With a new school year under way and civic elections looming, it’s time for post-secondary students and municipal candidates to speak up against the gross discrimination in the current U-Pass system.

Under the existing U-Pass system, a Vancouver Community College student will pay three times as much as a UBC or SFU student for the same transit access. That will add up to $400 over an eight-month term, a huge sum for students struggling pay tuition and rent.

Expansion of the U-Pass system into a Universal Pass for all post-secondary students will encourage transit use, reduce greenhouse gases and make it easier for students to live closer commute between home, school and jobs.

But Translink’s policies are blocking tens of thousands of student from access to fair fares.

To encourage students, bus riders and, particularly, candidates for local office, to register support for a universal pass, I created Universal Pass Now: Make Fares Fair, a Facebook site to support the Universal Pass campaigns under way at Vancouver Community College and Emily Carr University.

This is an issue for all candidates in the 21 municipalities covered by Translink. In November, we need to elect mayors to the Translink Mayors’ Council who are committed to fairness on fares for all students – and will make it happen.

Students ready for fare fight in Metro Vancouver – Georgia Straight Aug. 21, 2008

Meggs challenges metro municipal candidates to support universal pass – Aug. 21, 2008 news release


Two steps to the Universal Pass

Unfair fares: U-Pass discrimination affects 58,000 students

How fares became unfair: the discrimination timeline