Thursday, April 4, 2013
U-Pass U Think?
BC government extends transit program for another 3 years
ast week the government of BC announced it was extending the U-Pass program which provides discounted buss passes with unlimited travel to students at public post secondary institutions around the Lower Mainland.
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure says that they will be injecting $34.5 over the next three years. According to the release, over 140,000 students are enrolled in the program.
However before renewing the program for 3 more years, it was put to a vote at ten schools.
Beginning in May, the monthly U-Pass rate will be $35 and students were also in agreement on a price increase of only $1.75 in May 2014 and then again in May 2015 to $38.
Transportation savings to students has been calculated to be between $56 and $135.
The BC U-Pass program is the only one of it's kind in Canada and it encourages a more sustainable choice for students.
Vincent Gonsalves told the Voice in an e-mail on Thursday that The U-Pass BC is separated into two programs; one operating in the Lower Mainland and the other operating outside the Lower Mainland.
"Students attending public post-secondary institutions in the Lower Mainland are eligible to participate in the U-Pass BC program administered by TransLink," said Gonsalves. "Students not attending or taking courses through a Lower Mainland public post-secondary institution are not eligible to join the Lower Mainland U-Pass BC Program. UFV students are eligible to participate in the U-Pass BC program outside the Lower Mainland."
"A full list of schools currently participating in the program can be found on the TransLink webpage - U-Pass BC. Of this list, the Justice Institute is the only Public Post-Secondary Institute that is not part of the program," he added.
“U-Pass BC provides tremendous value for our students. It provides access to our transit network which includes bus, SeaBus and SkyTrain services within Metro Vancouver, as well as discounts on West Coast Express. In doing so, we are encouraging students to adopt transit as an effective choice subsequent to graduation,” said Translink CEO Ian Jarvis in the release.
In 2010, B.C. became the first province in Canada to offer an affordable, universal transit program to students at all publicly funded post-secondary institutions. Prior to 2010, only four schools in Metro Vancouver had access to U-Pass and prices varied between the schools. In addition, the cost of the program was unsustainable to TransLink.
Students at these schools will have access to U-Pass BC cards and reduced transit fares:
Outside of Metro Vancouver, BC Transit also offers U-Pass BC in partnership with local governments.
Find out what the U-Pass can do for you atwww.translink.ca/u-pass
Editor's Note: Thanks goes to UFV Student Union president Shane Potter for his help with facilitating this story.
© Copyright (c) 2013 The Valley Voice