student fare ttc

Some people in Toronto don't actually want the discounted TTC student pass

The City of Toronto may be all for it, but students at local colleges and universities are far from united in their support of a U-Pass for the TTC.

A Facebook event called Vote NO to the UTSU U-Pass referendum encourages University of Toronto students to vote against the implementation of a widespread discount transit pass.

For some students, unlimited access to the TTC for just $70 a month would equal huge savings. The current monthly cost of a post-secondary student Metropass is $116.75.

Other students — those who don't use transit very often — would see their costs go up by roughly $280 a semester.

You see, the pass will be mandatory for all students enrolled at participating academic institutions.

The cost of these passes will be added to an individual's student fees automatically each semester. There is no opting out, save for circumstances protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code.

"The TTC offers absolutely no discount to students as all the financial burden is shifted onto current students who don't use the TTC," wrote U of T medical student Jin Sheng Zhou in an email to blogTO.

"They are passing the cost purely onto other students like myself who live near campus and now will be forced to pay an extra $70/month so someone else can save $46/month."

At least 240 people have indicated that they're "going" to the anti-U-Pass event on Facebook, with 117 more "interested" in the event.

U of T will be the first of four schools to vote on whether or not to adopt the discount pass during a referendum between March 26 and 28.

There's a lot riding (no pun intended) on the result of this vote, as well as the forthcoming referendums at Ryerson University, OCAD University and George Brown College.

Part of the deal with TTC officials is that all four schools must collectively agree to a four-year term. Without these commitments, TTC policy framework documents show that the program would not be economically feasible.

Lead photo by

Nicoli OZ Mathews


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