A statement on the proposed elimination of the U-Pass program
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PROPOSED ELIMINATION OF THE U-PASS PROGRAM IGNORES STUDENT VOICES AND DECREASES TRANSIT AND POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION ACCESSIBILITY.
Winnipeg, March 9, 2020 – On March 6, 2020. The City of Winnipeg’s Executive Policy Committee’s proposed to end the U-Pass program in their draft budget. This cut will severely affect accessibility and affordability of post-secondary education and transit for students.
90 per cent of University of Winnipeg students activated their U-Pass, with over 53 per cent using it on a daily basis. From March 2 to 4, UWinnipeg students demonstrated their commitment by voting to accept the $24.50 per term fee increase that was proposed by the City of Winnipeg Standing Policy Committee.
UWSA Vice-President Student Affairs, Noelle Sagher says, “Eliminating the U-Pass is an attack on all students, especially the most marginalized. Students need the U-Pass to access an institution that is already inaccessible. We will do everything in our power to make sure the city listens to thousands of students who just voted to keep U-Pass.”
The U-Pass program offers a financially and environmentally sustainable mode of transportation for students. The committee is planning to launch a low-income bus pass, which offers a 30 per cent subsidy compared to U-Pass’s 50 per cent. The low-income bus pass will not be available to a majority of students, especially those who do not meet the household income cut off and international students. All post-secondary students will have access to the post-secondary pass, which will be double the price of the U-Pass.
“We need to be figuring out ways to reduce barriers for students, not increase them. Instead of making students work for transit by having to fill multiple forms, we need to make transit work for students,” UWSA Vice-President External Affairs, Mahlet Cuff says.
UWSA is organizing a campaign to ensure that the City of Winnipeg acknowledges student demand for the U-Pass and continues a program that invested in our transit system, increased financial and environmentally sustainability, and makes post-secondary education more accessible. We are asking all students to contact the offices of the Mayor and your city councillor to demand the continuation of the U-Pass program. More information will be available at theuwsa.ca and on social media @theuwsa.
Established in 1972, the University of Winnipeg Students’ Association democratically unites the students of the University of Winnipeg in order to advance student interests. As well as promoting communication within the University, the UWSA advocates on behalf of students to administrative bodies.
For further information, contact:
The University of Winnipeg Students’ Association
0R30 – 515 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg MB R3B 2E9