MSVU votes on U-Pass

Students will decide if popular bus pass stays or goes

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Students board a Metro Transit bus outside Mount Saint Vincent University. (Photo: Alex Boates)

Mount Saint Vincent University is holding a referendum that will decide if its students keep the Metro Transit U-Pass.

Students will vote Monday and Tuesday to either keep or lose the bus pass and the new $134 price tag that comes with it. Metro Transit recommended this new cost after its original contract with MSVU, which cost students $118 per year, expired over the summer.

The U-Pass has been a popular commodity in Halifax since it first arrived in 2003. When MSVU had its chance to adopt the pass in 2007, students took full advantage.

 

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An MSVU student shows off her U-Pass. (Photo: Alex Boates)

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A history of the U-Pass in Halifax.

Cassandra Miller, a student at MSVU, prefers life with the U-Pass and doesn't want to go back to paying for the bus without it. "Paying for a bus is such a pain in the butt, just going through my change and trying to find what I need." She says that the U-Pass is an easy and convenient way to pay for the bus.

Lindy Herrington, student's union president at the Mount, says most students still want the pass despite the price increase. She says it would be difficult for a lot of students to commute to school and to work without the pass. MSVU is located on the Bedford Highway, an area not close to grocery stores, movie theatres, or the bar scene in downtown Halifax.

A regular monthly pass from Metro Transit costs a student $64 every month. That amounts to $512 for an eight-month school year. Even though the U-Pass will cost more than previous years, it will still save students $378 for those eight months.

Herrington says a small minority of students are against the pass. These are typically students who have cars and do not appreciate paying for a bus pass they will never use, while still paying for a parking pass for their car.

Sarah Leblanc is a student at the Mount who drives a car, but she says she will still vote to keep the U-Pass. "I know I would have paid a fortune just to get to the mall or to get my groceries," she says, reflecting on a time when she was a student without a car. Despite the increase in price, Leblanc says she would still rather pay a little more than not have the pass at all.

The voting results will be available on Wednesday.

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