Vote Yes On Bus Pass

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

March 11, 2009 Ed Cartoon

The day has finally come to vote on the fate of our bus pass and while students continue to debate the issue, the most important thing to do is vote in the referendum.

That is because if the referendum fails to collect 5,500 votes " 20 per cent of the full-time student population " the bus pass is automatically abolished.

At $70 for a monthly bus pass, the current bus pass fee offers significant savings for students.

While some individuals who have alternate transportation or live in close proximity to campus might consider the money they would save from a fee they do not use, this important decision should be made with the community in mind.

Those who have vehicles should think about how many more cars would be added to an already crowded parking lot system and how many of their friends may need a ride on a regular basis. In addition, students who currently drive will lose the option of taking the bus to the bar or a party if they plan on drinking.

Those who live near campus also would eventually need a means of transportation to gain exposure to life outside the Western bubble.

Western is also somewhat removed from the more popular bars and clubs in London, and when one considers the price of a cab ride downtown every week, they would realize it is more expensive than the proposed bus pass fee.

In addition, London is known to reach temperatures in the winter that make taking the bus, even a short distance, sweet salvation.

Western has a large and sprawling campus. As well, not all student housing is within walking distance of the university, making bus transportation integral for many students.

There are also a large number of students from London who attend Western. Many do so for financial reasons because they cannot afford to live away from home. Many who are unable to afford to leave home also cannot afford a car or the potential increased cost of buying a monthly bus pass.

There exists a misconception that if the student body votes “no” we will be able to renegotiate for a cheaper bus pass. On the contrary, a “no” result in this referendum will end the bus pass for at least the next year.

However, students who wish to see the end of the bus pass fee should make sure they vote. If the vote fails based on missing quorum, it can be attributed to students being lazy and uninformed. Each “no” vote tells the University Students’ Council that students are unhappy with the bus pass fee as it currently stands.

Having said that, students should vote “yes.” Inflation is a part of life. Things will get more expensive, and while there may be issues with the quality of service from the London Transit Commission, having a bus pass is better than having nothing.

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