On November 26, 23,000 Sheridan College students are expected to vote if they want a pass that gives them unlimited rides on three public transit systems—Mississauga, Brampton and Oakville.
This voting is essentially a referendum on the Universal Transit Pass (U-Pass) program. If passed, they would be charged a non-refundable fee of $197.15 each semester for the pass.
If the program is voted in, it could start in the 2019 academic year.
At least 15 per cent of the full-time students need to vote in the referendum for the results to be binding.
The University of Toronto Mississauga currently provides its graduate and undergraduate students a U-Pass on MiWay routes. About 15,000 of the university’s students take part in the program and the cost for the fall semester was $229 per student.
Earlier this year University of Toronto students rejected the U-Pass discount transit initiative after a majority of students at its downtown campus rejected it.
The idea of a Universal Pass, a TTC pass at a discounted rate of $70 a month, about 52 per cent less than current transit fares, had been a concept four post-secondary schools in Toronto were in talks with the transit authority to adopt.
But for it to be worth the TTC’s effort, all four schools — U of T St. George, George Brown College, Ryerson University and OCAD — must be part of the program. The plan would give students a TTC pass at the discounted rate, but there’s a catch: commuter or not, every student has to pay for it through their fees, amounting to an extra $280 per semester.
It remains to be seen whether this initiative wins the referendum. -CINEWS