Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Douglas College could join U-Pass program

Douglas College students may soon vote on joining a Metro-Vancouver U-PASS transit program, allowing students to enjoy reduced transit fares and potentially saving hundreds of dollars per year.

Today’s announcement by the provincial government establishing a universal U-Pass for all students at public B.C. colleges and universities is most welcome says Blaine Jensen, Vice President, Educational Services.

“Transportation is a big expense,” Jensen says. “Douglas College students have been encouraging TransLink and the government to expand U-Pass for some time, so this is a real win for them.”

“We’re also pleased that TransLink is moving forward with the Evergreen Skytrain Line to Douglas College’s David Lam campus. Together, these initiatives will make getting to class cheaper, quicker and more convenient for thousands of students.”

Once the U-Pass is implemented, Douglas College students will pay $30 for a single system-wide transit pass, a significant savings from the $81 they would pay for an individual monthly pass. This fall, the Douglas College Student Society will meet with TransLink to finalize details. Students will then have the opportunity to vote in a referendum on joining the program.

Douglas College Student’s Union External Relations Co-ordinator Anna Schachner says Douglas College students have been fighting for access to U-Pass as part of the OnePassNow Coalition, which also represents students at Vancouver Community College and Emily Carr University.

“Our students have worked very hard to make their voices heard through the OnePassNow campaign to ensure the government keeps its promise to give students increased access to U-Pass,” says Schachner. “We’re extremely excited that students here will soon be able enjoy the benefits of the U-Pass soon.”

Blaine Jensen adds expanding student transit options also has a number of side benefits.

“Fewer students choosing to drive means reduced parking congestion on campus, reduced demand for new parking facilities, less road congestion and improved air quality in our communities,” says Jensen.

TransLink U-Pass FAQ


  1. I would like to see this initiative a given for all students of BC. They have PEN numbers that identify them as such, so translink, even the elementary, middle and high school students need to be included!

  2. Could someone clarify as to why the there needs to be a referendum on joining this program when, in the announcement yesterday, the Provincial Government indicated that this was a program that is available to all students in the area. A referendum implies that if it is defeated, the U-Pass will not come to Douglas College. Is this allowed? Again, the Provincial Goverernment's announcement yesterday implies that this is a Provincial program for all students - and not something that can be defeated by a referendum.

  3. Anonymous:

    To clarify, the announcment yesterday means all all publicly funded post-secondary institutions in B.C. have the option of joining the U-Pass program if they so choose. Schools interested in joining the U-Pass program will have to follow these five steps:

    1. TransLink will consult with schools and student societies on the details of the U-Pass BC program.

    2. Institutions will notify TransLink that they wish to begin the process to join the new U-Pass BC program in a process beginning September 1, 2010.

    3. Dependent upon the time for institutions to
    develop processes to administer the program, and
    TransLink to prepare signage, notifications, and other infrastructure changes, a proposed institutional U-Pass BC start date will be determined.

    4. Students must approve participation in the program through a referendum or another process according to their student society’s constitution.

    5. The schools and TransLink must reach a contract that includes the school’s agreement to administer the U-Pass BC Program.

    Schools can have their programs running as soon as they complete these steps.