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RSU partnering with post-secondary student unions to create a cheaper transit pass

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By Annie Arnone

The Ryerson Student’s Union (RSU), in partnership with the University of Toronto, OCAD University and George Brown College, has begun campaigning for a “U-Pass,” which is intended to act as a cheaper replacement for Metropasses.

The pass, according to vice-president education Daniel Lis, would cost between $70 to just over $100—which is cheaper than the current $116.75 Metropass for post-secondary students.

“We’re trying to get it at the cheapest price point that we can,” said Lis.

Initial steps have been taken to make the pass official, including meeting with Toronto City Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam and distributing  a student survey that was created by student leaders from the Toronto universities involved in the U-Pass campaign.

“We already have 10,000 responses…around 5,000 online and 5,000 on paper,” said Lis. “Once we have all the data inputted, we are going to put them into infographics to make it more visual so it’s not just raw data, and put it into a report.”

The report, according to Lis, is going to be given to all branches of the TTC. Following TTC approval, a referendum question must be put on the table and presented to Ryerson’s Board of Governors (BoG) as a “pre-screening” for the campaign.

A timeline has been set and the U-Pass proposal will be presented to BoG in November. Pending their approval, a referendum will be held in late January or early February.

The potential for a Metrolinx collaboration is also underway for U-Pass creators for people commuting from outside of the GTA.

“The reason we started hitting TTC is because every student commuting, whether it’d be within Toronto or outside Toronto, at some point in their journey can use the TTC —because they’re mostly heading to Union Station. In our survey we’re seeing, rather than walking from Union Station to campus, they’re using the TTC.”

Results of the survey will be finalized on Sept. 15 and a report will be made in preparation for the BoG meeting.

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