U-Pass program offered to more students in Metro Vancouver, across B.C.

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      More post-secondary students in Metro Vancouver and across B.C. are being offered access to a universal transit pass program already in place at a dozen colleges and universities.

      Premier Gordon Campbell announced today (June 9) that the remaining 15 publicly funded institutions in the province that are not already part of a U-Pass program will be able to sign on.

      In Metro Vancouver, that gives students the chance to pay $30 a month for system-wide access starting this fall, down from the $81 it would otherwise cost. But students at each school would first have to vote to join the program.

      According to the province, the monthly U-Pass rates at Simon Fraser University ($26) and the University of B.C. ($24) will stay the same until at least September 2011. As well, the monthly rates at Langara College ($38) and Capilano University ($32) will both be lowered to $30 in September.

      Campbell said the program would make transit use more affordable for 430,000 post-secondary students in the province.

      “I think it’s a significant value for institutions around the Lower Mainland and around the province,” Campbell told a crowd gathered for the announcement today at Vancouver Community College, one of the schools that does not yet offer a U-Pass.

      The plan also has support from student advocates who have been calling for an expanded program.

      Nimmi Takkar, B.C. chair of the Canadian Federation of Students, said the provincewide plan is unique in Canada.

      “A whole new generation of students are about to experience a college and university system where access to affordable transit and supporting sustainability is a part of their daily lives,” Takkar said.

      Transportation Minister Shirley Bond described the arrangement as a “student-led initiative”.

      The province has committed $20 million over the next three years toward providing the U-Pass in Metro Vancouver, and “funding as required” to keep the monthly cost below $30 elsewhere in the province.



      finally doing something right!

      Jun 9, 2010 at 12:24pm

      Good job GC. Now about all those diesel buses on our trolley bus routes ...

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      Jun 9, 2010 at 12:31pm

      a hard-earned victory by the canadian federation of students. congrats to you and to the students who stood up for a universal upass.

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      Evil Eye

      Jun 9, 2010 at 12:57pm

      Watch for massive fare increases in the coming months. You just cannot operate a very expensive metro system on deep discounted fares.

      Pure vote buying from the Premier.

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      glen p robbins

      Jun 9, 2010 at 1:00pm

      My eldest daughter did not have this pass at Douglas College -- but has it at Simon Fraser University -- and the other day -- we wondered why this wasn't available (as the youngest looks to Douglas in the coming few years). So this was answered here.

      Money for the U-Pass is tacked onto tuition and other -- so I suppose tuition rates will increase for students going to these other 'post secondary institutions'-- whichever facilities are included in this list.

      It's likely better than the $170 a month for three zones--on a pass.

      Relatively speaking a good deal--??

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      Jun 9, 2010 at 5:46pm

      This is typical cynical conservative tactics. This is a desperate move to improve the damage done to this government by their collaboration with Harpers cons and the hst.

      We're not buying it Campbell!

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      Jun 10, 2010 at 6:30am

      if these guys weren't so low in the polls they would of never done it.

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      Jun 10, 2010 at 11:26am

      Its great news that all the publicly funded schools get u-passes now.
      Finally, Evil Campbell is doing something good.
      But watch out students, that lower buspass(upass) may be cheap but with the hst all your books, school supplies will cost more.
      plus the ridiculous tuition increases Campbell just implimented (May)....

      I'm a student, and after I pay tuition I have $200/month more than a person on welfare has (welfare = approx $600/month). Student loans is student welfare, but we have to pay it back (with a super high interest). Its setting up students for a long future of debt repayments and stress. If we want more students, and a smarter province/country, we need to lower tuition and make it affordable for all.
      Giving all schools upass is a teeny tiny step in the right direction.

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      cheap fares lousy students

      Jun 10, 2010 at 12:36pm

      @Krystle, I went to university in the 80s; tuition was around $500 per semester and transit wasn't subsidized. The cut off grade was mid 70s for most faculties. We wrote departmental exams which made up 50% of the high school matriculation grade, and the high achievers with 90% plus grades were few as it was hard to inflate grades.

      I work with many recent UBC graduates in our company. Many went to private school and had 90% high school averages. Most of them are spoiled and lazy babies. If you push them too hard, they whine and their technical abilities are lacking. It makes you wonder whether it makes any sense to subsidize transit if we are going to graduate students like the ones from UBC.

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      Jun 10, 2010 at 1:43pm

      UBC Broadway Transit Community Meeting
      "No Cambie Fiasco for Broadway and West 10th"

      A meeting for residents & local business representatives from across our city:

      * Learn about sustainable alternatives for Broadway

      * Review current TransLink and City positions and policies

      * Make your voice heard about Broadway transit and the communities along it

      7:00PM - 9:00 PM – Tuesday, June 22, 2010
      St. James Community Square 3214 West 10th Avenue at Trutch

      E-mail : barstavancouver@gmail.com

      0 0Rating: 0