UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA STUDENTS’ UNION DISAPPOINTED BY U-PASS MOTION PASSED IN CITY COUNCIL
Students’ Union asserts that the motion moved at City Council regarding transit passes goes against to the asks of student leaders and the student interest.
OTTAWA, ON – March 24, 2022 – The University of Ottawa Students’ Union (UOSU) is concerned by the motion passed at the Ottawa City Council meeting on March 23, 2022 regarding the distribution of free transit passes for the month of May. The motion does not answer the concerns and asks that representatives of the student union presented, and is not helpful to students, all while being framed as such.
The UOSU believes that partial reimbursements should have been made for the thousands of students who use and rely on public transportation, as was done in December 2021. In the beginning of March, the UOSU requested that a motion calling for U-Pass reimbursement to reflect the temporary removal of fares for downtown buses and the Line 1 be moved, not one that offers free transit QR codes for the month of May.
“It isn’t fair for students to be the only residents in these wards who are paying for free transit,” said Tim Gulliver, President of the UOSU. “This is not what we asked for. It does not help students.”
Free transit for the month of May will not benefit students. The majority of uOttawa courses offered of the Spring-Summer term will be offered online, and majority of students are not expected to stay in Ottawa. Furthermore, for students who remain in Ottawa, it would be cheaper to buy the U-Pass, at $212.71, compared to three monthly passes that cost $367.50. The U-Pass regime allows for students to either opt-in for all 4 months or opt-out entirely.
“It is incredibly frustrating that this motion was cited to be in the student interest while in reality, the student perspective was ignored, we had indicated to Councillor Fleury’s office that this motion would not be helpful to students in both verbal and written correspondence,” said Armaan Singh, Advocacy Commissioner of the UOSU. “Students expect their Councillor to represent their interests honestly at Council, instead of presenting symbolic motions that do not get students the help they need.”
The UOSU believes this motion is not beneficial as it disregards the demands fairness to students. The UOSU asks instead that a motion be moved which calls for students who held a U-Pass for the January-April 2022 term to be partially reimbursed. On behalf of students, the UOSU calls upon elected officials to meaningful consult with student unions when informing their decisions.
About the University of Ottawa Students’ Union
The University of Ottawa Students’ Union (UOSU) is the new student union representing the 38,000+ undergraduate students at the University of Ottawa. Founded in 2019, the UOSU strives to improve campus life, by providing services, organizing social events and advocating on their behalf.