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University Students to Get Discount Integrated Metropass?

The TTC is offering University of Toronto and York students a good deal on their Metropasses, according to the Toronto Star. Unlimited access to all of the TTC’s services within the City of Toronto can be theirs for just $59 per month, compared to the $87 per month that some schools offer. The catch? The pass has to be included as part of the incidental portion of the students’ post-secondary fees, with no option for opting out. If approved by the student unions and the universities, post-secondary incidental fees could rise by more than $500 per year. Students would be able to flash their University passes as they boarded TTC vehicles, and it’s likely that these passes would not be transferrable.

Although the student unions have not yet officially commented on the U-Pass proposal, it is worth noting that similar measures have been taken in Waterloo Region with Grand River Transit. Grand River Transit offered a similar deal to University of Waterloo and Wilfred Laurier students. The University of Waterloo student body declined, but Wilfred Laurier approved the proposal. As a result, the number of Wilfred Laurier students riding Grand River Transit dramatically increased.

(Update, Friday, January 20 at 11:22 a.m.): A reader notes that, while the discounted Metropass would be a good deal for students, a large number of U of T students live on campus, and tend to walk rather than use the TTC. At the same time, the students who commute, who would benefit most from this deal, don’t participate as much in campus life, and don’t vote as often on student council elections or in the sort of referendum that would be required to implement such a deal at the university.

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