Thursday, March 10, 2011

U-Pass delayed

Students hoping to have the U-Pass in hand by Summer Semester are going to have to wait a bit longer. The hope was that the reduced-rate public transit passes - which cost $30 per month - would be available this May for summer students, but TransLink has not provided a workable agreement in time.

Negotiations between TransLink, the provincial government and a coalition of all Metro Vancouver public post-secondary institutions* and student associations will now focus on having passes available for the Fall 2011 Semester.

“It's very disappointing that our students won’t have U-Passes this summer,” says Blaine Jensen, Vice President of Educational Services at Douglas College. “Unfortunately, TransLink hasn’t responded to our concerns about their contract.”

Jensen says the coalition has notified TransLink that to implement the U-Pass BC Program for Fall semester they need a contract in place by mid-April.

“Our 11 institutions are united in wanting a fair agreement that provides long term benefits to students and one that institutions can sustain," says Jensen. “But we're not quite there – there are some contractual issues to be worked out. TransLink and the Province are well aware of our concerns and we’re waiting to hear how they will respond."

U-Pass BC Program will provide eligible Metro Vancouver Public Post Secondary students system-wide public transit access for a reduced rate of $30 per month.

*UBC, SFU, Capilano University, Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Vancouver Community College, Douglas College, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, BCIT, Langara College, Nicola Valley Institute of Technology and the Justice Institute of BC.