TTC student discount approved

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By Suzanne Ma

After years of lobbying, students will finally get a break on their monthly Metropass.

Beginning in OCtober, full-time university students in Toronto, gran and undergrad, will all be eligible for a discount of about $11.

RyeSAC president Ken Marciniec says he is working to extend the price break to faculty and continuing education students.

The discount passes will lower the monthly cost for TTC riders to $87 from $98.75. Students can buy them at RyeSAC and will be available Sept. 15. Students already enrolled in the TTC’s year long savings plan can drop out of it.

The TTC’s new savings program has been years in the making. Student unions at Toronto universities spent 10 years pleading with the TTC for discounts. Last year, a coalition of university student unions gathered 800 names on a petition of support and collected more than 80 letters from individual students. TTC commissioners unanimously approved the proposal in November 2002.

“It’s extremely unfortunate we had to wait this long,” Marciniec said, adding that the TTC has always approved of the discount in theory, but has struggled with its own budget issues. “They’re in the same positon as the university. There’s huge underfunding from the government…Every dollar they discount is very, very significant.”

Andrea Kim, a continuing education student doesn’t think the deal will have huge impact on students.

“Ten dollars for me doesn’t seem like a big deal,” she said. “If [the discount] was greater, it would be more of an incentive rather than driving.”

Kam Shahid, a fourth-year aerospace engineering student, said he will take advantage of the discount and argued that university students need the savings a lot more than high school students who may already have access to a student discount.

“Some university students live a destitute lifestyle. $10 may not seem like a lot….but it adds  up in your budget.” said Shahid who take the subway daily.

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