Volume 91, Issue 71

Wednesday, February 4, 1998

sock it


Driving home the issue

Jump on board

Hopping on the bus with the flash of a universal bus pass is what Yes side coordinator for the referendum and University Students' Council municipal affairs commissioner Nick Iozzo wants students to be able to do.

The bus pass referendum is Feb. 11 and 12.

There is a lot of misconception out there over the pass and one of the reasons he is pushing the proposed pass is because he believes it would make finding student housing much easier, Iozzo said.

"A lot of people live by campus because of the transportation issue," he said, adding the bus pass would allow students to live farther from campus and not worry about paying a lot of money to get to school every day.

Students who have cars or live on campus would also benefit by saving money with it, Iozzo said. He explained the reasoning behind this is a recent survey done by the USC and the London Transit Commission which said students on average spend $5 per week on transportation.

"The key issue is the saving to Western students," he said.

He also noted the LTC has promised the USC bus service would be evaluated on the first few days the pass is in place and they would provide additional service if necessary.

He said the proposed $75 pass works out to be just over $9 per month. "I think there are students out there who won't use the bus because they have to use the pay-per-use system."

If a student goes grocery shopping every two weeks and takes the bus it works out to cost $64 for the year, Iozzo said.

–Brendan Howe

Skip the pass

Riding the bus to school using a universal bus pass is not something the No side coordinator for the referendum campaign and University Students' Council external outreach commissioner Julian Hogeterp thinks Western students should do.

As a London resident who drives to school every day, Hogeterp said, he will have no use for the proposed bus pass and does not think the majority of students will. "The students that purchase semester passes now do not warrant having a mandatory bus pass."

Hogeterp's biggest problem with the pass is the fact it is not opt-outable and every full-time undergraduate student will have to pay $75 next year for it if there is a yes vote in the referendum. He also noted even with an increase in student fees there would not be a change in parking fees.

"Transportation at Western has never been a shared cost so why should it now be?" Hogeterp asked.

Students may be fooled into thinking they are also going to get better service but the London Transit Commission has not planned any improvements, he said. He added the deal between the USC and the LTC could be a lot better.

Hogeterp said students with cars would not have much use for it because even if they used it at night to go out, the bus service ends at midnight. "It would almost be more advantageous for us to work out a deal with cab companies."

He said the issue is so important he thinks it will bring a lot of students out to the polls. "I feel it affects every single student."

–Brendan Howe

To Contact The News Department: gaznews@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998