Volume 91, Issue 94

Thursday, March 26, 1998

Belushi goes west


Last stop for the bus pass

By Sandra Dimitrakopoulos
Gazette Staff

After years of preparation, the universal bus pass will finally appear before the Board of Governors today for a final vote on its future.

"I am a little nervous about the decision being made today but am confident the Board will see the merit in the proposal," said University Students' Council President Ryan Parks.

The London Transit Commission is also hoping for a passing vote. "I think the early indications show there aren't any major concerns," said John Ford, LTC manager of planning services.

As for students who voted 'No' in the February referendum, if the motion is approved for a universal bus pass, Parks said he hopes these students have been convinced of the importance of the pass through the entire process.

"I think the statistically significant Statslab survey tells us students overwhelmingly support the bus pass," he said. The Statslab poll taken before the referendum to determine student opinion rendered a 71 per cent approval rate by students.

Ryon Bateman, the graduate representative on the Board, said he hopes the graduate students will be involved with the deal in the near future.

"Personally I think the grad students should have a discussion on the pass – it hasn't happened yet," Bateman said. The Society of Graduate Students may not have been aware the proposal was so far along, he added.

Dave Tompkins, president of the USC in 1996/97, said his main objective while in office was to collect enough information to bring the pass to a vote. "I am happy it has come to fruition – it's not one of those things you can do in one year."

Tompkins said he had hoped the current council would have followed the time line set out last year, which put the referendum in Oct. 1997 rather than during the 1998 February USC presidential election.

If the Board votes in favour of the pass, Ford said the next few months will involve a number of administrative duties which need to be resolved before September between administration, the students' council and the LTC.

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Copyright The Gazette 1998