EDITORIAL BY SARA BAWAR
The Sheridan Student Union (SSU) has introduced a new alternative for students who rely on public transportation. A universal bus pass (U-Pass) is being suggested as a replacement for the Sheridan Shuttle Bus. The pass will allow full-time students to use the Mississauga (MiWay), Brampton (including Züm) and Oakville Transit. As a commuter, who needs transportation to get to school, I think the idea of a u-pass will not benefit the majority of Sheridan students. The Sheridan shuttle bus is more cost efficient and allows students to get to campus in a shorter amount of time.
From Nov. 26 to 30, voting for the U-Pass will take place online. The vote will determine if the U-Pass will replace the already existing inter-campus shuttle service. The shuttle runs from Monday to Friday throughout all three campuses. One of the main pros of the shuttle service is the ability to get from one campus to the next in less than 30 minutes. If students didn’t have this option anymore and had to take public transit, it would take much longer to get to school.
Although the U-pass sounds like a good idea, the ancillary fee per semester is too high. If the U-pass goes through, all full-time students would be paying $197.15 every semester. This is a significant difference to the cost of the shuttle bus that is only 13.50 per semester. The Sheridan shuttle bus is a cost-efficient option as opposed to a U-Pass.
According to the SSU website, the proposed U-Pass model would include a mandatory opt-in process for all eligible students. Unlike the dental and health plan, the u-pass will not have an opt-out option for students who have their own car. A Sheridan parking pass for one semester is $268. Meaning that students, who drive, would have to pay the addition U-Pass fee along with a parking pass.
Elaina Fusco, a Sheridan student says, ”I would vote no, just because I already pay for a parking pass, which is extremely expensive.” If the U-Pass goes through, this will put students in even more debt.
It is important that students participate in the referendum, as the outcome will affect every full-time student. Students can go on thessu.ca website to vote for or against the u-pass.
According to the SSU website, the shuttle buses “current funding model for this service is no longer sustainable.“ The shuttle bus is a great way for students to get to campus in a short amount of time and is more cost efficient for those who rely on it everyday.
Instead of a U-Pass, examining and improving the shuttle bus would be a more effective option. They could do this by reviewing and changing the funding model so that it is sustainable. The service could also improve by adding more frequent buses. These options would help the majority of students that not only rely on the shuttle bus, but also students who don’t need public transportation.