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U of T students vote against discounted TTC pass proposal

(photo by Gary Hershorn/Getty Images)

Undergraduate students say no to U-Pass, which would have cost $70 a month and been mandatory

University of Toronto undergraduates have passed on the U-Pass.

A majority – 65.6 per cent – of student voters at the downtown Toronto campus said no to a proposed transit pass that would have come at a larger discount, but would have been mandatory for full-time undergraduates. About 34 per cent of voters were in favour. 

About 12,400 students cast a ballot.

The U-Pass would have offered unlimited travel on the TTC for $70 per month, or $280 per semester – 40 per cent less than the cost of a monthly post-secondary TTC pass, currently $116.75.

But there was a catch. The price of a U-Pass would have been added to almost all full-time undergraduates' student fees. The only exception would have been for students whose ability to use transit was limited based on grounds protected by the Ontario Human Rights Code.

The mandatory buy-in was necessary to make the program viable and serve more university student riders, according to the TTC. The transit agency said the U-Pass would have been “revenue and cost neutral.” 

The proposal sparked a debate on campus between supporters like the University of Toronto Students’ Union – who negotiated the deal with the TTC – and critics, who said the U-Pass would have been unfair to students who live on campus or nearby. 

Ryerson, OCAD University and George Brown College are set to vote on the U-Pass next, though no votes are scheduled before the fall semester. 

Read more about the U-Pass in U of T News

See the Toronto Star story