RU-Pass meetings stalled with TTC, future uncertain

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By Emma Sandri

Ryerson students may not have to pay for the RU-Pass this September as the university has not had a meeting with the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) in months.

Ryerson’s vice-provost, students Jen McMillen said that the RU-Pass agreement has been stalled as the university waits for additional information from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities on the Student Choice Initiative (SCI).

The SCI was a part of changes announced by the Ontario government to tuition, fees and loans in January. It would allow students to opt-out of ancillary fees, an extra sum of money added onto tuition to pay for student groups and on-campus services.

“Erasing the RU-Pass”

In February, minister Merrilee Fullerton said that students would be unable to opt-out of paying for transit passes.

However, as McMillen wrote to The Eyeopener, it is unclear whether transit passes “that did not have a fully executed agreement,” like the RU-Pass, will be made a mandatory fee.

Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) president Maklane deWever said he doesn’t believe the “democratically elected” RU-Pass will be a mandatory fee.

Photo: Elana Emer

In February, Ryerson communications told The Eyeopener that “Ryerson and the TTC are engaged in initial conversations related to the RU-Pass.”

According to McMillen, the university is waiting to schedule additional meetings with the TTC until they receive this information.

The RU-Pass would give students unlimited access to buses, subways and streetcars in Toronto, for a fee of $280 per semester for each student.

“Ryerson [does not] have a fully executed agreement”

“It’s not only erasing the RU-Pass, but it’s erasing layers and layers of student work, right down to students themselves,” said deWever, noting the possibility students could no longer afford school.

The RSU campaigned for students to vote yes to implementing the transit pass.

McMillen said that it still needs to be determined whether or not the pass needs to be finalized by a specific date to qualify for mandatory student fees in September.

With files from Sherina Harris.

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