From City of Guelph Communications:
University of Guelph students voted in favour of supporting an increase to the cost of the University of Guelph transit pass (U-pass) as a result of a month long referendum process. A total of 5,000 students participated in the decision with 90% voting in support of the cost increase.
The University of Guelph U-Pass Program has been in place since 1994. The proposal to increase the cost of the pass came about as a result of budgetary pressures faced by the City. Changes to the U-pass are necessary to keep pace with the cost of running the transit system.
“We are very pleased with the results of the students’ collective decision to support the Universal Pass. The change in pricing more accurately reflects the cost of providing bus services to the University of Guelph and works to further balance the contribution of the taxpayers for transit services.” said Ann Pappert, Director Community Services, City of Guelph.
Since late 2009, representatives from the Central Student Association (CSA), Graduate Students’ Association (GSA), University administration and Guelph Transit have worked together to revise program pricing and conditions that provide benefits to all the parties involved.
The new U-pass price will be $82.15 for the Spring/Fall 2010 semester, $84.15 for the Winter 2011 semester and $86.15 for the Spring/Fall 2011 and Winter 2012 semester.
“The University is pleased that the students and the City will be continuing with the Universal Bus Pass,” said Brenda Whiteside, Associate Vice President, Student Affairs at the University of Guelph. “This partnership allows Guelph Transit to remain accessible for our students, enabling them to choose living arrangements throughout the city, and taking advantage of an environmentally sustainable mode of transportation.”
University students represent a significant portion of the transit system’s total ridership. A ridership survey suggested approximately half of the university’s 20,000 students rely on Guelph Transit to get around the city.
“Students were asked to come to the table to continue our invaluable partnership with Guelph Transit. We answered that call and resoundingly said yes, we see the value in supporting the price increase to ensure that everyone keeps benefiting,” commented Galen Fick, Local Affairs Commissioner, Central Student Association. “Students will continue to be environmental stewards and have universal support and access to one of the best transit systems around. The City of Guelph can rest easy, knowing that due process has been followed and the price that students pay reflects the cost of providing the service.”
“Both graduate and undergraduate students have come forward to voice their strong support for the continuation of the U-Pass. Maintaining the U-Pass has ensured that every students’ accessibility needs will be met,” commented Jacqueline de Guzman, V.P. Finance, Graduate Students’ Association. “The partnership between students and Guelph Transit will only continue to grow and strengthen in the forthcoming years.”
In a spirit of co-operation, Guelph Transit continues to work closely with the student associations to develop a more detailed database to monitor ridership and service costs as a basis for future discussions.
The new price will take effect on May 1.