Not only has the Regina Green Ride Transit Network received the necessary 700 signatures needed for their U-Pass petition, but additionally they have gained the support of University President Dr. Vianne Timmons and Provost & VP Academic Thomas Chase! Journalism student, Lauren Neumann, was there to report the story:
U of R President in Favour of U-Pass
On Nov. 27, the University of Regina President Dr. Vianne Timmons signed a symbolic 701st signature to show her support for the U-Pass petition.
The petition has been in action since mid-October of this year, and reached its goal of 700 signatures earlier this week. Timmons’ signature was the cherry on top of a successful response from the university’s student body. She hopes that the pass goes through.
“It’s a wonderful initiative and it’s important for the environment,” said Timmons. She opts for environmentally-friendly ways of transportation whenever she can, and understands that parking is an issue at the university and that there has been a large drive towards sustainability around campus.
The current student city monthly bus passes are set to rise from $53 to $78 by 2017. Regina Green Ride Transit Network has been working on implementing the U-Pass, or Universal Bus Pass to subsidize the cost for all students through their tuition to $70-$90 per semester, and encourage ridership. For students living on campus, within a kilometre of campus, or commuters outside of city limits, there will be an option to apply for an opt-out.
“For students, to have that U-Pass, they will be more inclined to use the bus,” added Timmons, “(and) I think it’s an important part of the community.” She is taking into consideration ways to create a strategy to encourage staff, faculty and students to use public transportation. As far as further possible subsidization of the pass, she also noted that she is open to an approach by the University of Regina’s Student Union (URSU) to discuss a partnership on the U-Pass.
The petition is now to be presented to URSU, where a the Board of Directors will deliberate the ratification of the petition in order to allow U-Pass referendum to take place in February/March of 2015.