UPass Toronto

It could soon be cheaper for students to ride the TTC

The TTC board has approved pushing forward with a proposal to create discounted transit passes for post-secondary students in Toronto.

The so-called "U-Pass," pitched in September year by a coalition of student unions from U of T, Ryerson, OCAD and George Brown, would give all students at participating universities and colleges affordable, unlimited access to the TTC.

These discounted passes would be issued via Presto card, and come at a cost that student unions hope will be significantly cheaper than their current, slightly discounted $116.75 Metropass.

It might sound like a no-brainer, but rolling out such a program could prove controversial. You see, the pass would be mandatory with the cost included in every student's tuition, whether they ride the TTC or not.

Transit passes are already included in the tuition fees of some Ontario schools, including McMaster, Carleton and the University of Guelph.

Toronto has explored the idea before, but it's never quite panned out here, which makes it all the more noteworthy that TTC board members voted unanimously this week to move forward with the development of policy framework.

TTC staff will report back to the board in early 2018 with a final version of the discounted transit pass proposal – though, at this point, it is still unknown how much the monthly pass would cost.

During Monday's TTC board meeting, city councillor Joe Mihevc said that he predicts the pass will cost between $80 and $100. Anything less than that, he said, would jeopardize the transit agency's ability to break even.

That's still a significant savings against the current rate, which would come as good news for transit-dependent students. Those who live on campus or commute by other means, maybe not so much.

Lead photo by

fil mis


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