Volume 92, Issue 83

Wednesday, March 5, 1999


Sparse group of students gathers to discuss education

Students meet to influence budget

Fanshawe bus pass raises Western questions

Transcript changes compare marks

Budget cuts threaten library resources

Weed progress is home grown

Discussing the future UN


Fanshawe bus pass raises Western questions

By Mark Brown
Gazette Staff

Following Fanshawe College's recent acceptance of a bus pass with a cost not to exceed $96 per year, Western students can only speculate if this will mean they will be paying more for their pass next year.

The University Students' Council is currently negotiating cost and service issues with the London Transit Commission in preparation for their budget. The three-year contract the USC agreed to requires them to renegotiate the cost with the LTC annually.

While neither the USC nor the LTC were willing to discuss the cost of the bus pass while still in negotiations, Gerry Shellington, assistant general manager of the USC, said the price Fanshawe is willing to commit to has to be put into perspective. "Students can read between the lines," he said.

If the cost of the pass was to increase, it is not expected to match the price Fanshawe has accepted. "That's not conceivable at this time," Shellington said.

Meanwhile, issues such as the design of the bus pass are not of much concern during these round of negotiations. "They're not on the table but they are still an issue," Shellington said.

John Ford, director of planning for the LTC, did not want to link the Fanshawe bus pass to Western. "They are two different programs."

He explained since the bus pass was introduced there has been over a 50 per cent increase in ridership around campus. Ford added this is higher than was originally projected and a greater increase than what either McMaster University or the University of Guelph experienced when they initiated universal bus passes.

Part of the reason why the contract with the USC has to be negotiated annually is because this is a new experiment for everyone, Ford said.

USC President Ian Armour said he did not want the price to increase, adding both the USC and LTC will have to consider what students agreed to in last year's referendum on the bus pass, which stated the pass was not to exceed $75. "That's something we have to be aware of.

"If there is going to be any proposed increase it is going to have to be justified and explained in depth."

Armour will present the final proposal for the bus pass next Wednesday at the USC meeting as part of their budget which will be voted on by council on March 17. He added this will allow him to hear the opinions of the council before finalizing the deal with the LTC.

Armour said the USC will likely conduct their own analysis of the bus pass to see how it was received by students this year.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999