By Maggie Wysocki
Red River College students were one step closer to receiving more affordable transit fare after voting to accept the U-Pass early last year, but can’t expect a cheaper rate until at least 2019.
It was approved by a majority (50%+1) through referendum that met the voting criteria as set by the Students’ Association (SA) Bylaw.
But even with the majority vote, Winnipeg Transit and the SA being on-board, it isn’t enough for the plan to go forward, says SA President, Lauren Slegers.
“We have had some delays in navigating through the approval process…. this is a complex process which requires many stakeholders and countless steps,” she told The Projector via e-mail.
Slegers says it’s now up to city council to determine whether RRC students will receive the U-Pass come September 2019.
“Currently, we have completed the survey that Transit has asked us to send to students. The data is now being reviewed, and a report by transit is being developed for City Council,” she says.
The SA sent out the survey on March 3, giving students until March 9 to submit their results.
The SA hadn’t determined the results from the survey before press deadline.
“We feel that we are well on our way, implementing the necessary steps and getting the U-Pass to our students for fall 2019,” said Slegers.
But some students say they feel mislead and believed the majority vote meant the U-Pass would without doubt be put into action.
“When I voted, I thought that a majority vote meant we would be getting the U-Pass,” said Human Resources student, Jordan Sawatsky.
The truth of the matter is, neither RRC nor Winnipeg Transit have a say as to whether the U-Pass will go through, says manager of communications at Winnipeg Transit, Alissa Clark.
“We’re going through the same process we went through with the U of W and U of M. The referendum was only to indicate that they wanted to move ahead…not to implement the U-Pass. It’s up to council.”
If the city doesn’t approve the U-Pass for RRC, Sawatsky says he and many of his classmates will feel like their education and welfare is valued less than their counterpart at local universities.
“I don’t know why the government is doing everything in its power to discourage students from taking the bus…it’s a huge expense for most of us,” he said.