USC bus pass referendum scheduled for March 11

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

With an information campaign starting today, undergraduate students will have the opportunity to vote on the next year’s bus pass program on March 11.

The bus pass fee for undergraduate students at Western during the 2008-09 school year totaled $125.78 and will increase by eight per cent in the upcoming year.

“For the next school year, students would be paying $135.84 for an eight-month bus pass,” University Students’ Council President Stephen Lecce said.

According to Lecce, the bus pass program will come to an end if students do not vote in favour of the rise in price, adding if the referendum does not pass, students wanting to use London transit will have to purchase a bus pass for about $70 per month.

While a survey conducted by the USC in November 2008 indicated 55 per cent of Western students were willing to pay extra for a 12-month bus pass, the USC will not be pursuing this option.

“This referendum is mainly focusing on the status of the bus pass and to determine whether students want to maintain a bus pass program at all,” Jacqueline Cole, USC VP-university affairs, said.

Cole added the decision [to continue with the eight-month bus pass] was not in response to the survey but in response to the increase in costs faced by the LTC.

Voting on the referendum will take place from March 11 to 13. According to Lecce, the USC Elections Committee has expanded the voting period to compensate for the untraditional election period so students are given more time to vote.

Leading up to the referendum vote, students can learn more about the bus pass program by visiting www.westernbuspass.ca.

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