Students call for Fair Student Fares for the TTC

TORONTO, Nov. 16 /CNW/ - Students launched the Fair Student Fares campaign last week to call on the Toronto Transit Commission to protect students from pending fare increases. As a result, TTC Chair Adam Giambrone announced that tomorrow, a motion will be considered to extend the high school student discount to public college and university students.

"Toronto is the only large city in Canada that doesn't offer a discounted transit rate for college and university students," said Shelley Melanson, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. "Students in many cities have successfully worked with city councils to improve transit fares for students, and we hope that a student-centred solution will be decided tomorrow" she said.

The Fair Student Fares campaign, launched by member local associations of the Canadian Federation of Students, calls for the high school student rate to be extended so that both the student Metropass and tickets can be available to public college and university students.

"Students in Ontario pay the highest tuition fees in Canada and contend with record-high youth unemployment," said Hadia Akhtar, Vice-President, External for the University of Toronto Students' Union. "As soon as the fare hike was announced, we started an email campaign and in less than one week, 800 emails were sent to Commission members," she said.

"Paying close to $6,000 to be in school full-time doesn't leave many chances to work to be able to afford such things as transit," said Toby Whitfield, Vice-President of Finance at the Ryerson Students' Union. "Students need fair student fares from the TTC."

While there are indications that the motion will be successful tomorrow, students are still unclear on whether or not the student discount will be available to all students, regardless of student status and age. There are also questions about whether or not students will be able to access the student tickets, or be forced to pay $3.00 a ride.

"Students hope that the TTC decides to extend the benefits of the current student pass to college and university students, regardless of a students' age or student status," said Krisna Saravanamuttu, president of the York Federation of Students. "As a group that is vulnerable to price increases, students need to be able to access discounted student tickets just like the student Metropass."

The TTC is voting on whether or not to extend the high school student pass to college and university students on Tuesday, November 17 at 1:00 at City Hall.

The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario represents more than 300,000 students across Ontario including more than 150,000 college and university students in the City of Toronto.

SOURCE Canadian Federation of Students

For further information: For further information: Shelley Melanson, Chairperson, Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario: (416) 882-9927 (cell); Joel Duff, Organiser, Organiser, Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario: (416) 925-3825 (office)

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