Ottawa university students could lose their U-Pass if city council approves a 2.5 per cent fare increase proposed by OC Transpo. The mandatory bus pass program was put in place just this past September at the University of Ottawa and Carleton University. Students had voted in favour of the plan a year ago.
However, because the referendum fixed the cost at $145 per student per term, any increase would require another vote. “It doesn’t matter if [the increase is] $3 or $100. The difference is that there’s no mandate. There’s a mandate from students at $145. There’s no mandate for greater than that,” Tyler Steeves, U of O’s student president, told the Fulcrum. If the increase is approved when the budget comes down in April, a referendum could not be held at either school until the fall. If students approve the plan a second time, the U-Pass could be reinstated in Jan 2012.
Even if this particular fee increase is rejected, another referendum might still have to be held, because the city is considering removing the program’s $3 million subsidy next year. If that were to happen, the cost of the U-Pass would rise to $175 per student.