U-Pass saved in City of Winnipeg’s budget
Transit program to stay for post-secondary students in Winnipeg
A number of proposed cuts to the City of Winnipeg’s budget have recently been reconsidered, based on the city’s executive policy committee vote this past Wednesday.
One of the voted changes, to keep the U-Pass transit program, originally the city planned to eliminate the transit pass program for post-secondary students. However, after the advocate efforts of University students, who spoke up once they heard the city was planning to table the program, the pass has been saved.
The cancellation of the U-Pass was a hot topic for weeks, as both University of Manitoba and University of Winnipeg students voted in record numbers to continue the service shortly before the budget was released.
“The U-Pass Program is has been an extremely successful service which offers affordable and sustainable transportation options to students,” notes Tanjit Nagra, UMGSA Vice-President Academic. “It is utilized by well over 17,000 students at UM alone. Since its implementation in 2016 it has increased bus ridership by 25% and has taken 7,000 cars off the road. We were shocked to hear it was not included in the first draft of the proposed City of Winnipeg budget, but we are pleased that students were able to mobilize effectively and save this program.”
Introduced in September 2016, the universal transit pass provides students with unlimited access to public transit services from September through April. The service is funded through student fees and has positively impacted community transportation habits.
The proposed U-Pass rate is still to be determined, the tentative cost currently hovering around $200 per semester. Tanjit Nagra and UMSU president, Jakob Sanderson have both pledged to remain involved in future discussions with the city.