U-Pass gets a chance in Ottawa - Macleans.ca

U-Pass gets a chance in Ottawa

City council votes 22-2 in favour at budget meetings

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Dick Pen_busAfter a lengthy debate over pricing, Ottawa’s city council voted to give the university transit pass pilot project the go-ahead at budget deliberations Thursday night.

The proposed project still has to pass a referendum question in the upcoming student government elections at both Carleton University and the University of Ottawa before the pass will begin next school year.

The pass will cost $145 per term pass and will be folded into mandatory undergraduate annual fees. This price is discounted from the $242 students normally pay for the OC Transpo semester pass.

A referendum question requires 1,000 student signatures before it can appear on a ballot.

If the referendum vote doesn’t pass at either school then the pilot project will be cancelled.

Carleton’s student newspaper, The Charlatan, quotes Carleton University Students’ Association president Erik Halliwell as saying he is positive the referendum will pass.

“There are strength in numbers,” Halliwell told the Charlatan. “And students are becoming more of a priority.”

The paper reported that project will cost the city an estimated $3 million taken from the city’s transit reserve fund.

– photo by Dick Penn