Volume 92, Issue 67

Wednesday, January 27, 1999

unaffirmative action


NEWS

Equity clause could discriminate against white males

USC hopes to wheel a good deal with LTC

Police, bar owners discuss safety

Keeping profs at home

Chung stresses student in students' council

Drink up for five-finger discounts

Quickies

Caught on campus

USC hopes to wheel a good deal with LTC

By Mark Brown
Gazette Staff

Even before the University Students' Council begins talking about student fees, one issue has already been seen as contentious.

The USC is concerned over the costs associated with the bus pass. Under the agreement the USC has with the London Transit Commission, the current $75 fare for the bus pass and the fee for the administration cost of the pass have to be evaluated each year.

The student fee evaluation process for the USC is set to begin next week so it will be ready to be submitted to Western's administration in early March.

Gerry Shellington, assistant general manager of the USC, said his top priority is to talk to the LTC because he believes this will be a contentious issue. "It is an emotional issue. I'm sure people will be paying close attention to it."

The cost of the pass could be affected in two ways. The cost of the bus pass could increase if the LTC proposes a fare higher than this year's fare. Another possible increase in the cost of the bus pass could be to cover the administrative costs associated with the pass.

While John Ford, director of planning for the LTC, said no decision has been made regarding the bus pass, London City Council amended LTC's budget this year, reducing it by $100,000. "We have to make it up some how," Ford said, but would not say if that will have an impact on the bus pass.

Ford said he did not want to discuss what the LTC could propose to the USC until the negotiations are complete.

The LTC is generally happy with its current arrangement with the USC, Ford said. He added there are still some issues such as overcrowding, service levels and identification which need to be resolved.

At this point the USC is waiting to receive the LTC's fare proposal for the 1999/2000 bus pass, said USC President Ian Armour. He added he does not want to see the fares go up.

"I definitely foresee people getting upset if the bus pass goes up," Armour said.

Armour said he does not expect to see a dramatic increase this year and he would seriously question any increase over $5.

"I am very conscious that the referendum question [last year] read that the bus pass was not to exceed $75."

Armour said the USC is not just going to accept the LTC's fare for the pass without justification. He explained he would also like to seek student feedback on this issue.

Next year the USC will have to absorb the administration fees which were covered last year by the LTC. The administration costs were picked up this year by the LTC because of the wording of the referendum question, Armour said. "When we said $75 we thought that included everything."

Like Armour, Shellington said he is concerned if the prices go up and he would also like to see the LTC's numbers to see how they justify the cost of the pass. "We are being pressured to keep fees down."

At this point it is unclear if the administrative fee will be added to the cost of the pass since the USC could decide to absorb those costs, Shellington said. He added the cost to administer the pass could be as low as 50 cents.


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Copyright The Gazette 1999