Volume 92, Issue 89

Wednesday, March 17, 1999


Higher bus pass fee LTC driven

Bank invests in violence awareness

Rezs not surfing Wave

Western alumnus not very proud of gay research

New nurses applauded

Southwestern Ontario wants Western meds


Minor crises no match for UPD

Caught on campus

Higher bus pass fee LTC driven

By Lindsay Isaac
Gazette Staff

Results of negotiations yesterday between the University Students' Council and the London Transit Commission may raise the price of the bus pass for Western students next year.

Ian Armour, USC president, said the two parties agreed on a $4 increase to the bus pass and pending approval of council in the first half of the annual general meeting, the cost of the pass will be marked up to $79.

John Ford, director of planning for the LTC, said the commission has undergone assessments throughout this year's inauguration of the bus pass, specifically in the level of service. "We plan to smooth out service for next year," he said.

Ford added the LTC felt the student bus pass has been a positive experience, considering the number of comments received in its praise. "The bus pass has resulted in increased services such as more buses direct to the university and 5,600 more hours of service."

Reaching a point where the bus pass will not undergo further increases is not guaranteed to happen, said Jacquie Davison, director of finance and administration at the LTC. "As the LTC is subsidized by the taxpayers, nothing is guaranteed in achieving a level where annual increases stop," she said.

Armour said he realizes students may be concerned with the additional cost but feels the pass has been overwhelmingly successful. "Seventy nine dollars is a great deal for the pass and anything beyond this has to be ratified by the student body."

He explained throughout negotiations the LTC has provided full disclosure of revenue and ridership numbers. "Students have to understand that the LTC is revenue neutral. They are not making a profit on the pass," Armour said.

"This deal is not different for any other university. Some schools pay more, some less." Armour added any further changes should be subject to another student referendum.

Gerry Shellington, assistant general manager of the USC, said the LTC needs the additional money in order to stay afloat. "No profit is being made and the 17,000 bus passes picked up by students and the 13,500 trips made on the bus on any given day by students shows the bus pass is being used."

Heather Gaskell, a second-year psychology student at Western, said she agreed the increase is fair. "Four dollars is not a big deal compared to what we would have to pay if we had no pass. I use the bus a lot and the pass is worth it."

Janice Palmer, a second-year political science student at Western, did not share the same enthusiasm and said she does not use the bus nor does she want to pay for it. "It is unfair that people have to pay who don't use the bus and now the cost is going up even more."

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Copyright The Gazette 1999