out requests will be assessed by the post-secondary institution on a case-by-case basis.”
According to numbers in the report, 40,000 post-secondary students paying $70 for the U-Pass would generate as much as $2.8 million for the TTC.
Photo Courtesy Jeff Samsonow via Flickr