My Love / Hate relationship with the U-PassIt's student council election time here at Ryerson, and I was just approached by Chris Drew, who is running for VP Finance & Services. He mentioned the U-Pass in his pitch, which brought back some fond memories of this proposal.
Essentially, if a student referendum yielded a "Yes", then all students would be charged $500 in additional tuition, and all students would receive a metropass each month for the 8 month semester. This would be a special metropass for students only, and would not be transferable.
Here's my two cents.
- My opinions on the amount of tuition I am charged are beyond the scope of this blog, but I will say that lower tuition fees must be offset by higher taxes or reduction in services. We as a society can make that choice, but only after the ramifications are understood. The student groups who organized the protest last week ignored the other side.
- Many Ryerson students commute from the 905, and walk from Union Station to campus. The inability to opt-out of this proposal has been a sticking point, but it can be mitigated if the pass is transferable. I try to walk as often as possible, so a metropass would be better off in the hands of one of my numerous family members who live downtown.
- Any proposal should only be a stopgap until the fare card is operational. Then, college and university students should get access to discounted prices, but should also have to renew their privileges yearly - unlike seniors who tend not to revert to middle aged.