Ottawa students win discount U-Pass pilot programme

OTTAWA, Jan. 28 /CNW/ - Students successfully convinced Ottawa City Council today to introduce a pilot universal transit pass (U-Pass) for full-time students at the University of Ottawa and Carleton University. In two weeks, students will vote on whether or not to accept the City's proposal, at a price of $145 per semester.

"After ten years of lobbying, it is great that the City of Ottawa finally supported students and voted in favour of offering an affordable U-Pass," said Shelley Melanson, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario, "Now it is up to students to decide whether or not they wish to participate in the programme."

Representatives from students' unions at the University of Ottawa, Carleton University and from the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario made deputations and sent delegations to the City's budget consultations. Students challenged the financial projections presented by OCTranspo and convinced councillors that a pilot project was in the best interest of the City.

"Students have sent more than 700 emails to councillors in the past few days urging them to support the U-Pass proposal," said Roxanne Dubois, Vice-President, Finance of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa. She added, "It is a clear testament of what students can do when they work together and lobby for students' collective interests."

Earlier this year, Ottawa students won the removal of a proposed age cap of 27 for anyone accessing student bus passes. In November, the Federation coordinated the Fair Student Fares campaign in Toronto, which won the first-ever post-secondary student discount for transit fares in that city.

The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario unites more than 300,000 college and university students studying at public post-secondary institutions across the province, including all university students in Ottawa and students at La Cité collégiale.

SOURCE Canadian Federation of Students - Ontario

For further information: For further information: Shelley Melanson, CFS-Ontario Chairperson, (416) 925-3825 or (416) 882-9927 (cell); Erik Halliwell, President of the Carleton University Students' Association, (613) 899-3745 (cell); Roxanne Dubois, Vice-President, Finance, Student Federation of the University of Ottawa, (613) 816-7486 (cell)

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