IGNITE silent on discounted transit pass

Eli Ridder | The Avro Post

The IGNITE Student Union has remained silent on the new discounted post-secondary transit pass that could be embedded into tuition costs for schools that opt into the program, despite numerous reports that Humber College is interested.

For the “U-Pass” to come into effect, at least one school needs to sign on out of the University of Toronto St. George Campus, York University or Ryerson University and the program can only be implemented at schools if students vote in favour via referendum.

Humber’s communications director confirmed on Friday evening that IGNITE would be in charge of the university transit pass portfolio.

The Eyeopener first reported on Mar. 4 that Humber College has “expressed interest” in engaging in the pass, but it was not part of the original consultation process with

While other schools technically have to wait until the first institution signs onto the deal, Humber has been quiet over their role in potential interest.

Then Humber was listed as a “stakeholder” for when the TTC was consulting multiple universities and colleges in Toronto.

There has been no official word towards students that Humber was engaged in the consultation process, according to the media releases web page.

Humber Communications Director Andrew Leopold told The Avro Post via email on Friday that “it would go through IGNITE” in regards to any details on the status of the college’s interaction with the “U-Pass”.

However, IGNITE student leadership has remained silent to Post inquiries as to the status of Humber’s interested and how it would be applied with the University of Guelph-Humber.

In 2014, total enrolment in Humber College was at 83,000 and if that number is still close to accurate, Guelph-Humber only makes up about 5 per cent of the overall population of the IGNITE-administered campuses.

Additionally, concerns were raised over whether North Campus and its Lakeshore counterpart would vote as two separate entities, as students could be geographically located in different places.

Humber’s Orangeville Campus would likely not be included in the TTC program, which adds an extra $280 a semester to every student’s tuition without exceptions except for those with disabilities.

This model has been voted in favour for by University of Guelph students, who utilize a “U-Pass” by just showing their student cards.

The way it would work for the TTC is students would be able to load the $70 monthly pass onto a Presto Card for use, equating to an over 50 per cent discount on the current $116.75 post-secondary pass.

This program is not uncommon among post-secondary institutions across Ontario: the University of Guelph, McMaster University in Hamilton and Wilfred Laurier University in Waterloo all have universal transit passes included in their tuition.

The “U-Pass” at those universities are handled by each institution’s student union.

More details to follow. Image of IGNITE from Fredrick Lariviere/The Avro Post. 


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