Volume 92, Issue 1

Friday, May 15, 1998

empty pockets


Approaching the final stop on its transit route

Gazette Staff

The $75 University Students' Council universal bus pass is on the verge of approval and simply needs the final thumbs up from the Board of Governors.

In a meeting Monday, the Property and Finance Committee, composed of members of the Board, recommended the Board approve the full-time USC student fees proposed for the 1998/99 school year. This included the bus pass.

The decision is the second step in a three-tiered approval process which the bus pass must travel. The final step is the Board of Governors meeting May 23.

USC president Ian Armour was very pleased with the committee's decision. "It's more or less a rubber stamp," he said. "It's obviously something the students want and it's something the Students' Council wants."

Armour said the plan is to create a sticker which will fit onto a student's existing Western 1 card. He said a kiosk will be set up to distribute the stickers at the same time as the Westernizer and other important materials.

"We believe it's a win-win situation for both the students and London Transit," said John Ford, manager of planning services at the London Transit Commission. He added the LTC intends to implement the pass by September, pending the Board's approval.

Julian Hogeterp, who headed up the "no" side during the bus pass referendum, was not surprised at the decision, considering the outcome of the earlier vote.

"I still don't agree with it," he said. "And I still think there are a lot of people who will have a problem with it."

Hogeterp, however, has no plans to continue his fight. "I know that there was a movement to stop it at the committee level, to stop it from even going to the Board of Governors, but I know that failed." Hogeterp was confident the Board of Governors will approve the bus pass.

Greg Moran, Western's VP-academic, was supportive of the committee's decision. "I think the people concluded that the right consultation was done with the students and passed it accordingly."

The bus pass was not an administration initiative, he noted. "The people who are accountable for it are the executive of the USC."

Sam Castiglione, a Board member and a member of the Property and Finance Committee, could not disclose details of the confidential meeting but was confident the bus pass will be approved by the Board of Governors.

"There may still be objections within the student community but I can't see any reason why next Thursday it wouldn't go through without any problems."

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Copyright The Gazette 1998