By Andrea Janus
As GO Transit considers eliminating student discounts, the chairman of its board of directors says he is open to a compromise that would allow most students to continue to receive a discount.
Last Month GO staff proposed eliminating the student discount in favour of a discount for anyone aged 21 or younger.
However, GO chairman Gordon Chong says he is open to raising the age limit to 25, which he thinks would afford a discount to most students.
“Any age limit is going to be arbitrary and has to be debated,” Chong said.
Chong said that this new rate would actually benefit young GO riders, because part-time students can’t take advantage of the student rate, and the youth fare could be used during the summer.
“What we’re going to do is say you can use this year round,” he said.
RyeSAC Vice-President Finance and Services Ken Marciniec, who is helping to lead the fight against the proposed elimination of student discounts, said that Chong’s proposal hasn’t gone far enough.
“This is a good first step, but it still isn’t enough,” said Marciniec. “A student is a student is a student, whether they’re 19 or 51.”
Marciniec and Academic Council member Sean Marshall are going to launch a grassroots campaign this week to raise student opposition against the proposed elimination.
Marciniec and Marshall believe the changes would discriminate against older students, especially if the age limit on the youth fare is 21.
“This is going to significantly affect fourth-year students, or students who, due to the double cohort, take a year off and end up spending their third and fourth year being over 21,” Marshall said last week. “It’s also going to affect graduate students and students who are taking multiple year courses who decide to change their majors.”
Marciniec said that the plan is to lobby both suburban and city councilors and GO Transit board members to oppose the cuts. On Campus this week, posters will urge students and their families to contact their elected representatives to voice their concerns about the potential increase in cost to take public transit. RyeSAC’s