By Sherina Harris
Following the news that Ryerson University’s RU-Pass will not be a mandatory fee, the question remains whether the university and the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) will sign an agreement for the pass to exist at all.
“No decision has been made at this point,” a TTC spokesperson told The Eye when asked if the TTC would still negotiate an agreement with Ryerson.
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.
The official guidelines for the Student Choice Initiative released on March 29, which dictate which non-tuition fees will be essential for students to pay, state that only transit agreements signed before Jan. 17, 2019 will be mandatory.
Students voted to create the RU-Pass in a November referendum. However, the agreement to make the pass official has not been signed.
Ryerson’s vice-provost, students, Jen McMillen, said Ryerson is continuing to “engage with the RSU on discussions related to the RU-Pass.”
She said she has no update on dates or deadlines, but once any decisions are made they will be communicated to Ryerson’s student body.
In February, Ryerson’s public affairs office told The Eye the university and the TTC were “engaged in initial conversations” about the RU-Pass. McMillen previously said the university was waiting to schedule further meetings until it was clear whether the pass would be a mandatory fee.
Maklane deWever, Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) president, also said the RSU continues to be engaged in the discussions.
However, he said while the RSU campaigned on the “yes” side of the referendum, “any subsequent decision on the RU-Pass will be made by the TTC and the university, since those are the parties entering the contract.”
“Basically we’re not going to be touching any of the money, it’s the university’s thing,” he said. “We think it should go through. But we also understand that it’s not our decision.”
With files from Emma Sandri
Correction: A previous version of this article stated that only transit agreements signed after Jan. 17, 2019 would be mandatory. The Eyeopener regrets this error.