OTTAWA, July 16, 2013 /CNW/ - Students from all seven students'
associations across the city, alongside Ecology Ottawa, are
hand-delivering letters to members of city council demanding that the
age cap on student bus passes be removed.
Ottawa City Council has recently capped access to student bus passes at
19 years old. In 2009, the City put in place an age cap of 27 on
student bus passes only to reverse its decision a couple of months
later following student and community pressure.
"Age does not define a student," said Sherline Pieris from the Algonquin
Students' Association. "Tuition fees are not determined by age, nor are
the services offered to ensure student success in post-secondary
institutions. Keep fares fair."
College and university students are struggling with the soaring costs of
tuition fees, books, rent and other costs of living and are largely
dependent on public transit. The new age cap of 19 on student bus
passes excludes tens of thousands of students in Ottawa from affordable
While many students are eligible for the U-Pass program during the fall
and winter semesters, this program does not apply to students at
Algonquin College or La Cité collégiale. Nor does the program apply to
any part-time students, or students who take classes during the summer
months, even if they are enrolled in full-time courses.
"Student debt doesn't disappear because it's summer," said Anne-Marie
Roy, president of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa
(SFUO). "Students rely on public transit to travel to summer
jobs and courses and are expected to do so at full cost. No other major
Canadian city functions this way."
Making transit less affordable for students who are both
disproportionate users of transit as well as economically vulnerable
contradicts the commitment to "transit-oriented development" detailed
in the City's Draft Official Plan, tabled on June 25.
Students are requesting meetings with city councillors to discuss the
elimination of the age cap.
Representatives from the Ottawa Student Transit Coalition will be
hand-delivering letters to city councillors and the mayor at 9am,
followed by an informal media scrum in front of City Hall.
The Ottawa Student Transit Coalition represents college, undergraduate
and graduate students at Carleton University, the University of Ottawa,
Saint Paul University, La Cité Collégiale, and Algonquin College. The
member associations are:
Graduate Students' Association (Carleton University), Local 78 of the
Canadian Federation of Students
Carleton University Students' Association
Student Federation of the University of Ottawa/Fédération étudiante de
l'université d'Ottawa, Local 41 of the Canadian Federation of Students
Graduate Students' Association of the University of Ottawa/Association
des étudiant.e.s diplômé.e.s de l'Université d'Ottawa, Local 94 of the
Canadian Federation of Students
Saint Paul University Student Association/L'Association des Étudiant(e)s
de l'Université Saint Paul, Local 85 of the Canadian Federation of
Students Association étudiante de La Cité collégiale, Local 107 of the
Canadian Federation of Students Algonquin Students' Association
Ecology Ottawa is a not-for-profit, grassroots, volunteer-driven
organization working to make Ottawa the green capital of Canada.
SOURCE: Ottawa Student Transit Coalition
For further information:
To schedule interviews with representatives from any of the Ottawa Student Transit Coalition student associations, please contact: Mathieu Murphy-Perron at 613-704-2188 or email@example.com.