UWSA opposes proposed $24.50 increase in U-Pass fees
On Tuesday, October 29, 2019, the Standing Policy Committee on Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works recommended a $24.50 increase in U-Pass fees per semester in a City Report. The University of Winnipeg Students’ Association (UWSA) opposes the proposed fee increase which would increase financial barriers to post-secondary education for students.
“The increase they’ve proposed is unaffordable to students,” UWSA President Meagan Malcom says. “At a time where tuition is increasing students cannot afford this and we will not accept it.”
This recommendation also proposes the addition of Red River College to the program, expanding the opt-out area to include St. Norbert, and the addition of a 14-day bus pass for May and September.
In 2014, students voted in a referendum and passed the U-Pass program. Eighty-one per cent of students who voted were in favour of a mandatory bus pass of $260 to be included in their tuition fees, with the rate adjusted according to inflation. In 2015, Winnipeg city council approved subsidizing the U-Pass program in a 13-3 vote.
Many University of Winnipeg students are going to school full-time on a part-time salary or are unemployed. An increase of $24.50 is unexpected and unaffordable for students at a time of rising tuition fees and student debt.
UWSA’s Vice-President Student Affairs says that she looks forward to bringing students’ voices to the table in their discussions with Winnipeg Transit.
The U-Pass program has been a sustainable and affordable transit option that has led to a significant increase in ridership and we hope to see the program develop in a way that benefits students. Any major changes to the U-Pass program would happen with student consultations.
Please contact your VP Student Affairs, Noelle Sagher at firstname.lastname@example.org with further questions and concerns.