March 22, 2008

Full and part-time students at the University of Toronto's Scarborough campus voted in a referendum this past week on whether to participate in the TTC's U-Pass program.

More than 2300 students voted, with 73 per cent turning the U-Pass down, with 27 per cent voting in favour.

"Were glad there was a debate about improving transit at UTSC, said TTC Chair Adam Giambrone." "It shows how important transit is to Toronto and to students who are the next generation of transit riders."

The U-Pass program was created as a response from student leaders from various post-secondary institutions, who asked the TTC to create a U-Pass program.

It offers a monthly transit pass for $60.00 per month on a semester system, and participation is mandatory by all students. The program is based on a similar framework in other cities, as is the pricing formula.

The TTC will continue to be open to discussion with students, but the $60 rate is only available to the end of the year, and cannot be lowered because the program was designed to be revenue neutral to the TTC, with the TTC not making any extra revenue. The $60 rate is higher in Toronto compared with other cities such as Vancouver because the TTC has high transit use compared with other cities, so the loss of fare revenue is much higher.

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