Wednesday, March 26, 2008

U-Passion of the Bikes

Torontoist has a very interesting article at the unfortunate "no thanks" spoken by the UTSC students to the TTC about the U-Pass. It also dabbles in cycling. A good read, although the comments section is filled with the usual "everyone involved is miss-managing everything they are involved with" comments.

I'm confident that a referendum will be more successful at the downtown school with the proper marketing, but we cannot ignore the lessons learned here. If we want to ensure success at the schools in the suburbs, then we'll have to either introduce an opt-out clause, or we'll have to get the price down. But, that causes some problems.

I don't believe that we should allow students to opt-out, not only because it will increase the price of the pass back up to $90, but also because introducing them to transit and showing them that there is an alternative to driving everywhere is too important. My brother is at York, and its very hard to convince someone who's spent 20 years being driven everywhere that there is an alternative. If we don't convince him now, then we never will. 

As for the price, we face one problem. The TTC is strapped for cash. There is no getting around that, and I believe them when they say that $60 a month is the best they can offer. So, I propose that the universities dig into their vast budgets and endowments to contribute to bringing the monthly U-Pass down. Perhaps the province could come to the table, or even a private sponsor. I would gladly use my Rona U-Pass or the McTransit Pass to get around, but car companies need not apply.

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At 3/26/2008 8:07 p.m. , Anonymous Anonymous said...

RE: corporate sponsorship of U-passes, the Vancouver U-pass is sponsored by Vancity Financial (a large local credit union/bank). It's not an in-your-face arrangement either, save for the smallish Vancity logo on the back of the pass.


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